Social Anxiety in Children: What You Can Do To Help

If your child suffers from social anxiety or intense fear of interacting with other children, friends or family members, contact AGC Pediatrics for help. Learn ways you can help your child overcome social anxiety at home and at school today.

Social Anxiety in Children: What You Can Do to Help

Social Anxiety in Children disorder, also known as social phobia, is an intense fear of social situations. This may include trigger situations like:

  • Being called upon in class
  • Speaking with authority figures
  • Attending parties or social gatherings
  • Being the center of attention
  • Making a phone call
  • Performing in front of people

Children often are afraid of judgement, scrutiny from their peers, or being embarrassed in public. Parents should never take social anxiety lightly or mistake is for a phase; social anxiety is a debilitating condition for children that can develop into depression as a teen.

Symptoms of Social Anxiety in Children

Symptoms of social anxiety can be emotional and physical and range from mild to severe. Symptoms of social anxiety in children include:

  • Excessive shyness
  • Nausea
  • Stomachaches
  • Separation anxiety
  • Trembling
  • Refusing to participate in activities with others
  • Staying quiet
  • Hiding in the background
  • Throwing tantrums before a social outing
  • Avoiding eye contact

Many parents also overlook the symptoms of social anxiety—their children may not get reprimanded at school due to their learned ability to stay quiet and unseen; their content for staying at home may be seen as a preference to being with family.

Healthy Practices to Overcome Anxiety

In addition to seeing a behavioral doctor, parents can help children overcome anxiety at home with natural and healthy methods. Parents should never judge their children for social anxiety, but instead explain that it is perfectly natural for people to feel that way at times. Always encourage children to talk about their fears and anxiety, never brush it off and say, “You’re fine.”

Parents should not overschedule their children. Having downtime with friends is a great relaxation tool. If children are nervous about attending a friend’s house, invite their friend over to your house first or let your child practice sleepovers with relatives they know. This helps break the ice.

Role playing situations with your child not only helps them practice speaking about it, but can show them regardless of the outcome it will be fine. Practice different scenarios, responses, and questions. This will normalize fears and make situations seem nominal the more they practice.

Host get-togethers at your home with neighbors and friends with similarly aged children. This brings people from outside the family circle into the comfort of your child’s home. Your child will still have you, their caregiver, but will be able to practice handling the attention and company of others.

Always praise children for their accomplishments with others and never let it go unnoticed. This will encourage similar behavior in the future. Never forget that an always-consistent sleep schedule for young children helps. Relaxing before bed helps children transition into a sleepy, calm state and adequate sleep energizes children for activities the following day.

Contact Us

AGC Pediatrics specializes in developmental and behavioral disorders in children and young adults. If you believe your child may be suffering from social anxiety, contact our helpful staff today.

Use our online patient portal or call (706) 625-5900 to schedule your appointment.