As an educator, I get a chance to meet different parents and children with unique personalities every day. While it is a challenge to channelize the over energetic and extrovert children, it is more challenging to handle an introvert and shy child. Being shy and introvert is mostly seen in a negative light but is it a correct notion?
Here are a few tips for parents of introvert, quiet and shy children. These might help you in nurturing your child in a better way and provide him with an environment which is conducive for his overall growth-
Accept and embrace your child the ways he is– We always strive for the best for our children. But we should not try and change the personality of our child. Rather than nagging and criticizing your child for what he does not have, it is better to appreciate and love your child the way he/she is. This love and appreciation will bloom his personality in a beautiful way.
Each child is unique– It is naturally processed in our brain that extrovert children are smarter than introvert children. Voracious speakers always get the attention from all around and are labeled as being intelligent and clever of the group. This notion doesn’t always hold true. An introvert child might be sitting in one corner of the class quietly but his keen observation, astute sense and analytical thinking can process information in the brain at a much faster speed than an average kid.
Children don’t like comparisons – Let us accept the fact that children, like adults, do not like negative comparisons and labelling. Most of the times a child won’t be able to react to a negative comment or to a peer comparison. But it is all accumulating in the mind and has long term detrimental effects.
Having less number of friends is okay– An introvert child has a limited group of friends. They don’t make new friends easily and stick to old friends only. There is no harm if your child is not very outgoing and social. Parents can encourage play dates with new friends or take the child to park /social clubs where he gets a chance to meet new people. But don’t make a big deal about it if he doesn’t want to socialise with new people. Being gregarious is not going to guarantee success in life.
It is more important to be confident in whatever you are or you do- Being confident is more important than being extrovert. We treat being confident and being extrovert as synonymous. But even an introvert child can be confident of his thoughts and actions. Parents can instill confidence in children by following-
- Children should assume responsibility for their actions. They can be delegated small tasks at home and encouraged to do their work independently.
- Parents should respect opinions of their child. Involve the child in decision making.
A shy and quiet child can be encouraged to try drama and theatre as an after school activity. It can help in inculcating more confidence in his personality. The child should not be imposed upon to do it.It is generally seen that introvert children have an amazing focus and good concentration skills. These can be optimized to nurture a passion or a hobby in the child. For example- An observant child can do well in the field of music and sports.
Quiet kids don’t need to be fixed. They need to be treasured!