You might not know where to begin with this child if your encouragement has no effect. Firstly, ask yourself "Why are they withdrawing?" Here are a few points to consider:
Why are they withdrawing?
- It may be their personality. Shy and introvert children enjoy their own company and/or may not have the confidence to play with others. They may find it easier to be on their own rather than meeting new people.
- Social Skills: Has this child been exposed to social situations and how to act appropriately with others? Do they know how to make friends and communicate with children their own age?
- Attention: Does this child get special attention for this behavior at home or at school, resulting in the behavior increasing?
- Language barrier: Is there a language barrier? How developed is their speech and vocabulary? Why would speech and vocabulary be under developed?
- Other emotional problems: There may be other indicating factors, such as problems at home, or at school, which may cause withdrawal.
Tips to Handle a Withdrawn Child:
- Encourage a hearing and/or speech assessment should there be indications that an impairment is present.
- Determine home behavior by chatting to parents. How do the parents react to the behavior? Also monitor the home situation.
- Avoid pressurizing interaction. Gentle encouragement is recommended but do not force the situation.
- Implement a Buddy System. Assigning Buddies to the students in your class, is a not-so-obvious way of giving your withdrawn child a special friend to complete activities with. They will slowly build a relationship.
- Offer a lot of praise for interaction.
- Create situations where students are playing alongside one another, for example, building blocks. This will put the child in a position where they are indirectly interacting with others. Slowly introduce situations where co-operation is required.
- Seek professional help if you are concerned of a serious underlying (emotional, physical or developmental) problem.
|Graphics: A Little Peace of Africa|
I hope you have found these tips useful!
Do you have any tips which you can add to the list? I would love to hear about them - so feel free to leave them in the comments' section.