My son is the type that will apologetically not respond to a greeting from an adult. Although in some situations I would be left embarrassed, I never forced him to respond. Why? I know my son, he takes a little while to warm up but once he’s comfortable he is the most charming boy. I have noticed he is cautious in friendship but once he makes a friend he is very loyal and it’s for life. When we go shopping and I offer to buy him something, he will always ask to buy for a close friend of his (just because money grows on tree, so of course mummy can afford to). He is such a joy to be around. He is the peaceful, polite boy at school.
It gradually became a concern when I saw other children his age, happily perform in a school play or reading their memory verse at church but he was refusing and hiding behind the rest. I have to admit I felt this frustration at him for refusing to take part in the play. To be honest, life experiences has taught me that the nicest and shyest people in the work place or in the world don’t get appreciated and respected as much.
I was so desperate to help him. Having said that, I was extremely careful not pull so hard that he recoils. I know his shyness is his personality, and probably a genetic trait (like mother like son…). It was so tough, more for me than for him- he probably didn’t see it as a problem. I guess because I am shy and also struggle to speak publicly, I know how hard it has been for me during oral presentations be it at work, school or church. So I desperately wanted to work with him to overcome his fear of public speaking so it’s not so difficult when he grows up.
Anyways to cut long story short, we recently had children’s day at church. Isaiah has been practicing his memory verse at home. Again, I was more nervous than him so I resulted to bribery. Let’s call it ‘reward’ shall we? I told him, he is such a brave boy, and I would be proud of him no matter what (blah blah blah and all that). I told him ‘if you say your memory verse loud and clear I would buy you the shoes with wheels that you’ve always wanted’.
On the day, I had my phone ready to capture the milestone moment I’ve always wanted! It was nearly his turn and my heart is racing, then the mic is given to him. He gets up looking excited and nervous in equal measures, and he says his memory verse!!! Loud and clear. He looked so proud of himself. I can see the excitement on his face that he actually went ahead and spoke in front of a whole room of adults! I couldn’t have been more proud of him. But most of all, he was so proud of himself. And of course, as soon as he came off the pulpit, ‘mummy can we go and buy my shoes now please?’
I don’t think the reward was what actually encouraged him, it most definitely played a role. Overall, as tempting as it was to keep pushing him to speak publicly, little encouragement here and there as well as creating a comfortable environment that allow his social personality to develop naturally made a huge contribution.
I am so proud of you Isaiah and always will be son. You astound me and your dad with how amazing you are developing. You are such a kind, caring and loving young boy. From being a clingy boy to running into school and kissing me goodbye. My heart is burst with so much pride when I look at you. My world is a more gentle and peaceful place because of you.
I love you beyond your imagination.