All children are born with individual temperaments, and these are merely different ways a child interacts with the world and others around them. What we often fail to understand is that shyness or a lack of confidence is just one type of temperament and if your child is shy, it’s not always something negative.
We know that the role as parents is a critical one, in terms of child development. But what exactly can we and should we be doing to raise mentally healthy and confident children who are able to reach their fullest potential?
Dance, dance, dance
It’s normal to want your child to be confident and comfortable in social situations, but this doesn’t come naturally to all children. This means that children who are slow to warm up need to practise social skills gradually and in small, manageable steps.
You can help your child learn by giving him the chance to be around others, encouraging and praising them taking the initiative to engage in any type of social behaviour, showing them how to act in social situations, and supporting but not over-comforting them.
A perfect way to do this is to enroll them for enrichment classes which allow for peer interaction and teamwork building. One example would be dance. There are different dance programmes at Crestar like ballet, contemporary, jazz, and hip hop – and there’s something for everyone.
Dance will eventually reduce their shyness and increase their assertiveness, improve posture and body-image, and expose them to performance and examination, which in turn will teach them to be comfortable with social interaction and people in general.
Voice it Out
Another way to ensure your child communicates eloquently and with confidence is through speech and drama classes. Children who possess a strong command of language and vocabulary with clear articulation are on track to becoming confident public speakers with critical thinking skills. Such classes come in both English and Chinese and they can be a good way for junior to learn how to communicate confidently, effectively and fluently in both languages.
The main idea here is to ensure that your child’s fear of social interaction or public speaking does not persist into adulthood. Children who are too afraid of voicing out their opinions or feel too self-conscious they can’t stand to be in any social situation lose out in numerous ways.
If your child is open and willing to learn, such classes will build their self-confidence by letting them experience the world from perspectives other than his own. Our speech and drama teachers are trained to ensure that every child would have an equal opportunity to contribute, especially those who are more reserved.
Remember, these methods are not about putting your little one on the spot; they’re about providing your child opportunities to share, communicate and create in a safe and welcoming group environment. Through positive and constructive feedback from our instructors who provide constant praise and acknowledgement of each child’s efforts, your kids will come out of their shells in no time!