Parenting Connection: How to support a shy child

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LANSING, Mich. (WLNS) – It’s Parenting Connection Tuesday and 6 News is here for you with tips, strategies, and helpful reminders from local child development experts on how we can be better parents and guardians.

Today’s topic: How to support a shy child

Now that most of us in Mid-Michigan are really beginning to get out and socialize again — younger kids who may have been isolated, or are simply being around people for the first time, could be showing signs that they are shy.

Child experts at Michigan State University’s Extension office say, shy children often dislike being around new people or new places and prefer to watch what is going on around them first rather than joining in right away. It’s normal, and most children will outgrow their shyness as they get older, but here are a few ways from child experts on how to support your shy child in the meantime:

*Talk with your child ahead of time of what they should expect. Knowing this information can help ease their anxiety if you plan to be at a place or event that involves a lot of new people

*Understand their feelings. Talk with and listen to your child to find out what may cause them to withdraw around new things, people, or places

*Give them time to warm up in new situations and around new people.

*Avoid labeling your child as shy. Doing so may cause them to attach a negative label to themselves.

*Provide many opportunities for your child to play with other children with a playdate, a playground, or structured activity.

*Praise your kid when they do interact with new people in new situations.

Again, it’s normal for a young child to be shy, but if not addressed it could be a problem.

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