If your toddler is usually found hiding behind your legs rather than joining in with other kids, here are the secrets to boosting her confidence…
Lead by example
Toddlers learn from how you act so try to be a positive example for your child – let her see you being happy and confident.□
When your toddler joins in with an activity or does something she normally shies away from it’s important to praise her for being brave – this will help boost her confidence.
Organise play dates at home
Rather than going to someone else's house for a play date, start by building your toddler’s confidence and encouraging her to interact with other children in a place she’s familiar with – she’ll soon be ready to go to their house.
Give her choices
By letting your little one have choices and make her own decisions, she will gain confidence in her own good judgment and gain a feeling of self-fulfilment. For example, say "Would you rather go to your friend's house or go to the playgroup you like?"
Play with her
Sitting down on the floor and properly playing with your child is a great confidence booster – it gives them the impression that they are valuable and are worth your time too.
Keep to smaller playgroups
Shy children can often feel intimated when surrounded by large groups of people – especially if she doesn’t know them very well. This can make your toddler feel anxious and reluctant to join in.
Nurture special interests
From digging up the garden to puzzles or colouring-in, look out for what your child is passionate about. She'll feel proud of her expertise and be more likely to be successful in other areas. It will also help her to connect with other children and develop her social worth.
Do have adult-time
It could just be taking your child along to the coffee shop with another mum – finding time for her to be around adults can help encourage different ways of thinking and build up her resilience around older people, as well as other toddlers.
Baby signing is a great way to communicate with your little one before she can communicate. Plus, it’s been shown to bring parents and their babies closer. And the best bit? It’s surprisingly simply for you and your baby to learn.