Understanding what shame is and what its components are will allow us help embarrassing children to manage this emotion that appears for the first time from 18 to 24 months and that develops throughout childhood.
Shame makes children feel angry, frustrated, sad, or disappointed when they find themselves in a situation that makes us uncomfortable when they believe that others judge and evaluate us. On our site we tell you what we parents can do to help children overcome shyness.
Shame is a complex social emotion that we have all felt at times with more or less intensity. We say it is a social emotion because only we can feel ashamed when we are in the company of other people. And complex because it is the result of the combination of three basic emotions: anger, fear and sadness.
Virtually all children go through passing phases in which they frequently present shame episodes. These stages usually increase coinciding with some important change in the lives of our children, for example: beginning of school or nursery, arrival of a baby brother ... Moments in which children feel more insecure and vulnerable.
As noted in the American Academy of Pediatrics' Building Emotional Intelligence report, for children to be happy, they must feel safe and connected. To do this, we must work on Emotional Intelligence, understood as the ability to understand one's own emotions and those of others. Hence, the importance of lchildren learn to understand what shame is, to name it, to identify it when they feel it and to know how to manage it.
Insecurity or lack of self-confidence are important ingredients in the appearance of shame in children and adults, therefore the first thing we must do to help embarrassed children is to boost their self-esteem and increase their confidence. How? Following these 10 tips that we propose:
1. Praise their progress, positively reinforce not so much the final result as the effort made.
2. Be role models, leading by example. We must explain to them that adults also feel shame on many occasions and that we must learn to overcome it to achieve our goals. That it is not easy but that we are capable of doing it or of trying.
3. Support you in new situations without being overprotective, even if you are ashamed to face them.
4. Encourage him to interact with other children and girls attending the birthday parties they are invited to, going to the park frequently, etc.
5. Encourage him to ask questions and requests to third parties, for example when we go to buy bread or order a soft drink in a restaurant.
6. Promotes their autonomy and independence. Allow him to do things on his own without your help.
7. Avoid criticizing the child when he speaks, paints, dances ...
8. Do not speak or answer for him when someone addresses him and does not want to answer, but does not want to defend him under the labels of 'shy', 'shameful' ...
9. Don't force them to do anything they don't want to do such as talking, kissing or dancing in front of Grandma when she comes home to show how well she does.
10. Avoid comparisons with others, whether they are friends, colleagues or brothers. When we compare one child with another, we are throwing at him the idea that we do not like him as he is and that we would prefer him to be someone else.
Shame is a natural emotion and like any other emotion we can learn to manage it adequately. A confident and self-assured child is a child less likely to feel shame in social situations such as speaking in public or making requests to others. For this reason, here are some games that will reinforce children's confidence and help them understand what shame is.
- What is shame?
Through children's stories or movies, we can propose to children characters that, like them, feel ashamed. In this way, they can see from the outside how they feel and how this emotion is identified. Next, we can ask them questions such as: have you ever felt like this character? Do you remember in which part of your body you felt the shame? What did that shame do for you? ...
- We paint the shame
Putting emotions on paper is a very creative and interesting exercise for children to get closer to that emotion. Ask your children to draw their shame and try to interpret their drawing.
- The day of the compliment
A perfect activity to work the self-esteem of children and, in this way, make them feel more secure when facing situations that could embarrass them is to establish the day of the compliment at home. During this journey, we will think of all the things that we like about the rest of the family members and we will tell them. We can also write some of the most motivating phrases on paper and hang them in different areas of the house.
- The deciding hat
Shameful children are often afraid to make decisions, because they will have to face situations for which they do not feel prepared. For this reason, we suggest you play the deciding hat. It involves taking a hat (which can be real, made of paper or even imaginary) and placing it on the child's head. At that time, we will encourage them to make a decision that they had not dared until now, for example, go to a friend's birthday party. You will feel more motivated and confident to carry out this action, because you wear the hat to decide.
- We build a shelter at home
Have you ever heard of the safe corner? It is a very useful tool to help embarrassed children who become stressed by this emotion. It is about dedicating a space in the house that your children can go to when they begin to feel nervous, in order to calm down.
- Play with the dolls
Let your children express how they feel through the dolls. In a free way, through the dolls, they could expose themselves to situations that could embarrass them if they took place in real life.
And if you need even more ideas or tips to help children manage their shame, here are some resources that you might find very helpful.
The unhappy bear. Children's poem about shyness. This poem: The unhappy bear, is a children's poem about shyness, we can read it with the children and analyze what happened to the bear for being so embarrassing. Poems are a way to stimulate children's learning.
How to help the child overcome his shyness. The family, father, mother and siblings, is the most suitable and conducive environment to help the child overcome his shyness. We tell you how shyness evolves in childhood and what we can do so that the shy child can overcome their insecurities and lack of child self-esteem.
What to do in front of the modesty and shame of children. What should be the position of parents in the face of shame and shame of children? Mónica Poblador's advice to respect the privacy of children. In this video, you will have tips on how to deal with the shame of children. How to respect your privacy.
Children who become very shy as they grow older. It is normal for children to care more about socialization and friends, become more cautious in their behavior and feel more shame and shyness. There are children who as they get older they become more shy and withdrawn. We tell you what you can do if you have shy children.
What children can learn from shame and how it influences them. We talked about everything that children can learn from shame as well as when it influences them in a negative way. Parents must teach children to manage embarrassing moments to work on their emotional intelligence and give them the tools they need.
This is what happens in children's brains when they are ashamed. Understanding what happens in children's brains when they are ashamed helps us to know how they feel in the moments when they feel embarrassed. We give you some tips so that you know what types of shame there are and how to help them manage this common emotion related to fear.
You can read more articles similar to 10 tips to help embarrassed children, in the category of Conduct on site.