Children with Social Anxiety
Children with social anxiety experience all of the following:
- A constant fear of being in a situation that requires socialization or performing, and the person is exposed to new people or possible inspection by others.
- When the person comes in contact with this feared situation, it most often brings about anxiety, which can be characterized by panicking, tantrums, crying, and staying away from social circumstances with unknown people.
- Only adults and teenagers would come to realize that this fear is irrational and extreme.
- The person tends to avoid these situations which require socialization and performance with deep worry and anxiety.
- The person’s everyday schedule, academic performance, and social activities are drastically affected due to the evasion, anxious expectation or worry in the feared situations that involve socializing or performing.
What are the Causes that Plague Children with Social Anxiety?
Two major factors cause children to have social anxiety, and these are the environment as well as genetics.
With genetics, the anxiety disorders are innate (hereditary). Most likely the child has one or both parents with an anxiety disorder. However, it does not necessarily have to be Social Anxiety Disorder. This inheritance is believed to be partly due to Behavioral Inhibition.
Behavioral Inhibition takes place when a person is likely to react pessimistically to new circumstances or things. There are some babies and children who will become very glad and inquisitive when they are exposed to new things and faces. But there are about 15 percent of children who tend to become introverted and bad-tempered when they are exposed to this kind of situation, while other children in general are frightened.
These children are often tetchy as babies, and then become timid toddlers, and then become silent, reclusive and guarded during their school age. These types of children are more likely to have biological parents who have anxiety disorders. Later on in their life hey tend to acquire Social Anxiety Disorder. That is what makes many believe that Behavioral Inhibition is present at birth.
All other factors beyond genetics can trigger Social Anxiety in children. For example some of the main characteristics that can lead children to have social anxiety would be the experience of abuse, abandonment, having been raised by anxious adults, having a language or speech problem, a disfiguring physical condition, and having gone through tremendously embarrassing situations such as public failure and vomiting and diarrhea in public.
More often than not, the combination of both the environmental factors and genetics would lead to children with social anxiety.
How to help Children with Social Anxiety
There are behavioral methods that can be applied and can greatly aid any natural nutritional or homeopathic plan that a child with social anxiety can benefit from. One way would be to let the child go to a licensed therapist or a guidance counselor for the child to be treated and helped. The environment at home needs to be calming and welcoming. Let the child know that you are open to listening to their problems even if they feel uncomfortable telling them to you. Always be conscious about your behavior towards the child especially during the times when you feel that you might be pressuring him or her.
As parents it’s our job to help our little ones, don’t let your kids be one of thousands of children with social anxiety.