Every group has at least one quiet kid. They look and behave perfectly normal, with one major difference. They won’t interact with the rest of the group and they won’t speak from their own initiative, unless they’re engaged by someone into a conversation. This phenomena is very common and nowadays, there are many kids with this problem. However, most of these kids are very resourceful and talented, but because of their quietness, they might think that something is wrong with them. This continuous state will inevitably lead them to a lower self-esteem and lowest confidence in their own skills. That’s why, it’s an adult duty to boost their self-confidence level, to make them more sociable and more open to the others. The following article aims to provide some useful tips, on how to help quiet kids succeed.
1) Find out the kid’s problem
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As the psychotherapists are telling us, shyness is not the same thing as introversion. Both have different manifestations and need to be approached in a specific manner. For example, a shy kid will live with the constant feeling of embarrassment, combined with a lack of confidence. The kid would want to talk, but because of these emotions, he / she is unable to do it. An introvert is a person who’s just happier being left alone, with its own thoughts, and will never feel the need to interact with others. Depending on the kid’s behavior in certain group situations, you will be able to identify his / her type of problem.
2) Communicate using interactive methods
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Verbal communication is not always the best form of communication. A quiet kid is paying attention at everything that happens around him / her but is not able to interact. In this case, try to make the whole communication process more interactive. Social media is a great method to engage a quiet kid because, it’s much easier to communicate through text-chatting than verbally. Role-play types of games are also very helpful with shy kids because they allow them to escape their personality and interact as being somebody else.
3) Understand their comfort zone
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All the quiet kids have their own comfort zone and they will feel safe, as long as they don’t have to talk publicly. You can only integrate the quiet kids if you’re helping them escape their comfort zone. However, this is a dangerous process and you need to aware about the kid’s actual condition. Is the kid freaking out when he / she must speak publicly? Then you shouldn’t push too hard because you can do more harm than good. Instead, you should narrow the group, if possible with more introvert kids, and encourage them to speak with each other. It will be much easier for them to speak in front of this type of audience.
4) Give them precise tasks
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A quiet kid is usually very ambitious and very resourceful. That’s why, he / she will have a strong sense of responsibility and will respond well at clear instructions. The best method to achieve that is by organizing a group project. This way, every participant will have a certain task and will feel the need to complete the assigned task. However, you should be careful when you’re selecting the teams. Try to pair the kids according to their personalities. Avoid teaming the quiet kid with extroverts, because he / she won’t be able to communicate this way. Instead, you should choose the calmer kids and put them in the same team. They will engage each other and the results will come fast.
5) Give them positive feedback
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Like we’ve mentioned before, a quiet kid is usually having a low self-esteem or simply, doesn’t feel like interacting with others. In order to change that, you have to show them that their ideas are good and to compliment them when they make a remark. This way, they will feel respected and valuable for the rest of the class and this will encourage them to give their best. Even if they give a wrong answer, try to point out the good ideas from their answer and to turn the situation in their favor. Quiet kids are more ashamed of a wrong answer than the other kids and you need to show them that it’s not such a big deal if you’re not always right.
Most of the quiet kids have the right skills to be successful and they only need a small incentive in order to achieve that. If you learn how to press the right “buttons”, you will help the quiet kid become more extrovert and gain its self-esteem.
I am Jim Stevens, an Author of ToysAdvisors. I have two kids, a naughty boy and a very cute baby girl. I always want to make them happy, and I love to share my experience about parenting.