Shy and sensitive work interchangeably in this blog post. Many parents become concerned when their child isn’t overly outgoing or talkative. When a child is sensitive or cautious, many can think the child is fearful, fragile, weak, or lacking confidence or social skills and this simply isn’t the case. Let’s delve right into this topic.
Parents project their own fears on their sensitive child. When one or both parents does this, the young child, being completely impressionable, will eventually believe he or she is lacking in confidence or social skills and will do him or her a great disservice in the long run. Sensitive children will also become more shy and withdrawn the more his or her parents tries to coax or convince them to do something they aren’t comfortable doing. To build trust with your child, allow them to use discernment in situations they feel uncomfortable in. It’s ok NOT to want to talk to strangers. It’s ok NOT to want to play with children that the child doesn’t know or be in an overstimulating environment. It’s ok if your child doesn’t want anyone to hold him or her except you or your spouse or whoever is close to your child that the child feels comfortable with. Holding a child and touching the child’s body is an intimate thing and the child should feel full trust for the person holding him or her or whatever it may be.
Don’t make something that is positive, negative. There is nothing wrong with your child feeling shy or awkward in a certain setting. What may seem comfortable and natural for you may not be for your child. And that is ok! Embrace your child’s discernment and trust his or her process for becoming comfortable in a certain environment. Don’t force your child to say hello or goodbye if he or she doesn’t want to. It’s ok if your child wants to play alone at the park or gym and not be around all the other children. Perhaps large groups are overwhelming for your child. There is nothing wrong with that. Allow your child the space and freedom to decide when he or she is ready (or not ready) to join a certain social activity or group. Encourage your child to feel his or her feelings. Doing so will allow your child to build more confidence in not only you, but his or herself. If you trust your child’s intuition, then your child will learn to trust his or her intuition as well. Going along with the crowd isn’t always the right thing and your child shouldn’t be forced into a social setting that may cause great anxiety or distrust.
Love and appreciate your child just as he or she is. This is quite self-explanatory. Loving your shy and sensitive child in vulnerable place they’re in is showing unconditional love. “I love you just as you are and you are enough.” Your child doesn’t need to be going along with the crowd if it makes him or her uncomfortable.
If you follow this advice, a beautiful thing will happen. Trust is formed. And a bond between parent and child will grow and flourish and never be broken.