Unlocking Parental Intelligence: Finding Meaning in Your Child’s Behavior
Calling Your Child Shy
Parenting the socially uneasy child is more complicated than labeling your child as shy. It may just be your child’s temperament or natural style to avoid over-stimulating, gregarious people. Your child may be different than you if you’re outgoing. That difference or mismatch with you may make you uncomfortable, but it doesn’t mean something is a problematic for your child.
Society tends to praise the outgoing and feel there is something amiss with a child who likes to fly solo or just have a few loyal friends. However, many creative, highly productive people work effectively and persistently on their own with great rewards of high levels of accomplishment.
When mothers and fathers use Parental Intelligence they place a premium on understanding their child’s mind, their stage of development, and their capacity for problem solving. Labeling social behavior is contrary to understanding it, an essential property of Parental Intelligence.
10 Reasons Why It’s Potentially Risky to Call Your Child Shy
1. Labeling a child is reductive. It is a one dimensional, simplistic view that may prevent you from seeing other aspects of your child’s personality.
2. Calling your child shy may shame and embarrass him furthering a potential problem if there is one.
3. Calling your child shy suggests she has a fixed trait that cannot be modulated. This might prevent her from learning positive strategies that would be helpful such as giving her a supportive person to bolster her self-image which in turn would ease her socialization..
4. Calling her shy could make her feel you disapprove of her personality lowering her self-esteem preventing her from trying strategies such as easing herself into small groups with sensitive people.
5. It’s important not to make the error of viewing your child’s caution or hesitancy in new situations as an inability to relate well to others. He may just hold back from novel situations or overstimulation, not human connections.
6. Calling your child minimizes his potential ability to learn to reason with himself about social experiences that may turn out to be positive and rewarding. With some successes, he may learn self-coaching and self-coaxing skills that improve over time.
7. You may discover if you help your child become selective in her social choices by selecting kids who are calm and non-aggressive, she will learn that her peers are friendly and accept her.
8. It helps to let your child know you are proud of her for taking small steps when she is fearful. Each small step is forward movement that leads to self-confidence in overcoming obstacles bit by bit.
9. It’s essential that you show your child her style of relating is the right way even if it’s different from your way. Parents need to be careful not to impose their belief systems about being highly social as necessary in their culture.
10. Teachers need to learn that a high level of participation is not an essential indicator of a good student. The quiet child may be hard working, smart, and successful.
Sometimes parents think their children need to change when it’s the environment that needs changing. Everyone doesn’t work well in large open spaces with collaborative learning as it used to be thought in corporate and educational worlds. The quiet worker who concentrates well on his own and is highly attentive and open to creating new ideas may not be the most noticed, but he may be the most effective.