I know what it's like to be the shy kid. When the spotlight hits you, you want your nerves not to take over, but it happens anyway. Your heart is racing and your stomach is in knots. Not the most pleasant experience.
I worry for my two sons who tend to be shy in certain situations. My heart aches for them as they drop their heads, turn bright red and shift around uneasily. They are not fans of class presentations. My 10 year old seems to manage o.k. and get the presentation done. However, he will be shy around teachers or parents. He would love to just slip away and not get into the conversation. My 6 year old is trying his best, but I know he worries about speaking up in class. Joe will always be my worry.
I think that they inherited my childhood shyness. There's a big part of me that feels like I'm not doing enough to help them with their shyness. They are involved in sports and activities, but they are self conscious during classroom presentations. I understand the benefits of learning presentation skills, but I do wonder if sometimes it can be overdone with young kids.
It seems like they always are putting a microphone in my 6 year old's hand. I know his dread when he has to say something. I think they put too much pressure to perform on shy kids. That pressure may do more harm than good. The shy kid gets through the experience, but what shape is he in after it? Is he proud of the achievement? Not necessarily. He may be just glad that he survived it.
My two wonderful boys are shy. This is how they are built. They are from my foundation. Their shyness is something that they are trying to work through in their own way. It hurts me to think that they are sometimes uncomfortable in school. They don't complain at all about it. I never did as a kid either. I was just hoping that they could have a childhood free from this shyness. I guess it was not in the cards.
I do think it was easier to be the shy kid when I was younger. There seemed to be more shy kids around in those days. Today, so many kids come across as extroverts and comfortable speaking up. The shy kid stands out more now. As a parent, I wonder if teachers and kids "get" what the shy kid is all about. Sometimes, I feel like teachers think that a kid has to "get over" the shyness. It's not that easy. Why isn't it o.k. to be shy anyway? People act like shyness should be moving towards extinction. Not all kids are the same. Why do we have to make such a big deal out of it?
These are the moments when I wish I could home school the kids.