Now, more than ever, children are experiencing social anxiety. Social anxiety is not the same as shyness. It’s an overwhelming fear of social situations that is crippling for many children. There are many reasons your child may develop social anxiety and conditions that will trigger it. Generally, any situation where your child feels that others may judge them can cause extreme worry and anxiousness.
Common triggers of social anxiety
Some of the common situations that will trigger social anxiety in your child include:
- Going to school
- Speaking in front of people
- Reading out loud
- Talking to people that they don’t know
- Family get-togethers
- Extra-curricular activities (sports, clubs)
Anywhere your child feels they might embarrass themselves or face evaluation can lead to anxiety. By understanding the triggers and symptoms, you can help them to cope with their social anxiety and become more confident. If your child’s social anxiety is negatively impacting their ability to function, then the professionals at igniteteentreatment.com can help get them on the road to recovery.
Symptoms of social anxiety
Three out of every four children who experience social anxiety do so between the ages of 8 and 15. They may develop it over time or due to a traumatic experience. Social anxiety is incredibly common, with around 15 million Americans currently suffering. Here are some symptoms that may identify your child is experiencing social anxiety:
Social situations trigger emotional outbursts
If your child has social anxiety, they can experience emotional outbursts whenever they encounter a social situation. Your child may start crying, become clingy, freeze up, throw a tantrum, or stop speaking entirely.
Avoidance of all social situations
Your child may do everything they can to avoid any social situations. If they have a social event or a speech to do in school that day, they may hide in their rooms and refuse to go. They will avoid going to birthday parties with peers or even school trips. If they have no choice but to be in a social situation, they will be extremely anxious and fearful.
Your child will blame other people for any failures they may experience in social situations. For example, if they freeze up and forget the dance moves during the performance, they will blame it on the dance instructor not teaching well.
Physical symptoms of fear
Social anxiety is often coupled with physical symptoms of fear. These include nausea, trembling, red face, trouble speaking, and accelerated heartbeat.
How to help your child with their social anxiety
Talk about it
Children are often confused about their social anxiety and don’t know why they are experiencing it. As a parent, the best thing you can do is help educate your child on anxiety and let them know that it’s completely normal, and then, once they understand what they are experiencing and why they will be able to work towards methods of coping.
Teach calming exercises
Work with your child to teach them ways to help them keep calm when they feel themselves getting anxious. Deep breathing, muscle relaxation exercises, and guided imagery meditations are all beneficial.
If social anxiety is negatively impacting your child’s life, then it may be time to enlist a professional’s help. Social anxiety is definitely treatable, and having someone specializing in the treatment will set your child up for success in conquering the disorder.