It may be virtually impossible for a parent to force a young child to overcome his shyness and his fear of strangers;
In fact, it may even backfire and make the child withdraw even more into his self made shell for protection.
Most of us fail to realize the simple truth that shyness stems out of an exaggerated and elaborate image of oneself, and that when this is present in a child, it leads him to think that everyone around him is pointing fingers at him and laughing at his most minor mistakes, and this prevents him from taking any risks wherein he may make a mistake.
If this condition is left untreated, it may lead the child into developing what is known as social phobia, which would lead him to avoid public places and gatherings and meeting strangers, as he grows up.
Shyness, however, can be treated but cannot be cured, and this means that the earlier the child learns how to cope with his shyness, the more equipped he will be as an adult.
Here are some tips on how one can help a shy child:
- Never criticize your child if he is shy, especially if you are not a shy person yourself. Try your best to empathize with your child, and be patient with him as you help him to learn how to cope. You could tell him how you used to cope with shyness when you were a child (even if you did not have to), and this will immediately forge a bond between you, and he will know that you will be there for him.
- Never tease him or berate him for his shyness; he just cannot help being shy. You could instead talk to his teacher and find out how she deals with shy children in her class.
- You could think of enrolling your child in outdoor activities, or in activities where he will be part of a group of other children, where he will learn how to interact with others. However, remember; if he does not want to be in this situation, you must never force him, in the mistaken assumption that it is good for him: forcing an issue will only make it worse.
- In most cases, a shy child can be helped to overcome shyness with a little help and cooperation from the adults around him, but if these people are not able to help him, do not hesitate to consult a counselor, who will be able to help him out of his shyness and help him move on to become a well adjusted adult.