Is your child shy? He blushes, stammers when asked a question, and would like to turn into a little mouse when the teacher asks him a question. Here is some advice to help overcome his shyness.
- It’s all about diplomacy. To help him gain self-confidence, offer him “beacons,” suggest little scenarios showing him how to behave, and suggest that he act out the scene, as you would before a job interview! This will gradually release their anxious tension. This role-playing technique is particularly effective if there is no other audience than you and him. The aim is not to get your child into the Cours Florent, but to give them enough confidence to dare to speak in class or a small group.
- If they’re afraid to call, work with them to prepare three or four short phrases to introduce themselves and start a conversation. Then, ask him (for example) to call the bookstore to ask if they have the latest comic book he wants and to find out the store’s opening hours. Let him do this, and above all, don’t cut him off in his conversation, and only after you hang up will you show him how YOU would have done it (unless his phone call is worthy of congratulations!).
- If he blushes as soon as he has to speak in front of a “stranger”, suggest to him that when he goes to a restaurant, you ask the waiter to order the family’s food. He will learn to have confidence in himself and will dare to “push the limits” a little further next time.
- If he has difficulty integrating into a group (at the sports club, at the day-care center, in-class), play a scene with him in which he has to introduce himself, giving him a few tips: “you go towards the group of children in which you have spotted someone you know and you ask him something. When he answers you, you stay and take your place in the group, even if you don’t say anything.” You will have helped him to take the first step.
- Gradually expose them to new situations, for example, by having them review some of their lessons in a small group at home.
- Sign him up (if he wishes) for a drama club: he will not be the one to speak but a character he will have to play. And little by little, he will learn to speak in public. If he doesn’t feel comfortable, you can also sign him up for a contact sport (judo, karate), which will allow him to fight against his feelings of inferiority.
Sports, classes, and workshops, for example, may have a comparable and good effect by providing a forum for children to socialize while remaining focused on a specific activity. It takes a lot of effort to overcome shyness, but by using these easy tactics, you can help your child build confidence and rise above any scenario.