If you’ve recently enrolled your child in a preschool or kindergarten program for the first time, they may be feeling a bit timid around the other children. It’s fairly normal for some to be shy in these situations, but there are some simple steps you can take to help them feel more comfortable and give them the chance to build strong friendships. Here are some helpful child development guidelines to keep in mind.
3 Top Tips for Encouraging Shy Children to Make New Friends
1. Show Them How It’s Done
Children often learn by observing their parents or other adults who they’re close to. If you can, mimic a situation in front of them that’s similar to what they might encounter when talking to a new friend. Of course, you probably won’t be sharing a toy or fighting over a playground slide, but you could help someone out with directions or assist someone in need. This shows them how to be friendly and speak with confidence when they’re talking to potential new friends.
2. Introduce Them to Small Group Settings
Sometimes, large groups can be especially intimidating for shy individuals. So, it may be best for your child to first start approaching new friends at smaller gatherings. Invite some friends over for a casual play date, or take them to a small local playground. Once they build their confidence in those settings, they might feel more comfortable conversing with others in preschool or kindergarten classes.
3. Don’t Push Them
Shyness isn’t a problem that needs to be solved. It’s completely natural for some children to take a bit longer than others when it comes to making friends. So, avoid labeling your child as shy or introverted, as this can make them feel less-than. Additionally, don’t be pushy with the issue. It’s fine to lightly encourage them to talk to others or ask them about making friends, but don’t make them feel like they need to in order to be normal or loved.
If you’re looking for a kindergarten or nursery school where your child will feel comfortable and accepted, look no further than Northwest Children’s Center in Cromwell, CT. The child care center offers a wide array of programs for families including summer programs, child development, and early childhood education. The center employs degreed teachers who teach children to take a hands-on approach to learning and playing. In operation since 1983, the center is a trusted part of the community, and the team will help you build a schedule and child care plan that works best for your family. Learn more about the available kindergarten programs online or call (860) 635-3485 to schedule an appointment for a school tour.