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Being an introvert isn’t a crime. Spare her!!!!

It is extremely natural if your kids feel shy in front of others. What is the big deal if they don’t sing a song or recite a nursery rhyme that you want in the presence of your guests! They are individuals and not puppets who’d start acting the moment you pull their strings. Please spare them from this torture. Treat them like you want to be treated in public.

We have to accept the fact that all the children are unique in their own ways. You can’t always be bent on comparing them to others. Give them space. Acknowledge their positive points while ignoring the negative traits. The more you highlight the bad behaviour, there are 90% chances of them repeating it. Kids are like that. The urge of doing the forbidden has unfailingly lured us since ages and children are no strangers to it!

Don’t make them do things forcibly. If he doesn’t talk much in front of others or hides himself when a guest arrives, Don’t jump on to the conclusion that he is antisocial or a lone wolf. This can also mean that he is selective in who he wants to see or what he wants to do. That’s a sign of an independent child who knows his priorities. Why do you have to make him hug and greet every second person who comes to see you? Let him be.

Confidence comes with love and support that a family showers on its children. So spend time with them, share your stories with them and be a good listener when it’s their turn to speak. Try to see things from their point of view. They might introduce you to things unknown. This is how you can gradually move a child out from his comfort zone.

My son is not an extrovert either. It’s just him, my husband and I in the house so he is not exposed to many people. It’s only when he visits his cousins or goes to school that he gets a chance of mingling. I deliberately made him join an evening class ‘Karate’ so that he talks and meets others of his age. Each time there is a birthday party I start getting anxious thinking about how he’d cling on to me while other kids would play around and hobnob with each other. In no time I realized that there was no point in embarrassing him publicly by pressurizing him to accompany others. I schooled myself to accept that during early years (till 7), instruction has to be indirect without commands and psychological pressure. Rather, the child becomes familiar with good manners and is instructed by the people surrounding him. In fact, the moral foundation of his character is laid and good memories and proper treatment become etched in his mind. (Prophet Muhammad)

We as parents have to understand that friendships and popularity aren’t the prerequisites to a successful life for our kids. We shouldn’t be pushing them to become extroverts. Focus on bringing forth their strengths and using those for their holistic development. If you keep intimidating your kids to get into something they don’t want to, it is only going to backfire at you. All this would make him something he is not and he’d forever doubt his capabilities. Why can’t you let him shine and rise in the things he wants to. Get rid of that silly counting game. He doesn’t need to have 20 odd friends, 2 but true friends are enough to lay the foundation of strong relationships in your child’s life.

If he doesn’t want to go out, call a friend or two to your house. After a couple of times, when you realise that your child is comfortable in that company, change the location (park, a mother friend’s house).

Every time he is with you on outings, ask him to help you by paying the cashier at a store or buying the savouries. Don’t force him, just act as if you are occupied in something else and you need help. This is an indirect way of exposing your child to the world outside.

Unless you see signs of depression or anxiety in your little one or you find that he doesn’t talk to anyone and prefers being alone all day long, consult a child psychologist. If nothing like this shows up in his behaviour, he is perfectly fine. Let him grow at his own pace. Let him carve a niche for himself instead of making him wear someone else’s shoes.

If you are outgoing, Don’t expect your kids to become the same. They have their own existence. Don’t thrust them with an additional responsibility of becoming like you.

Half of us don’t even realise that we are belittling our children by being a loud mouth at the parks/parties and requesting other kids to play with them. This is causing your kids more harm than you can ever imagine and even worse is apologising for their behaviour when they hide behind you each time you ask them to say hello to random aunts. They don’t apologise for your cringe worthy behaviour ever. Yes, accept that we too behave in bizarre ways plenty of times!

He is a unique individual. He has his own mind that thinks in ways better than many of us! Don’t seek to make them like you. Give them your love not thoughts!