As a kid, those who knew me well often described me as fun, outgoing, and a little crazy. But put me in a new social setting where I didn't know anyone, and my stomach was sent into nausea mode. (One particular 4-H meeting is forever etched in my memory). More often than not, my introverted personality came across as rudeness, eve though that was never my intention. Now, looking back through the lens of an adult and mom to a shy child myself, I'm much more aware of the signs your kid is shy, not a snob, that will play a big role in their self esteem and the way you parent them.
As an adult, I've learned to break out of my childhood shell. More importantly, I've learned not to judge anyone, especially a child, by their "cover", because oftentimes shy behavior can be mistaken for something else.
Even though I was too nervous to join the soccer team and preferred to keep to myself around large groups, my shy behavior shouldn't have been mistaken as snobbish. And it's a stereotype I refuse to perpetuate in my own daughters or any other child who is naturally shy. If you're worried that your child is being seen as a snob, here are some signs that they are simply shy.
1. They Keep To Themselves
A child who is intentionally rude will often seek out other children to boss around. But a shy child will steer clear of being the center of attention at all costs, according to What To Expect.
2. They Still Have Good Manners
Oftentimes shy children are mistaken as rude simply because they don't say much to those they aren't comfortable with. But if they still know proper manners and use them when addressing others, then you're in the clear.
3. They Cling To You In Social Situations
One of the most obvious and most common signs of a shy child is clinginess. Whether they scream when you leave them, or run to your leg whenever a stranger speaks to them, they're most likely just shy, and not rude, according to Mother and Baby.
4. They're Hesitant To Share
Kid who take toys from other kids are rightly labeled as rude, however, when you know your child tends to be shy, oftentimes their reluctance to share stems from their fear of interacting with others.
5. They Don't Take Advantage Of Other Children
Rude kids stereotypically disregard the feelings of others, according to Our Everyday Life. Shy kids, on the other hand, are usually very sensitive towards the feelings of others, but just aren't sure how to interact with them.
6. They Don't Make Eye Contact
While avoiding eye contact can be a common trait of a misbehaved child, some kids are just too shy. If your child has a hard time speaking to others, especially adults, be patient with them and know that their social skills will improve over time with practice.
7. They Follow The Rules
Obviously, rude children will have no disregard for the rules, whether or not they're your rules or the school's rules. But a shy child, on the other hand, will most likely follow the rules religiously, either out of fear of breaking them or out of a desire to please those around them.