Q: Dear Hand in Hand Parenting
My five year old girl acts shy at school. Although she knows everyone in her class, and they've been patient and warm with her, she can never make eye contact of speak to anyone that greets her when we arrive to her class each morning. She does open up after arriving, but i'm wondering if there are ways I can make the transition easier when we first get to school?
A: Dear wonderful Mom,
Kids aren’t naturally shy. They feel shy at times because of other feelings, like fear, that get in the way of them living a big life, and you are a great mom for recognising that your daughter's fears are holding her back from becoming fully engaged when she arrives to school.
Playlistening is a wonderful tool to try since she isn't panicked or screaming not to go. In this situation when you Playlisten you pretend that it's you, mom, that doesn't want to go to the classroom. As you pull up to the school, start to drag along on the way. You can tug her gently, and say you don't want to go. If she laughs, you can play up to her good humour with a little screech here and there when you make another refusal to go and maybe even run a few steps back.
You'll find that a giggle or two really will help a shy kid to release her tension. She might also take charge, leading you on towards the school room. Giving her an opportunity to take the more powerful position (although, don't force this role on her) will bust away some fear too.
When she can laugh away her shyness, she'll step more confidently into the classroom at the beginning of the day.
Let us know how it goes!
This excerpt is taken from the book Listen, Five Simple Tools to Meet Your Everyday Parenting Challenges, available now.
From the Hand in Hand Toolbox:
- See more Playlistening in action in Playlistening to Address Sibling Issues
- Learn more about Hand in Hand's Five Listening Tools in our online starter classes
- Get more tools, tips and resource updates in our monthly newsletter
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