Anxiety in Kids
If a child has persistent feelings of worry and fear, it could ...
We want to hear about your experiences with Parentline... Help us improve our service!
Every child is different so some situations may trigger social anxiety for certain children and not others. Keeping this in mind, there are some common situations that a child may find distressing if they have social anxiety:
While it’s difficult to remove anxiety completely, you can help your child learn ways to deal with these thoughts and feelings so it doesn’t stop them enjoying life. Some of the following ideas can help:
Listen and offer support – take time to understand what they’re going through and reassure them that you care
Teach them relaxation techniques and ways to calm themselves (eg. deep breathing or progressive muscle relaxation)
Avoid telling them to ‘calm down’ or ‘relax’ – this can make them feel worse, especially if they feel they have no control over the anxiety
Try to teach assertive communication - show them it’s ok to give their opinion or ask for what they want (even though they may not get it)
Support your child to seek help through your local GP, psychologist or counsellor if their social anxiety persists
Affirm your child’s strengths and their worth - show them that you value their opinion and praise the things they do well
Monitor your own actions – role model positive coping strategies (eg. relaxation, exercise, deep breathing)
Help them practice being in social situations - start with easier situations first and work up to more difficult ones
Do some role plays – help them practice having difficult conversations
Put any setbacks into perspective – help them to let go of unrealistic or negative thoughts and to not give up if things don’t work out
Parentline is here for you.
Sometimes you just need to talk to someone. Sometimes you need guidance.