Picture your child on the playground. Is she involved with the other children, participating in the games and activities? If not, do you wonder how you could help her to develop confidence and courage to overcome shyness?
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By helping the child succeed at something every day you will increase their confidence and competence. Start and end the day on a positive note. Find something that your child excels at; maybe a rock collection, playing guitar, studying dinosaurs, etc. and really encourage that success.
See them as capable human beings. The message we all want to hear from important and influential people in our lives is that we are capable, competent and confident people. Telling a baby he is clever for rolling over, or a 7-year-old for zipping his jacket when it is cold outside, are messages that say “You are capable, you are smart and you are capable of making friends.”
Catch them being competent. Every one likes to be around competent people, especially those who are willing to teach and share with others. When you witness your child succeed at a task, yet allow others to participate and take part in the victory, be sure to acknowledge the leadership attributes.
While it is important to praise the specific mechanical or technical skill, it is also important to praise the “soft skills” of interpersonal relationships he or she is developing. Express your confidence in their ability to gain courage to try something new or to smile at four new people each day.
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