According to a study published in the Journal of School Psychology, kindergarten children who are shy may have lower academic skills and academic progress compared to their peers.
Shyness may be one of the most common traits in young children, but this trait may also be the same reason why some children perform poorly in school. Shyness may also mean withdrawal, leading to children not participating in school activities which can result in poor adaptation and poor school performance.
Signs of Shyness in Children
To address poor school performance by shy children, it is important to identify what the signs of shyness are in order to deal it more effectively. Some of the common characteristics exhibited by shy children are:
● Disappearing in school
Shy children often disappear from the classroom. They might sneak out for a time and therefore won’t be fully participating in classroom activities which can lead to not learning what their peers are learning and falling behind in class.
● Not engaging in activities
Shy children don’t normally like to get involved in group work or such activities and often prefer to spend time quietly alone working on tasks. But not participating fully in group work activities can lead to slower academic development.
● Poor interaction with other kids and teachers
Shy children are usually not keen on interacting with their peers or teachers, unlike their chatty and outgoing classmates.
What Research Says
The study involved 4,420 children entering kindergarten, aged between three to five years. The study assessed both the behavioral and the emotional characteristics of these children at three points during the year. The research found that shy children tended to have the lowest academic skills and also the slowest academic progress by the time they left kindergarten.
Other research also supports the outcome of the study. Research in Australia found that the stronger the social network of the child, the more academic success they will experience. This is because a strong social network also provides many more avenues through which the learning process can take place.
What Parents can do
Children need to be exposed to people and especially other children as early as possible in life in order for them to adapt and learn how to socialize well. Putting your child in a child care center before they go to kindergarten helps your child learn how to interact with their peers and also teachers. When the time comes for them to eventually go to school, they will be able to easily interact with other people and naturally become more outgoing.
As a parent it is important not to forget your responsibility as a role model for your children. If you show that you can be assertive, sociable and interact well with people, it is only natural that your children will follow your example and develop their own similar skills.
Posted by Pitt Goumas