Some children are naturally confident and enjoy talking to others and making friends, whereas others suffer from shyness and may find a school environment incredibly difficult. Fortunately, this is something that parents can help their children to overcome, using a few simple techniques.
Help them prepare
Starting conversations with new people isn’t easy, even for adults. To help your child feel more confident about speaking to others, it can be useful to prepare a few conversation starters. These could include some really simple compliments or questions, such as ‘I like your hair’ or ‘would you like to share?’
Arrange play dates
School playgrounds can feel overwhelming for children because they are busy and loud. It can be helpful for quieter children if parents arrange a play date at home with some of their classmates. This can help your child to get to know the other children in a familiar setting, where they may feel more relaxed and confident.
Be a good role model
Parents should try to be a good role model for their children by demonstrating effective social skills with others. Teach your child to say hello, ask questions and offer help to those in need. It is also helpful to explain how to hold a conversation and stress the importance of listening to others when they are speaking.
Take a step back
Where possible, try to take a step back and allow your child to work out issues alone. Disputes with friends are common at school and learning how to resolve these issues alone is an important life-skill, which will grow their confidence.
Introduce after school clubs
Encourage your child to join after-school clubs or take up some extra-curricular activities, such as sports or drama. Extra-curricular activities are a great way to boost your child’s self-confidence. This is because they gain new skills, explore a new environment and meet new people. Your child may also have the opportunity to develop their communication, problem-solving and teamwork skills.