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The shyness and shame of children does not appear until 2 years. From this age on, the child begins to be aware that others evaluate his actions and that they may realize his mistakes and even laugh at him, so they begin to feel ashamed.
By 3 or 4 years of age, children give great importance to the opinion of others and when faced with people or situations that are new or different from their closest family environment, which provides them with security, they may feel uncomfortable. When trying to cope with these 'complicated' situations, the first signs of withdrawal or shyness may surface.
Yesterday was my son's birthday and my 4-year-old niece didn't want to get on the phone to congratulate him because she was embarrassed. On other occasions, when we all meet to eat, he always cuts a lot right at the welcome greeting and hides behind his mother because he is ashamed to say hello.
We all wonder why this behavior, this shyness. And it is that while for us it is absurd, for her parents it is increasingly worrying and they no longer know what to do to help the girl overcome it. Generally, the culprit for children's shyness has been introverted character, but behind shyness, other conditions can also hide.
When this shy behavior is limited to a specific circumstance, it is not necessary to worry or set off alarms, but it is essential to pay close attention to the child and give him security to avoid possible behavior problems in the future. These problems arise when the child begins to have relationship difficulties with both adults and their peers, flees from strangers, literally sticks to his reference person or does not feel like doing new things.
'It will pass ...' is the phrase we have heard the most when we witness this type of behavior on the part of children, perplexed. And it is that this popular belief has its foundation. Parents must bear in mind that as the little one matures he learns to relate better and these types of feelings diminish or lose intensity with age.
On the contrary, if they are maintained and even intensified, as the child grows up he becomes more aware of what he is losing by not doing what, deep down, he would like to like, such as welcoming his friends or family, going to a birthday, playing with children you don't know, or raising your hand in class because you know the answer to the question.
This feeling generates suffering and it has a tendency to worsen when the child shows little dexterity in some specific facet, begins to acquire complexes and, finally, enters a spiral that leads him to forge a negative idea of himself and low self-esteem.
We cannot forget that, as pointed out by 'Social and Emotional Learning Competencies' (report from the Wisconsin Department of Public Instruction), one of the most important lessons we must deliver to children is the development and strengthening of their self-concept, that includes areas such as: self-awareness, self-management, acceptance of their abilities, definition of their identity and beliefs, etc. This is important so that children know how to build social relationships with good emotional intelligence and without 'suffering'.
Since shame is an emotion (secondary, since it is formed from others such as fear or anger), parents must teach our children the resources so that they learn to manage it. On the other hand, accompanying shy children so that they do not have a bad time is also essential.
1. Reflect on how we are educating our child
Are we falling into overprotection? This way of educating, which aims to free children from all 'conflicts', prevents them from learning the best way to deal with them in an autonomous way.
2. Accompany them with love and affection
We must never force a child to confront alone and in a forced way a situation that makes him feel ashamed. Although the method of exposure can be useful in some cases, it should always be from love and understanding.
3. Praise children's good deeds
Without overdoing it, praising a good deed or behavior can help children motivate themselves and feel more confident.
4. Avoid phrases that invalidate your emotions
'You are a baby', 'What a coward you are', 'I'm sick of this nonsense ...', 'As you continue like this, we're going ...'. These are all examples of phrases that do nothing to help the child who is ashamed. On the other hand, beware of demanding and placing too high a little expectations that could overwhelm them.
5. Reinforce emotional education
More and more parents are working on emotional education at home. It is very important that children learn to recognize their emotions, to name them and to manage them. This includes some basic emotions like joy, anger, or sadness, but also shame.
6. Provoke the child's encounter with other children
Going to the park, signing up for extracurricular activities, going to birthday parties ... Parents should encourage our child to have the opportunity to interact with other children. Without forcing him and accompanying him so that he does not feel alone, he will end up enjoying a lot with his friends.
So that you have all the resources at your disposal for children to learn to manage shame and shyness, here is more information. Remember that when we use games and stories as a learning tool, children are more open to learning and retain knowledge better. In the case of emotions, we also show them models that they can reproduce when managing how they feel.
5 games to help shy children lose their embarrassment. Helping shy children lose their shame is easier with these kids games. We propose some resources against child shyness that can be very useful for embarrassed children. Through visualization, we can help our children manage their emotions.
Teo's nightmare. Short story for children about shame. This children's story helps to explain what shame is and why we sometimes feel ashamed. It is called Teo's nightmare and we have accompanied it with some reading comprehension activities and some advice for parents of shy or embarrassed children.
What children can learn from shame and how it influences them. We talked about everything that children can learn from shame as well as when it influences them in a negative way. Parents must teach children to manage embarrassing moments to work on their emotional intelligence and give them the tools they need.
This is what happens in children's brains when they are ashamed. Understanding what happens in children's brains when they are ashamed helps us to know how they feel in the moments when they feel embarrassed. We give you some tips so that you know what types of shame there are and how to help them manage this common emotion related to fear.
I am very embarrassed. Short poem to talk to children about shame. With this short poem, children will learn what shame is and what it means to be very shameful. This poetry by Marisa Alonso and the educational activities are an emotional education tool for children to learn to identify, manage and understand shame and shyness.
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