Parents are key in helping shy teens grow socially.
With all of the things for kids to do today, do you notice your teen is not interested in any to them and tends to stay home alone more than going out with peers? Does it take them a while to warm up to people in general and you wish they could connect better? Barring any other issues, have you ever wondered why YOUR child is so shy and how you can help them work through it?
Helping your teen get through being shy may not be the easiest task but you can certainly guide them in a more social direction if you do so with love making sure to ease them into it at their pace. Most kids really do want to have the peer connections they see others have, but many aren’t’ equipped to make it happen alone. Check out these 7 tips and hopefully they can help you in your parent journey to work with your shy teenager.
- Work it out together. Reaching out for help to be “more social” can’t be easy for kids and reaching out to parents can really be a task for them. Help your teen approach social interactions in a new way by helping them create a list of ideas together. Two heads are better than one an all it might take is that “one thing” they’re missing to make the difference.
- Talk it out! Have a real “non-judgmental” conversation with your teen about their shyness issue. Help them open up about how it affects their life and ability to be involved in social activities. Find out if in a perfect world, whether or not they’d like to change it.
- Take your time. New things aren’t always easy with shy people. DO NOT PUSH your teen because it may cause them to withdraw and have a negative impact on your relationship with them. Let them work at their pace. Identify one new thing at a time and help them get ready to practice doing it before they do it to reduce anxieties. Remember, your support is key.
- Rehearse your lines! Allow your child to rehearse ides with you. Role-play and practice what real life situations look like. Simple things like practicing a handshake or saying hello will matter a lot. Help them with their body language so they can stand with confidence and not be afraid to look people in the eye when appropriate. Don’t forget to give them kudos for trying
- Reframing counts. If your teen is shy, they always have a way of thinking that is holding them back from some of the interactions they may really want to have. Check out what their inner-critic is telling them about being accepted and help them reframe it in ways that are positive. Help them understand that being shy is not a bad things but a trait they have they can use to their advantage.
- Help build self-confidence. Take your time and practice how they can speak up in situations. Shy teens will often fade into the background when they really need to speak up. Help them to realize that they too have opinions and their voice matters. Being assertive isn’t always easy for shy kids and you can help them through every day teachable moments when interacting with others.
- Know their style. When trying to get your teen out of their shell, try understanding their unique style. What do they like? What do they feel they excel at? Help them find other teens like them who enjoy the same interests and it will be easier for them to relate and feel accepted.