Every parent we have ever met wants to have a smart child and be a smart parent. Raising a child is the most important responsibility anyone will ever have and can provide the most pleasure and reward.

SMART PARENT/SMART CHILD is the revolutionary philosophy that all children are incredibly intelligent from the moment they are born. When parents have learned understanding, respect, highly developed communication and relationship skills and development related expertise, it is amazing what a child can accomplish and, in fact, each child will achieve his maximum potential.

Our mission is to help you achieve that goal. The key to a child's education and success is a skilled, knowledgeable, informed and educated parent.

This blog addresses specific issues, to really be the best parent possible the book is a must!

Thursday, October 22, 2015

Why Do So Many Parents Label Their Child Shy?

One of my assistants attends a child friendly event with her son Bryan and encounter Philip, a former member of our day care.

The event is designed to be very interactive and she notices that Philip is not leaving his mother’s side. When, upon her suggestion, Bryan approaches Philip and asks him to play together, the mother says “oh, he is too shy”. Philip immediately holds on to her leg.

We had always noted that Philip’s behavior at our day care was very different than the behavior we saw when his parent were present. Not only did he not communicate with the same confidence, but often suddenly showed signs of distress. Like many children, he behaved in a manner that he believed pleased them. They were often in a state of anxiety that any situation could suddenly upset him. He was often rewarded for being insecure and incapable of showing his mature side.

A parent’s role is to ensure that their child is encouraged to be confident and self-reliant and also to give them the necessary skills and directives to be a skilled social being.

So let’s talk about how you achieve that!


1. From the beginning, expect them to greet people and make a parting statement in every appropriate situation once they have the verbal skills to do so. Be patient and let them know that displaying good social skills is important to you.

2. Inform them every time they experience a new situation like going to the doctor, to the park, shopping with you, on a play-date, what to expect, what their role is, and what they need to communicate. Assure them if the situation is not what you expected i.e. they are scheduled for a shot that you forget to mention , the venue is much larger than you thought, there are more people than you expected, their friend did not show up. Talk about it and turn it into an opportunity.“We could meet someone new today that we will really enjoy" or "you will be brave at the doctor’s office and if it hurts a little, you can cry but you will be okay."

3. Encourage them to believe in themselves.  Always give them the appropriate language skills and support them even if it takes then awhile to speak.

4. Expect them to go off and play with their friends, encourage adventure!

5. Acknowledge their successes when they are able to cope with new and unexpected situations.

6. Understand that some children may have a quieter nature, but know that they still have to be socially skilled. A quieter style does not mean they are shy.

7. Give them an assignment whenever possible, especially in a new situation. For example “Hand out the napkins at the party table”.

Do Not

1. Give them the message that at every step of their life they need you to function.

2. Allow them to hang on to you when they are safely mobile and in a safe environment.

3. Speak for them. When someone asks them their name, let them answer. Make sure you have practiced this with them and help them be comfortable with answering questions.

4. Label them shy or anything similar. It sicks. I have parents say “well that what I was when I was young”.  I encourage you to break that trend if this is the case.

5. Do not make up excuses because your child is not communicating confidently. If you feel you have to say something say “We are really working on their social skills, and like most things, we still need practice.”

Understand you are preparing your child to be a confident, successful human being that you are preparing to be able to cope with the world!

Do not burden them with labels!

Good luck!

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