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Shy Children and What To Do

Permalink by Tikal, Categories: Child Development , Tags: anxiety, shyness, timidity

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At some point or another we all experience shyness but with little ones it can be so sad to see them clamp up and shrink back from interaction with other adults and children.  Shyness may be prompted by being in a new group, having difficulty at school, if they are worried about something, being in different social situations etc.

Why does shyness occur?

  • Is shyness inherited or learned? There is no definitive research proving it is caused by hereditary. Shyness may be a behaviour that is learned stemming from being raised by shy parents. Shy parents typically don’t teach or demonstrate the social skills that can guide the children away from shyness.
  • Temperament – it has been found that about 10% of children are born with a tendency to be inhibited. This is called “inhibited temperament” and means they come into the world more sensitive to stimuli (noise, people, touch etc.) This idea and impression is then transferred into their social world.
  • Parenting style – if parents are too protective or if they demonstrate inconsistent parenting styles this can affect the child. Also those parents who instil fear in their children can cause insecurities.
  • If the children always seem to be in situations where they are exposed to difficult or new social situations this can affect them and polarise the shyness.
  • Feeling picked-on - if they are in situations where they are made to feel insecure by others, this can compound the shyness.

Some tips which may help your child:

  1. Talk to your child. Try to be as open and as relaxed as possible around them. Try and listen to their worries and encourage them to tell you how they feel. Talk about what scares them in social situations and support and confirm that you are always there for them.
  2. Help them to take risks. Encourage them to mix with other children in playgroups and encourage older children to join clubs and get involved. Slowly at first and showing plenty of guidance persuade them to get involved and have fun with new friends.
  3. Do role play. Practice what they need to say and do in difficult situations. Encourage them to make eye contact, introduce friends, and practice what to say in different situations. Set up scenarios and work through conversations together. Keep it fun though.
  4. Praise them. When they do a good job in a new situation or when meeting people make sure you acknowledge their success and praise them.
  5. Don’t label them as shy. It is so deflating to be labelled and so hard not to just do what is expected of you, so try not to talk about their shyness and label them.
  6. Focus on what they are good at. Increase their self-esteem and confidence by doing things they are good at and finding ways they can be successful.
  7. Explain what is going to happen each day so some of the anxiety may be reduced as they know the plan for the day ahead and feel more secure about what's coming next.
  8. Share your own experiences. Tell them about your own nervousness in situations or about when you were small how you felt in different situations. This will make them feel normal.
  9. Keep positive. Don't nag them about the shyness, keep a positive outlook and attitude towards your child.
  10. Go along to new places together first (new school or tennis or ballet class) when nothing is going on a show them round so they get to see the place first.
  11. Tell the teacher or group leader that your child is shy so they are aware and can be mindful of them during the session.
  12. Don't try and change them and put undue pressure on them... let them be comfortable in their own skin. Just give them plenty of support and guide them to be as happy as they can be.

Bedwetting - it needn't be a Nightmare!

Permalink by Tikal, Categories: Health, Child Development, Food, Drink and Eating , Tags: anxiety, bed wetting, pne, sleep, sne

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Bed wetting is the involuntary release of urine during the night when the child is asleep which can occur until age eight, can be sporadic or persistent and follows no obvious pattern.  Most doctors will not get concerned about it after the age of eight.  They may check to see if there is any infection but won't do anything further until over this age.

  • PNE or Primary Nocturnal Enuresis refers to children who have never been able to stay dry over night.
  • SNE or Secondary Enuresis refers to children who seem to have dry spells and wet spells.

There can be many reasons why children wet the bed:-

  • Anxiety - a stressful situation or worries can cause bed-wetting; significant changes to routine, such as starting a new play setting or school, or perhaps family tensions can lead to stress
  • Hormones - new research has found that children who wet the bed are more inclined to have a lack of the anti-diuretic hormone; they produces an excess of urine
  • Bladder control not being fully developed
  • Predisposition - children of parents who wet the bed are more likely to wet the bed themselves
  • Drinking too much - some children simply drink too much before bed and the bladder gets too full to hold

What Can You Do?

  • Reassure as often as you can
  • You could ask them to help change the bedding to give them the feeling that they are helping and in control of the situation
  • Reduce the amount they drink late in the evening and drink more during the day
  • Don't make a fuss if they do wet the bed when clearing up
  • Don't punish them if they wet the bed or embarrass them
  • Try to get to the bottom on any worries or concerns

Don't worry too much!

  • 15% of children wet the bed
  • 45% of children with a parent who has also had the condition wets the bed, rising to 75% of if both parents also wet the bed.

There's nothing to be too concerned about!  Just make sure you have a supply of clean sheets at the ready and protect the mattress with a waterproof sheet so the bed is not ruined.

How to Cope with Moody Children

Permalink by Tikal, Categories: Health, Family , Tags: angry, anxiety, children, happy, moody, stress

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Dealing with a 'moody' child can be very exhausting, especially if you are sensitive to the psychological repercussions that might develop and you are worried about where the moodiness will lead.  Be assured that it's very rare to have clinically depressed children under preschool age, unless there is a serious issue. What you are probably dealing with is a child who slips into a bad mood and has trouble getting out of it. It's perfectly normal. How you deal with the mood, however, is important.

Here are a few pointers.

  1. Time: Take some time out to spend with your child.  Children who are a bit bit moody, are easily labeled as moody and left to fend for themselves, when in fact a bit of attention (one to one attentio)- would do them them a great amount of good.  Ideally, spend half an hour of 100% quality time together alone with no interruptions from other people.
  2. Happy thoughts: Focus on the happy experiences during the day and the fun things you've done.  Build positive memories which will help them to soothe themselves if anxious.  Have a chat before bed and go over all the good things that happened: nice food, play in the park, happy visit to a friend's house etc.
  3. Childcare: Avoid lots of childcare if you can, or leaving your children with lots of different carers.  Try to look after the child yourself if you can.
  4. Clubs and activities: Keep out of school activities to a sensible level so as to avoid tiredness and over stimulation.  Yes, subscribe to some fun activities, but keep it to an acceptable level.
  5. Angry: Keep your own temper, no matter how annoying a situation might be.  Stressed parents can effect and upset children.  This includes fighting between parents but also getting angry in other situations (while driving for example).
  6. Food: Try and keep sweet cereals and lots of sugary spreads and jams to a minimum at breakfast and throughout the day.  Opt for protein rich foods and eat lots of fresh fruit and vegetables.

So, keep it in perspective, keep your cool and keep positive.  Good luck!


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