All of us, at some point in our life, have felt ashamed or shy. Depending on the situation that occurs, it has been more or less unpleasant, but thanks to the tools we have acquired as we have grown, we have been able to react. That children feel ashamed is not bad, but we must teach them to manage it according to their way of being.
Shame is a secondary emotion that generates an unpleasant sensation when we feel it and that is present, both in adults and in children, when we make a negative evaluation of ourselves.
It usually appears in interpersonal interactions and for that reason, we also talk about shame as a social emotion, as explained by psychology professor Itziar Etxebarria in her book 'Self-conscious emotions: guilt, shame and pride'.
Shame is that feeling that, in Spanish, we call 'Earth, swallow me'. We experience the desire to disappear or hide, interrupting what we were doing, generating confusion and clumsiness when speaking and even adopting a shrinking posture as if we wanted to disappear from the gaze of others.
This emotion is present in children and becomes more evident from 18 to 24 months when they begin to interact more on a verbal level with other people and it begins as an affective response.
When children are young, shame appears most often when they have to interact with an unfamiliar person or family member whom they see infrequently. We adults usually approach the little ones to ask them or make a comment with total calm and enthusiasm, but the reaction of the most shy children is usually to hide behind the adult, hunch their body or lower their eyes.
In the end, we have to know that all emotions have a function and in this case, the function that shame has is to protect our 'I' (our self-concept). The fact of exposing ourselves in front of other people or making mistakes in front of others, implies putting our self-concept at risk and generating an uncomfortable situation because we believe that others evaluate and judge us.
Therefore, another situation that, we have just mentioned and that generates a lot of shame for children, is make a mistake that they consider childish or ridiculous. For example, having a pee or poop escape when their classmates do not, making a mistake in a game or task when the rest of the children have done it well or they tell them that it is very easy ('Have you not finished it yet? But if it's very easy ... '), falling or tripping in front of other people, etc.
Or when other people laugh at some funny comment or gesture you just made, but he or she is not aware and they don't understand why they laugh.
However, these situations depend on the personality of each child. There are more outgoing children who do not show problems in interacting and talking with other strangers. They even do it as if they had known them 'forever'. Or make a 'childish mistake' like a pee leak or see others laugh at a comment he has made himself, consider it funny and laugh like others.
Therefore, it should be noted that these situations are in general terms and that the response to them, it will depend on the personality and experience of each child.
Experiencing shame is not bad. Shame is a natural emotion that accompanies us throughout life and has an adaptive function. Therefore, we cannot control or eliminate it. Like the rest of emotions, they must learn to manage it to reinforce their self-confidence and prevent it from appearing in an intense way, interfering in their daily life.
Children are not born knowing how to manage their shyness. Therefore, parents and teachers we must give them the tools and resources they need to know how to deal with this way of feeling. For this, and as we have mentioned before, we must take into account the way of being of children, since each child needs a type of help.
In any case, below we propose some resources that could be very effective.
5 games to help shy children lose their embarrassment. Helping shy children lose their shame is easier with these kids games. We propose some resources against child shyness that can be very useful for embarrassed children. Through visualization, we can help our children manage their emotions.
How to educate shy children. There are children more shy than others. They are children who prefer to play alone and have problems relating to others. But shyness can be overcome. We show you how. Shyness is not a disease, it is part of the personality of children. You just have to help your child overcome it if it becomes a problem.
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.
The shy boy. Child shyness. Children and shyness. our site reveals the causes and consequences of childhood shyness and how parents can understand and interfere when necessary in these cases.
The shyness and shame of children. What is the shyness and shame of children? How can we parents teach our children to manage them? We give you some keys and some educational resources that are perfect for shy and embarrassed children who must learn to manage these situations.
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.
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.
I am very embarrassed. Short poem to talk to children about shame. With this short poem, children will learn what shame is and what it means to be very shameful. This poetry by Marisa Alonso and the educational activities are an emotional education tool for children to learn to identify, manage and understand shame and shyness.
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