If you are wondering if your child might suffer from social anxiety, then read below to see if your child fits. Social anxiety in children is a fear or phobia related to struggling interacting with others or being the center of attention. Children might become quiet, extra shy, do not voice their fears or issues they might be feeling, and even cry and ask to leave.
Social anxiety is real, and your child might even begin to feel nauseated, complain of stomachaches when out, headaches and more. Your child can learn to overcome these fears, below I will share some ways to deal with your child and their social anxiety!
These tips can help your child to work through and overcome their social anxiety over time. It is very normal for children to go through a phase of being shy, and they normally grow out of it.
Managing Social Anxiety in Your Child
Teach Child About Social Anxiety: If you find that your child might be suffering from social anxiety, take time to talk with them. Explain that anxiety is normal and we all experience it in our lives. Our body is feeling like we are in danger, but there is no danger present, with social anxiety.
Don’t Downplay Their Feelings: Social anxiety is very real, and those fears can’t be turned off instantly. Do not downplay your child’s feelings, or force your child to do something or talk to someone if they don’t want. It can be frustrating for the parents, but don’t get upset of your child because they are fearful in social settings.
Empathize or Sympathize: If you have struggled with social anxiety you can sympathize with your child and tell them how you overcame. If you don’t have any experience with social anxiety, then empathize when them. Listen to how they feel when they get around big groups, and be supportive. Teach them that by breathing deep, and slowly trying to talk here and there can help them to overcome the hurdle. Then maybe they won’t feel so anxious.
Play Dates: Start small by inviting a friend over for your child to play with. Then once they feel comfortable, maybe try having a play date at their friends house. Go the first time if your child feels anxious, and slowly work towards leaving them alone at the play date. This can help them work towards overcoming their anxiety. It is a slow process but in time you will see improvement.
Go Places: Take your child out and go to the library, park, or somewhere else they enjoy. Then let them learn to play or do an activity without you right next to them. Start small by standing behind them, then take a few steps back. Just let them know that they can’t sit on your lap, and just communicate along the way. Don’t just go hide, because if they can’t see you they will panic. Just keep the communication open. Maybe the 2nd or 3rd visit, say you are going to go sit on the bench and show them where it is at. They can still see if they need you.
Just remember this could take time for your little one to feel comfortable. After a little while you might see some good improvement. So be patient and just know they will overcome it.
About the Author
Kelsey is a freelance writer for bloggers! A country girl from Kansas, who enjoys spending time with family! You can see what Kelsey has available for content in her Facebook Group.