Quiet child – grief in the family: why shyness is actually dangerous for children
Psychologist Komarova warned about the dangers of shyness for children
Is your child shy by nature, is he afraid of novelty and therefore cold sweat breaks through him every time he needs to participate in a children’s matinee or go to school with a report? Scientists from Canada explored reactions to novelty and the so-called social stress that children have to endure when they find themselves in a new class or showing themselves to their peers and teachers, among 152 children of different sexes aged 7–8 years. It turned out that about 10 percent of children are naturally shy, and 25 percent were really stressed in public and in communication with strangers, although in a familiar environment such children could not be called shy.
So maybe a quiet child is a gift from God for parents? Comfortable, flexible, agreeing to everything, or is it still worth developing in him courage, artistry and the ability to prove himself both in front of adults and among peers? KP.RU spoke with an expert – psychologist “Aktion Education” Ekaterina Komarova.
Whatever the nature of being a quiet child, he has harmful psychological habits: avoidance, silence, ignoring, avoiding discussion and solving problems. In the future, this may lead to the fact that it will be difficult for your grown-up child to work in a team, he will “surrender himself”, pull the strap, and someone else will be promoted up the career ladder.
The reason lies in low self-esteem, which is formed in childhood. Alas, the trigger for a child to hide and not show himself is often such parental reactions to his activity as “do not interfere”, “take care of yourself”, “I have something more important than you”, “you won’t do it, come on I am for you”, “I decided everything (a)”.
MOM, DON’T PUSH ON ME!
It can be difficult for a parent to admit to himself that the pressure on his child is too strong. So you can try this exercise. For two days, write down your statements and actions to the child, then check what and how you said to your child, and what was his reaction at the level of words and behavior.
DON’T GUARD TOO MUCH!
Analyze how you are involved in the child’s “quiet” behavior. Remember what you do when you see that he has calmed down and withdrawn into himself: comfort, encourage, criticize, ignore, or do something for him? In order for the child to manifest himself, be an active participant in social life, achieve his goals and rejoice in his own victories, show faith in his strength, let him cope alone, let him face difficulties, guiding and supporting only at certain moments.
LET TIKHONA SHOW!
The quiet one, with her behavior, seems to say: “I’m safe when they don’t notice me.” It is difficult for a child to live inconspicuous and uninteresting to anyone, so quiet ones compensate for insufficient communication in reality – with fantasies or communicate online with virtual interlocutors. Such an escape from reality will not help your child either enter a university or find a job in the future, although, perhaps, it will make him a science fiction writer.
To show the child the value of real communication, parents should really listen and hear him. When you talk, look at your child, nod, agree, use short phrases that express interest, such as “Wow!”, “Interesting!”, “Wow!”.
Speak positively about him, his ideas, attitude towards him. In a conversation, you can use words and phrases such as “I love”, “I respect” and “I think it’s important”, “I understand you”, “It’s important”, “It’s good that you said that” and “I didn’t know (a) “. Be sure to support and praise the child if he expressed an opinion that does not coincide with the opinion of others, showed courage and perseverance.
Maintain adult qualities in a growing son or daughter. Encourage them to grow up and change. Children need to be gradually let go, although this can be difficult, especially for mothers. You should not evaluate the child, relying only on the opinion of teachers or other significant adults. Ask how he evaluates himself and his successes, whether he considers his level sufficient. So you will maintain the ability to focus on your own opinion both in choosing the direction of study and in determining the university for admission. Discuss what he wants, how he can achieve it, what are the pros and cons. Do not rush to advise.
Do not attribute responsibility for your feelings and experiences to the child. Avoid, for example, the phrases “I’m going crazy because of you!” and “You drove me!”. Pay attention to situations when the child avoids problems, for example, hushing up, enduring, accumulating resentment. To establish contact with a child in such a situation, you can say about how you would feel in his place, for example: “I would be offended if my things were taken without asking.”