Do you ever notice that when you typically meet a younger child they are fairly talkative and not usually too shy? Occasionally though you might come across a child that is so shy they will cover their face and not pay you a bit of attention. Usually they’ll warm up to you after being around you several times, but they really go out of their way to not have to talk to you if possible.
How do you break children of having this fear and not having a lot of self-confidence? I suppose you could just stick them in several situations and hope that they figure it out for themselves, but I know for some children this is more detrimental than helpful. So then what do you do to help them become more confident?
Based on my experience, I have found that enrolling children in activities that they enjoy and have a chance of excelling in really helps. Excelling in anything will boost a child’s confidence tremendously. Sometimes we don’t know what it is that our children are going to be good at. As parents we typically know what they enjoy so starting with that usually works. Even if they aren’t great at a certain activity or sport they will still enjoy it if it’s something they like.
I’ve never been a pushy parent. I have a very shy child and he has never wanted to do any activities. This past Spring I didn’t give him a choice. I signed him up for T-ball and hoped that it would go okay. I knew that if it was a horrible experience for him I had probably ruined getting him to sign up for anything again. However, I had a feeling he’d be okay and he was. He ended up really enjoying it and he was good at it. It was nice to watch him call up his grandparents to let them know how well he did at this game or practice. He was so proud of himself.
This fall I decided to push yet again. He grew in his confidence ten-fold once he started Kindergarten, but I wanted to see if I could push it a little bit farther. My husband and I decided that we were going to sign him up for Cub Scouts. I knew that he’d be so proud of himself every time he earned a new badge so I figured this would be a great thing for him to get involved in. Last night was their welcoming ceremony and I was amazed at the difference in him. A year ago he would have cowered when his name was called to walk across the bridge in front of all those people. This year he did just fine!
If you are in a similar position with your child try what we did. I am pretty sure it will work for you as well as it did for us!