Children come in all shapes and sizes. Some are quiet and reserved while others are natural born entertainers and jokers. You never know what you’re going to get! That doesn’t mean your child’s development won’t affect some of their early character traits. Shy kids can come out of their shells, while jokers can learn to refrain from overtly silly behaviors.
PARENTS ON BOARD
Of course, we parents are the ones that will help to shape their choices from the very start. We may not be able to transform their personality, but we can help them overcome the challenges they might face as they grow. It’s easy to worry that a shy child won’t feel confident enough to stand up for herself, or push forward in their career as adults. So how can you help a shy child feel more confident?
SCARY AND PUSHY OR CUTE AND FUN?
Lots of children love the idea of getting a puppy. They see a puppy as a cute playmate that just wants to play and have fun like them. However, a less confident child may be frightened of a puppy that shares none of their characteristics. Shy kids might even think a puppy is pushy and run away from them. How can you help your child enjoy the delights of owning a puppy?
LITTLE BY LITTLE
Education is a powerful tool that can be used by parents just as much as school teachers. You understand the world far better than your small child, and you can find many different ways to help explain it. Owning a pet is an educational opportunity for you all. Your child can learn that she has the power in this relationship. Puppy relies on her for food, comfort, play, and even discipline. Perhaps you can introduce each of these concepts little by little until your child feels confident enough to take on her role?
Parents of shy children always worry if their child is unhappy or missing out on the fun. Engaging your child one-on-one probably isn’t challenging. But we want our shy kids to initiate the games, the conversation, and the friendship. Puppies are enormously responsive to invites to play! Have a look at websites like CanineWeekly.com to find out more about safe interactions between dogs and kids. Teach your child how to attract your puppy’s attention, and which kind of games are most appropriate to play.
LOTS IN COMMON
Of course, if you have a puppy, this provides a wealth of topics of conversation for your child in the school playground. She can talk about the walks she took, the games she played, and that funny thing the puppy did on Saturday. Your child can share stories about pet ownership with all the other children that have pets. Perhaps the other children would like a playdate at your house so they can meet the puppy too?
OUT OF HER SHELL
Yes, puppies can help a child feel more confident, as well as providing her with a confidant! Still, keep the conversation open. Puppies have feelings too, so speaking about your child’s interpretation of the dog’s mood could help her open up about her feelings too.