At Mustardseed we try to discourage the ‘SHY’ labeling,as we find it is often put on children before they can develop their own little identities for themselves. They often grow up hearing that they are shy before they even know what it means and this may become an inevitable self-fulfilling prophecy.
Oftentimes children are wrongly branded as shy when they might just be reserved or cautious. Most children take a while to get used to new environments, groups and situations. And in many ways this is healthy and encouraging behavior. It’s ok to take some time to warm up and we have learnt that not everyone enjoys the light of the lime.
Our challenge at Mustardseed is to create a comfortable and fun environment to help speed up the ‘warm-up’ process. We also want to help the children to appreciate that being nervous or anxious is a normal feeling sometimes. We want to help all of our students to develop coping skills for when they’re in situations that make them feel reticent or anxious – especially as it relates to performance.
Sometimes working on these coping skills, is as simple as this mantra suggests “breathe, believe, begin”; other times we suggest partnerships to encourage participation. It is a process that can take all term long (and sometimes even longer) but we use the end of term event as our goal and marker for growth.
Having an audience is a daunting challenge and not everyone wants to be a performer, but when working with groups, children generally don’t want to let down their teammates. So we encourage group work all the while trying to just make the process as fun as possible – and everyone wants to have fun!
If you think your child is particularly shy and you feel sometimes that you need support as to how best to deal with him/her, here are 8 Ways to Help the Shy Child.