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Hi this is my first post!

My nursery nurse and I thought we would ask if anyone has any good ideas on how to build confidence and encourage shy children to feel more comfortable to talk.

 

We have a very shy child in our school nursery and we have let her bring in a transitional toy which has helped her seperate from her parent but she is very shy and quiet and wont even say good morning at register time.

 

Any suggestions?

 

Thank you

 

Amy & Colleen.

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hi and welcome to a very addictive forum!!!! we have a shy little boy at the moment who we are told by Mum never stops talking at home!, we have asked Mum what he likes to play with at home and made sure the toys he seems to like are accessable when he is in, 5 weeks in and he is just starting to speak!! any shy children that we have that don't want to answer the register (we all know how daunting talking in a situation where we feel nervous can be even if it is just to say hello) we ask them to wave to us untill they find their voice, we also tend to talk quietly to them and get down to there level, i'm sure that your child will grow in confidence as the time goes on slowly slowly is probably the best way forward.

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Hello amy8833 and welcome to the forum. We had a very shy little boy 2 years ago. He never said anything, didn't join in circle time, snack time talks etc. He spent 1.5 terms with us not saying anything, then we went on our annual trip to the farm and he came with mum. He was like a different child!! :oxD He spoke, laughed, jumper around, ran and played with the other children. That was a friday, on the monday he came in and stayed that new confident chatty, even cheeky boy!! He didn't look back. It is strange what can trigger confidence.

 

When it comes to answering the register we always have a few like this some a confidence issue some just don't for fun. We tend not to make refference but praise all that do answer.

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Hi amy and welcome!

We too had a very shy boy last year. He started at pre-school aged 2 and was so bad at first he would sit in the pushchair he had been brought in with a blanket over his head. We put lots of activities out all around the area where his pushchair was and his keyperson would sit in front of him chatting to him and others whilst playing. After a couple of weeks he would come out and play (maybe for 30/60 seconds) then go back to his pushchair. After 5 weeks he was playing for longer spells 5/6 minutes. After seven weeks we hit half term and when he returned we had to start again. This time the longer playing happened all at once he came out of the pushchair in the middle of one morning and didn't get back in. We were gobsmacked! He was still very quiet but no longer needed the pushchair.

That same boy is now in nursery and is now starting to use his voice. He actually shouted me by name this week and I could do nothing but smile!!!!

A little time and patience will hopefully yield the same result for you, just let them know they can talk if they want to but if they don't thats okay too. They can wave or smile to answer the register perhaps you could even have one morning where all the children wave or nod to answer so this child feels included.

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Hello amy8833, A warm welcome to the forum, lots of sound advice already, just like to agree, time and patience and value this child for her uniquness :o How loud and boisterous it would be if all children were full of confidence eh xD

 

My sister being the middle child (not sure if that's relevant) was always the quiet, shy one when we were little, this characteristic has stayed with her into adulthood, she is the one who we all turn to in times of chaos, as just her persona enables a sense of calm. :(

 

Peggy

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We had a little boy start with us in January and here we are in his third term and he has just started answering the register!!!!!!!!!!!!!

 

We looked for advice when he was not speaking and were basically told to just make sure that he knew it was OK not to talk if he didn't want to.

 

At the start of his second term we started to hear him say the odd word and then later that term he was talking a little to peers.

 

As I say, he is now answering the register!

 

I wouldn't say that he was chatty, but he does talk to us now!!!!

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I don't think my daughter spoke one word in the whole of her time at a certain pre-school which she attended 3 session for 2 years!!! I was called in on nurmerous occassions (which was difficult for me - at that time I was very quiet myself) I would tell them she speaks non-stop at home..... still I had health visitors sent to me- which she refused to communicate with. I wasn't bothered as she attended a different setting which she chatted happily at.

 

She was more than happy to go to the 'nontalking' setting and I continued sending her as it was more local and was one that linked more directly to the school she would be going to.

 

When I ask her now 20 years later why she didn't talk... she says simply "becuase I didn't like "********' (one of the adults) she kept shouted at everyone all the time.

 

I know this lady and she does have a very loud voice..... she's not narstie or anything just very very loud, even now.

 

sorry that doesn't really help OP.... but I just wanted to point out other apsects of 'quiet children'

 

xxxx

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If the child never talks but does talk at home you should do some research in selective mutism. (my spelling is off but you know what I mean!) We have had several children who are selective mute. Having their parents come in and play with them really helped, although some parents were more effective than others.

Providing children with small places where they feel they are not seen so therefore are not heard works well too. We don't take a register where the children have to call out, they self register to avoid the pressure that this sometimes causes.

Patience is also vital, I had two little girls who did not talk for a whole term and now they shout at me from the school next door, another little boy who did not talk for 6 - 8 weeks then came up to me and said "I can't find the monkey for the train". My jaw must have hit the floor, it was amazing.

Good luck

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We have a little boy who has a dreadful stammer when an adult asks him a question, but is very fluent when he comes to talk to adults 'off his own bat'. Trouble then is, that we can't engage in conversation as this involves asking questions! We do chat to him however and keep trying to engage him when he comes to us to chat. He outright refuses to sing at songtime though, and just sits looking really bored! So on Friday I got the musical instruments out and boy did he join in with gusto - not singing, but enjoying the songtime, which is a first step I feel.

 

We had an elective mute last year and it was very frustrating to spend two and a half hours every day with him without him saying a word, then hear him chatting to his mum on the way down the path at hometime! Apparently he's exactly the same at Primary School this year. We did manage to get him to whisper after 18 months, which was a huge achievement!

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We have a little boy who has a dreadful stammer when an adult asks him a question, but is very fluent when he comes to talk to adults 'off his own bat'. Trouble then is, that we can't engage in conversation as this involves asking questions! We do chat to him however and keep trying to engage him when he comes to us to chat. He outright refuses to sing at songtime though, and just sits looking really bored! So on Friday I got the musical instruments out and boy did he join in with gusto - not singing, but enjoying the songtime, which is a first step I feel.

 

My son had a stammer when he learnt to talk and I received very good advice. The speech therapist told us that we should avoid asking him questions wherever possible. After a few days I realised just how many questions I fired at the little chap everyday without even realising! She said we should talk to him about the things we had done, or just make observations about the things we saw/heard and then leave a long pause to give him the opportunity to respond in his own way if he felt like it. Communication became much more relaxed and he eventually grew out of his stammer. :o

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My son did not speak at pre-school for the whole time he was there.. worrying thing was no one asked me about it until he had been there a year!

 

Actually he just didn't want to talk to them, and did not feel he had to..same for 6 months at school ..and every time he changed classes... it was a confidence thing.. he did not want to say something 'wrong' so waited until he knew everyone and routine and was secure in his knowledge to answer correctly or offer words.

 

At home so chatty that he never stopped... and same at friends and neighbours houses...

 

At pre-school we just don't pressure them and let them talk when they feel ready .. but always ask parents about language at home.. to ensure that there is no underlying speech problem that may need further help.

 

Lots of games which involve understanding but not necessarily speech.. can you find? etc.. so you know the child understands, and just choosing not to speak, the speech may follow with these games if you have a group all joining is once they are secure in knowing they will be right giving them the confidence boost to use more language if that is the reason for not speaking.

 

Register is a daunting time to speak in front of so many others.. hand waving or even a nod is fine for us.. we have some children who never speak at that time.

 

Inge

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My son had a stammer when he learnt to talk and I received very good advice. The speech therapist told us that we should avoid asking him questions wherever possible. After a few days I realised just how many questions I fired at the little chap everyday without even realising! She said we should talk to him about the things we had done, or just make observations about the things we saw/heard and then leave a long pause to give him the opportunity to respond in his own way if he felt like it. Communication became much more relaxed and he eventually grew out of his stammer. :o

 

 

Yes we try wherever possible to avoid asking questions, but sometimes there's just no avoiding it. Today however we did have a great breakthrough, he came and sat with me to chat about his favourite TV programme and another child asked him questions which he answered fluently and didn't notice when I slipped one in too! It was directed at the group but he chose to answer! Brilliant!

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We have had children who are shy and who are elective mutes at our setting. The main thing is to take the pressure off them to speak. At register time we encouraged just making eye contact and smiling at them, (recognising their non- verbal communication!) and by having visual symbols on a timetable, using now and next pictures to help them understand the routine and to enable them to have choices - again with visual pictures. (do you want to play with the water or the sand type pictures)

 

We encourage them to talk by asking them to make choices i.e. at snack, would they like milk or water, playing with the playdoh, do they want the knife or the scissors etc.

 

This can elicit a one word response or none at all, but it does provide an opportunity to start communicating.

 

Are they just shy or anxious? We have a very anxious child at present and found it helped to have a home school book in which mum wrote things he had done away from the setting in order to have something familiar to talk about with him. He also brought in a game from home and then played it with his keyworker and one or two othre children at the start of the session.

 

DO you have school start available in your area? They may be able to help - especially with the transition to school where the shyness may increase.

 

Hope my ramble helps!!

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