Wednesday, February 4, 2015

Dealing with Shy Behavior

My little son has stages of shyness.  I believe even the most outgoing kids can go through these stages in life. What I am learning is that it's not about changing a child's personality as much as it's teaching your child to be polite and have manners.

I know I make excuses for my kids too often. Some of the time the problem is not their fault; it's mommy's fault for not teaching them the way they need to behave.

Here are bits and pieces of an article from beautyandbedlam. Click on the link to get the full article

Say ‘hi’ to Mr. Smith, honey. He’s been daddy’s friend since he was a little boy. Just give a quick hello.”
I could feel her fingers clench tighter as she burrowed deeper into my skirt. No eye contact, no hello, not even a quick little peek around my leg.
“I’m so sorry; she’s just shy and tired. She missed her nap today.
There it was. Out of my mouth before I knew what was happening. I had once again intervened and excused our daughter’s poor choice...
It’s critical not to make the child feel self conscious over a personality trait, but embrace just how God has made her perfectly unique, yet desire to work through the weaknesses.
Even as a child,  no one is ever too shy that they can’t give 30 seconds 5 seconds of eye contact, a smile and a warm greeting. As moms, we have the power to help our children through that discomfort, train them, and dare I say ‘demand’ it?
On a practical level, dealing with a shy child actually means spending time role playing at home, as well as letting them know that when they make a poor choice in public, you will help guide them through making the wise choice.
Set them up for success and this means beginning early. At home, walk them through the new people they will meet. If you already notice this trait in your tiny ones, begin early, even before they are talking in complete sentences.  When in public, pick them up, encourage them to give a little smile, and look the new person in the eyes.
We are not asking for an award winning speech, just begin with and expect warm eye contact.... Keep encouraging them. Remind them to show Jesus love to everyone they meet, even if it’s just through a smile and a wave. As they get older, we don’t allow for any excuses....
Now as teenage men, they can hold amazing conversations with any adult they meet, in nearly any situation,  but it came with much work and effort on our part to push situations that gave them that opportunity to grow.
I share these situations using the “Shy Child” personality,  but honestly, we need to stop labeling our kids in any negative way that excuses their behavior. The same scenario can be said for children who are extraverts and constantly monopolize conversation without even realizing it.  We talk through that as well and encourage self control and an “others first” mentality.
(For my personal story on extrovert vs introvert, read my “I’ve Never Been Told that Before” story. The comments are the best part.)
As moms, it’s so easy for us to desire to make a good impression, than instead of having our kids take on the natural consequences of their bad behavior whether it’s throwing a fit, whining, talking back in public, etc, we make excuses for their poor behavior by covering it with, “They are tired.” I did that TODAY! *blushing*
Again, they may be tired and missed a nap, but work on calling their behavior what it is, “sin.” Oh yikes, stepping on toes.  I don’t mean you call them a little sinner in public,  ;)but we need to stop excusing their choices and train them in wise choices.
People might have thought my tears came from a proud momma and they would be right, but not because she was on a stage in front of people.  No, this is a child who hates being the center of attention, a child content with remaining quiet,...
She said “Yes” when she didn’t want to, and it’s for her bravery and boldness that I was proud.
So we start today.
Whether our child is 2 or 12, we can stop excusing our child’s bad behavior and begin to train those poor character choices right out of them.

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