How Do We Treat Social Anxiety in a Child?
Children with social anxiety are always afraid and worried about others’ negative judgement towards them, and this prevents them from doing many things for fear of being insulted.
So what are the signs of social anxiety and how can this condition be treated?
Signs of Social Anxiety in Children
Social anxiety may appear in children during adolescence, but sometimes at a much earlier age. The signs include:
- Shyness or introversion.
- Difficulty meeting new children or joining a group of children.
- Avoiding social situations in which the child is the center of attention of others.
- Feeling comfortable with only a few friends.
Treatment of Social Anxiety in Children
Fortunately, social anxiety responds well to the therapy which mainly aims at modifying the child's behavior. The treatment has two types:
- Behavioral therapy: Cognitive behavioral therapy with the help of an expert, aims at enhancing the child's social skills and ability to cope with situations that cause him extreme anxiety and unwarranted fear that is out of his control. During these therapy sessions, the child recognizes his ability to control his anxiety and behavior and learns how to overcome his fears and change his way of thinking.
In addition to cognitive behavioral therapy, there is also the exposure therapy which is based on the principle of reducing the child’s anxiety in certain situations by exposing him gradually and carefully to them.
- Drug therapy: Some types of medicine can reduce the symptoms of social anxiety in a child, especially when combined with cognitive behavioral therapy. However, only a doctor can decide on whether to resort to it or not.
Finally, we as mothers, need to remember to support our children at this stage and do whatever we can for them to feel better. And let’s make sure that we do not force our little ones to do things that bother them, no matter how simple the task may seem.