Some kids dive into every new activity and adventure without hesitation. And other kids are a bit more hesitant to try new things and may have difficulty meeting new people. Here are some parenting tips for dealing with a hesitant kid:
- Acknowledge your kid's feelings. Don't try to convince him that he doesn't feel a certain way. For instance, if your kid doesn't want to go to camp, you might say, "I understand that you don't want to go to camp."
- Try to gently prod your kid to explore his feelings. You might say, "Is there anything in particular that worries you about going to camp?"
- Support your kid and remind him that he's tried new things before—with success. For instance, you could say, "I understand that meeting new kids at camp might make you feel nervous. But you were nervous to go to school and you made friends there."
- Share your experiences of times that you were nervous trying something new.
- Don't bribe or threaten your kid. If he's naturally hesitant, bribery or threats will just make him feel as if you are unhappy with his personality.
- Make sure that you model good behavior. Try new things and challenge yourself a little bit. Your kid may learn by example!
Chances are good that as your kid ages, trying new things will start to come easier for him. But if he has an extreme reaction to changes or seems consistently anxious, you might want to consult a therapist for help with your child's behavior.