Social anxiety in children can be truly heartbreaking when you see a perfectly beautiful and smart child too shy to interact with other children. If you have a child at home that is constantly avoiding contact with other children because he/she is shy, you may consider any of the following kid-friendly solutions to remedy extreme shyness.
Note that these solutions are geared toward children who have no additional behavioral problems that may affect their ability to interact with others. If you suspect that your child is experiencing shyness due to other reasons, it is important to consult with a child therapist or a similar, relevant professional for help and advice.
Social Anxiety in Children Can Be Easily Remedy
Under normal circumstances, shyness in children can be easily remedied if a child is part of a small group. But the main problem that many parents face with this idea is that their children are much too shy, so much so, that they don’t have a group that they can be a part of or call their own.
If this is the case it is OK to step in to help your child make new acquaintances and friendships possible. You can begin by organizing a play date or a small party at home and invite a few kids over so your child can interact with them in an environment that he/she is familiar with, feels safe and comforting.
Maybe you can join some activities at the YMCA to slowly get your child to interact with other children of his/her age range. Remember that forcing kids to be ‘friends’ never works, so it would be best to provide them with a situation where they are around other children and wait for your child to interact with them. Some other kid my easily come up to your child and want to play.
Perhaps, it may take a while for your child to open up to other kids, but if you make sure that the activity that is associated with socializing is fun then your child may eagerly want to participate and enjoy him/herself. If socializing will not motivate your child, they fun activity will certainly do the trick.
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Helpful Strategies to Overcome Social Anxiety in Children
To overcome social anxiety in children you can develop helpful strategies based on your child’s real needs to assist them in overcoming Shyness.
Find out what your child’s concern is about, and address it accordingly. For example, if you are having a playdate at home, set a plan ahead of time, so that they will not be anxious.
Talk about all the activities they will do together, explain what will happen, asked them what they would like to happen. What are some of the games they will like to play?
You can even role play and practice ahead of time how your child will greet his or her friends. You can talk to him about manners, as well. Such preparation will make the child feel more comfortable and at ease.
As a parent, it can become exceedingly frustrating to see your child behaving in a such a shy manner especially when there are other children around. In fact, it is actually very easy to lose one’s temper and view the behavior as some form of disobedience.
However, if we look closely at a shy child’s behavior you will find clues as to what a child is really thinking about and why they are acting in this way. Take your time and observe your child and you will understand what the child is feeling or thinking at the moment. This will help you to find a solution and make it easier for his/her interaction with the other children. Be patient!
Positive Affirmation Helps a Social Anxiety in Children
Some children are responsive to positive affirmations. Positive affirmations are simply statements that emphasize positive action, attitudes or behavior.
For example, if your child is nervous about making friends, have him remember a positive affirmation “I am a good friend!” or “I am a fun friend to play with!” or something similar. Begin with one positive affirmation and move on to different affirmations as you move along.
It will only be effective if the child fully understands the meaning of the affirmation, so it is necessary for you to explain to them what it is. If the child does not fully understand the meaning of the positive affirmation, it won’t work. A positive affirmation can be a very helpful tool in overcoming shyness in children.
Praise, Encouragement, and Love Overcomes a Child’s Shyness
Praising your child serves as an encouragement and most importantly it shows your love. Love and encouragement will then turn to confidence which is what your child needs, not only to overcome their shyness but to help them be able to function in society.
As a parent, it is helpful to present situations and opportunities for your child to put into practice positive behavior and actions. It is especially important to let them know how much they are loved, that they realize that they are unique little people.
It is this very acceptance of who they are and teaching them to love who they are, is the main factor and reason why they will be liked by others. If you love yourself first, then it will be easy to let yourself be loved by others. As the expression goes,“To thine own self-be true,” which means that you need to be yourself; be true to yourself. This is something good to teach our children right from the start!