4 Tips On How To Deal With Social Anxiety In Children.
Social anxiety is characterized by fear or anxiety in certain social situations or public performances. The affected person often avoids these situations or experiences them with great anxiety.
Although it is normal to feel some anxiety in social situations, children with social anxiety experience tension to such a degree that they try to avoid social situations or face them with great discomfort. Children with social anxiety disorder tend to experience extreme worry and other physical synthons like
The symptoms of social anxiety disorder can often be confused with other mental health problems or situations since they are all very similar. However, the trigger for these symptoms is social situations of any kind.
It could be something as “innocent” as having to speak in class or something more complex like trying to make friends. A child’s life can complicate itself a lot if they have to deal with this. Children with social phobia experience concern that their behaviors or performances in public may be considered inappropriate.
If any of this sounds like your child, you do not need to worry. There are several things we can do to help them overcome this extreme fear and live a much simpler life. Spimbey wants every child to feel comfortable in this world.
Lead by example.
Even though you cannot avoid stress or anxiety to take over at some points during the day or in our daily routines, socially anxious children can learn from their parents better and more efficient ways to cope with anxiety.
According to this particular study, parents who display more suitable emotional management in front of their children and at home are setting an example that can help kids with social anxiety to better handle themselves in these difficult situations.
“Findings suggest that a parent-child cognitive-behavioral preventive intervention may hold promise for young children with mild to moderate anxiety.”
Teach relaxation techniques.
A deep breath can go a long way. When we teach our children to relax when facing stressful situations, we are giving them a powerful tool for them to fight their demons.
The main goal of these techniques is to help patients reduce the physiological activation that occurs during social anxiety situations. Younger children can benefit from this as they progress into a more complicated and socially filled life.
However, it is important to notice that despite the proven efficiency of these relaxation techniques, we cannot expect to provide results all the time. If your child is suffering heavily from social phobia, the best you can do is seek help from mental health professionals or pediatricians.
The only way to conquer them is to face them.
Exposure therapy is usually effective. However, it can be difficult to make the exposure last long enough to allow the patient to habituate and become comfortable in the situation. This is a form of cognitive-behavioral therapy that can help children to overcome difficult social situations.
How can you apply this at home?
Kids learn by playing, so, for example, if your children suffer from stage fright, you can recreate some play pretend scenarios where they must talk about something they like while you listen very carefully. You can add questions at the end of the “lecture” to boost their confidence.
The more interactive and fun you make the situation, the more efficient the exposure therapy will work.
But this is not an I don’t know how to swing, so grandpa threw me at the pool scenario. The exposure must be both gradual and systematic, so be careful. We do not want to make the cure worse than the disease.
Seek profesional help.
Despite our thorough research to suggest these tips to you, non of them can replace the full knowledge of an expert. We may think that taking our children to therapy is some kind of stigma, but this is far from the truth.
These professionals will assess your child’s situation and how they manifest their anxiety to recommend the best treatment possible. Do not be afraid to go to these instances to deal with this problem. Anxiety in children is far too common, but it is not a sentence.
A word from Spimbey.
Mental health is equally important for adults and children, and we must take it seriously.
If your children display signs of social anxiety, do not diminish their feelings and try to hear what they have to say.
Keep your children healthy and introduce regular exercise as part of their routine since this has proven to be an effective way to reduce the stress caused by anxiety. Take your children outdoors to play and have fun.
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