4 Tips to Help a Child Who Suffers from Social Anxiety

03 July, 2020
Parents' concern for their children includes questions about possible social anxiety. In this article, discover tips to help a child who suffers from social anxiety.

Do you think that your child suffers from social anxiety? Do they have a hard time relating to their peers and are often riddled with fear, anguish, or shame in everyday situations? Are they worried about getting bullied or making a fool of themselves?

In this article, we show you some parameters that allow professionals to evaluate social anxiety in children. In addition, we offer some helpful tips for facing this situation.

Social anxiety in children

Social anxiety has been scientifically evaluated in order to establish its components. Here are the ones professionals take into account:

  • Fear of negative assessment from peers of the same age
  • Social distress in the presence of new peers, peers of the opposite sex, etc
  • Anxiety
  • Social-related fears
  • Depression

It’s important for parents to know that, for it to be social anxiety, it mustn’t affect the family environment. In other words, these children must have always had a normal ability to relate to their relatives.

Tips to help a child who suffers from social anxiety

A boy being bullied in school.
A professional can help your child deal with their fears and emotions.

Our goal with these tips is to help parents modify their child’s behavior patterns if they suffer from social anxiety. Thus, they seek to act on their attitudes and emotions.

The first step is to evaluate the child’s behavior to discover if they really suffer from social anxiety. In other cases, it could be more related to family issues. For example, in the case of a divorce.

You should also read: What Should You Do for an Anxiety Attack? 4 Tips That Help

1. Discover if your child suffers from social anxiety

In what types of situations does social anxiety appear? For examples, parents and teachers will be able to detect these cases:

  • The child is concerned about being teased or talked about, especially behind their back
  • It’s difficult for them to ask their peers to play with them or to invite them out of fear of rejection
  • They may feel nervous about acting in front of other peers, especially if they’re strangers
  • They’re very embarrassed to speak in public
  • It distresses them to make a fool of themselves

2. Positive and controlled Internet use

A girl using the Internet.
The Internet can be a good tool. However, experts recommend a controlled use at school stages.

Internet use is increasing. Thus, parents are facing a real challenge in order to control and limit their children’s access to it. However, although they should always be aware of this, some studies show that it can be a positive tool in cases of social anxiety.

The anonymity and freedom the Internet offers is a great way for these children to make new friends and share ideas and concerns. In this context, they may feel greatly uninhibited, unlike in real life contexts.

However, the Internet can be a risk if the child spends too much time using it without parental supervision. Also, it could be related to higher anxiety levels.

3. Is it bullying?

Some studies show a relationship between social anxiety and bullying. Thus, the child could be both the victim or an observer of a situation that’s affecting their classmates.

In this case, it’s essential to talk to the child’s teacher to know their perspective. In addition, some centers have specific programs or mechanisms of action to help children with this type of behavior.

Some of these programs even involve games. This way, while the children play, they become aware of common problems and dare to share some fears, as they feel more secure and protected by their classmates and teachers.

You should also read: Bullying at School: Is Your Child a Victim and You Don’t Know It?

4. School performance

Talking to your child’s teacher can also be very useful if you’ve detected problems in their school performance. If these problems occur suddenly and without apparent explanation, you should always be suspicious of social anxiety.

Keep in mind that a child with this problem won’t feel comfortable among their peers. Because of this, it’ll be hard for them to do many tasks. For example, talking in front of other students, doing teamwork, or playing games.

So, now you know a little more about what social anxiety is in children and what its specific characteristics in their daily behavior are. Remember that you shouldn’t hesitate to ask for help from teachers, pedagogues, or psychologists in order to face and overcome your child’s problem.

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