anxiety in kids: 5 Articles

Four Ways to Support Your Shy Child

Part of living a full life involves having new experiences. New experiences help us grow and develop as a person, gain confidence, and build self-esteem. Whether it’s starting a new job, taking up a new hobby, or meeting new people, most of us are familiar with a feeling of shyness or anxiety that can be stirred up within even the most extroverted personalities.  Sometimes shyness can affect us in all sorts of negative ways. It’s important to let our kids know that we all feel this emotion from time to time, and that there are lots of strategies to help us cope with new experiences without being overcome with anxiety.   Shyness is the main theme of Magination Press book Sophie’s Shell. Sophie is a happy snail who wants to learn more about the world around her. In fact, she is counting down the days before she can start school. When she gets to school though, that all seems to change. Sophie’s shy feeling is so strong that she has to keep popping back into her shell. POP! Parents may also identify with this. Many have had the experience of taking an excited child to a birthday party, but upon arrival, they could hardly look up, didn’t want to play, dance, or join in with the games, and just clung to their leg for the entire time. As a parent, you can feel surprised and frustrated and want to say, “Just go and enjoy yourself!”, “Don’t be shy!”, “Speak up!”, but these reactions won’t help your child or you. How You Can Help Don’t draw attention to it In Sophie’s Shell, Sophie has many episodes of feeling shy. This is often because people are paying lots of attention to her, even if it’s for positive things like admiring her beautiful art. Adults can help children when they are feeling shy by simply carrying on calmly and not drawing attention to it. Discreetly asking other adults to do the same can also help. Everyone feels shy sometimes, even grown ups Let your child know that everyone can feel shy in certain situations, and that it’s not something to feel ashamed of. Shyness can make us feel uncomfortable: sometimes Sophie has “a wobbly feeling in her tummy.” Share with your child times when you have felt shy, how you coped with it, and how the feeling went away. Little by little With all experiences, the more familiar you are with a new situation, the easier it becomes and the less shy you feel. This means being patient and believing that being in new situations will get easier.  Before a new experience, talk to your child about where they are going and how many people might be there.  Suggest a way to make a new friend, such as smiling and saying, “Hi.”   Arrive to a party early, so there are fewer people. This can help your child get used to the environment without them feeling they are arriving to lots of new faces.  Bring a conversation piece. Encourage your child to bring

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Four Ways to Support Your Shy Child 2019-12-03T14:18:36-05:00

More than Shyness: Identifying Social Anxiety Disorder

Everyone feels anxious sometimes. It’s very normal. In fact, anxiety has a useful purpose in our lives; it keeps us safe. When we’re anxious, our bodies set off a reaction called the flight-or-flight response, and this causes changes in our bodies… faster heartbeat, trembling hands, shallow breathing, focused thinking. These changes help us act quickly when we need to, to protect ourselves -like staying away from a wild animal!

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More than Shyness: Identifying Social Anxiety Disorder 2018-09-17T13:27:03-05:00

Soothing Bedtime Worries

Bedtime is a trigger for many kids. Unlike the rest of the day, bedtime is a time in which children are expected to be alone. In addition, bedtime is often when children slow down and tune into themselves and reflect on their day; as a result, this may be when they express concerns and worries or exhibit separation anxiety. Fears about going to bed, worries that seem only to appear at bedtime, attempts to sleep with parents, and pleas for a parent to stay until they fall asleep are common.

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Soothing Bedtime Worries 2018-09-26T14:24:57-05:00