Supporting Parents. Fostering Change.

Social Anxiety in Children

Everyone experiences some level of fear and worry. This isn’t a bad thing. These feelings actually signal us to change our behavior in potentially threatening situations.

For instance, most of us worry if it suddenly begins to thunder and lightning while we are swimming. Our fear signals us to get out of the pool! This is an example of a healthy fear that aids us in protecting ourselves.

Children often worry about things they can’t control or don’t understand such as separation from a parent, natural disasters and fear of the dark. Some children worry about everything including social phobias and anxiety.

So the question becomes, “Are my child’s worries interfering with their ability to function successfully in their world?”

To be successful in school, your child must be able to focus, learn new ideas, follow through with assignments and be socially engaged and free from social phobias and anxiety. Imagine if your child was fixated on a fire breaking out and was constantly distracted by those thoughts. Or if your child was so worried about making a mistake on their homework that they can’t even get started? How can your child possibly perform up to their potential when these social phobias and anxious thoughts intrude and interfere with their learning all day long?

How can I help?

Create a calm environment at home and teach your child basic stress management strategies before phobias and social anxiety develop further.

Make sure your child is not overcommitted.

Children need down time!

Be proactive against stress.

Develop a plan to cope with your child’s phobias and potentially socially anxious situations.

Take baby steps.

Help your child break down what needs to be accomplished into small, manageable steps.

Set up special time each day with your child.

Spend 15 minutes a day just to talk and follow your child’s lead. Do what they want to do.

Make sure your child eats and sleeps well.

Phobias, social anxiety and stress depletes our bodies of essential nutrients.

Get physical!

Team or individual sports reduce tension associated with phobias, social anxiety and stress.

TV/Computer?

Make sure your child’s television and computer habits are stress-relieving not stress-producing.

Manage your own stress well.

Try Stress-buster exercises.

For the in-depth list suggestions and practices, see – Ways to Reduce Your Child’s Social Anxiety and Phobias.

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