All children are different. Although there are many strategies that can be used by parents and teachers to help children overcome shyness not all might prove to be helpful in every case. In some children, some strategies may be more effective than others. The key is to rightly identify when your child’s shyness is becoming a problem in his/her development and once this has been done parents should act accordingly.
To begin with instead of criticizing the child parents must understand and accept that their child is shy in certain social situations. Parents should be sensitive to the child’s interests and feelings. They should ensure that the child understands that being shy is nothing to be ashamed of.
Stop addressing the child as ‘shy’. If children are repeatedly told that they are shy they perceive themselves as being shy and stop making any efforts to make changes.
Discuss the matter very carefully with the child and help him set goals to achieve his target. Keep a track about his progress. Begin with simple goals like- speaking at least one word with a guest or any new person, speaking in front of the class, reciting a poem in the class. This will help the child to gain self-confidence and he will become more outgoing.
Reward the child even for slight improvement in behavior. Like praise him for outgoing behavior.
Children are great observers and follow their parent’s behavior. Whenever possible, parents should behave in an outgoing manner in front of their child. This will set an example for the child.
Share your experiences of being shy as a child. This will make sure that the child understands that being shy is not a character flaw and can be overcome.
Do not enforce anything on the child. Take things at a slow and steady pace. Help the child feel secure and let him take his time to improve.
Expose the child to social situations. Arrange a small house party or garden party for his friends and encourage the child to invite his friends over or go over to a friend’s house.