Tips for Transitioning Your Baby Into Child Care

What Can You Do To Help Your Shy Child Make Friends?

by Gene Jimenez

For some children, making friends is a skill that is natural to them. For children who are shy, interacting with other children can be challenging. If your young child is shy and having trouble with making friends, here are some ways you can help him or her learn how to do so.  

Avoid Pushing Your Child

When dealing with a young child who is reserved, pushing him or her can only make the situation worse. Instead of helping to pull your child out of his or her shell, you could inadvertently end up pushing him or her further into it. Although it might be difficult to avoid, try not to push your child into interacting with others.  

It takes time to help a shy child learn how to make friends. Introduce him or her to new potential friends one at a time and space the introductions out. By doing this, you are allowing your child the space he or she needs to explore the relationship with a new child without feeling pressured to interact with others.

Talk to the Daycare Teacher

Your child's daycare teacher can help your child overcome his or her shyness, too. Teachers have options available to naturally introduce children to each other and encourage interaction without seeming pushy.  

For instance, the teacher could partner your child with another child to complete certain tasks. While completing those tasks, your child will have a chance to interact with the other child on a one-on-one basis. Once your child is comfortable with the other child, the teacher could partner him or her with a new child. Without realizing it, your child will be establishing a relationship with his or her classmates. 

Praise Your Child

You already know that praise helps to reinforce good behavior. The same applies when dealing with shyness. When your child makes an effort to interact with other children, praise him or her for doing so.  

The praise does not have to be overboard. In fact, going too far with the praise can make your child feel uncomfortable. Keep it simple. For instance, simply stating that you are pleased that your child is communicating with a classmate while working on a task is enough.

Continue to work with your child's daycare teacher to find other ways to help your child overcome his or her shyness and make new friends. The teacher can make suggestions based on his or her experience observations at the daycare.