I believe all kids can open up but it is up to the parents and people around them to encourage them and ‘persuade them’.

My oldest son used to be a timid boy and afraid to go on stage. He used to be quiet when strangers are around. That was when he was about 3 or 4 years old. Now that he is five, there is such a great change in him. He volunteers whenever someone ask “Who wants to answer this question” or “Can we have a volunteer?”

He even joined a story telling competition and went for a audition recently for a role in the ‘Forbidden City’. He was selected for the first round but not the final round. To us, it is a good exposure for him.

My younger son needs more ‘training’ too. He talks but is sometimes it depends on his mood.

What did we do? We talk to him a lot. We never stop encouraging him. Tell him you love him (that is the first step).

I used to ask him “Are you a leader or a follower?” Tell them what happens if they are followers and if they are leaders. Leaders lead and are not afraid to make mistakes. Leaders learn the right things from others and not simply follow what others do.

If they choose to be followers, they may not have some previleges. Followers can only accept other people’s commands. (Of course, we must have a balance so that they will listen to us too)

Whenever there is a chance, encourage them to go on stage. Entice them to do it. Once they have done it one time, they find that it is not so terrifying after all. It may take a long long time before they do it. Parents must never give up trying.

Highlight their successes to them. Let them know they can do more in the area you are focusing on. Since we are focusing on helping ‘open up’ our kids, even when they attempt to speak to a new friend, praise them.

My husband and I know our kids like Macdonalds. We tell our younger son that if you want french fries, you will have to buy them yourself. He was afraid. He tried but kept coming back. We insisted, if you want it, you have to do it yourself. Finally he bought it himself. Every little step brings you one step closer to your goal. Do not overlook every step and action that you take.