Child Psychology and Behaviour

Is that nervous feeling social anxiety disorder, or is it simply a case of being shy?

7 to 11 years

Created by Swati
Updated on Nov 26, 2012

Is that nervous feeling social anxiety disorder, or is it simply a case of being shy? Recently , i met ome family friends and noticed that their 8 year old boy was a quiet child, he sat in his room almost the entire time that we wre there and did not mingle with the other children ( they were almost the same age).   While i thought it was ok that he wanted to be on his own , the parents continued to fret that he had some kind of " Social Anxiety Disorder"( the problem with having google to overanalyse the small nothings). Almost the entire evening was spent discussing the child and his anti social behavior. I am sure the child could hear his own parents criticise him time and again . The aggressive parents could not handle their shy child and did not know how to deal with it. My question is - how can i help the child and the parents( more importantly )??

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| Dec 06, 2012

Hi Swati. I witnessed a similar situation recently and saw a 2. 5 year old being spanked by the mother publicly. It happended a few times. I managed to approach her, and talk about how this may be affecting the child. Taking that first step did give me the jitters, I have to admit. But it was an eyeopener to meet and talk with the mum, who said that the whole family is against hitting, however sometimes she is at her wits' ends and the only thing that seems to work is spanking the child. A conversation ensued and I am hoping there will be a positive change. It will be nice to know what happened at your end.

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| Nov 29, 2012

oh thank you !!! neetu and anurima and a big thank you to Dr . Ann.... you just reinforced what i had in mind ... and i am glad that i can be the medium to get help to the child...

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| Nov 27, 2012

Hey Swati. I agree with Neetu here. The parents need to recognize the problem and take steps to help the boy immediately. Criticizing will make the problem worse only for him. Do try and speak to them so that they take some constructive steps in this regard. Let us know how things work out.

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| Nov 27, 2012

Hi. I am not sure how pally you are with the parents. Here's what I would do. Meet up with the mother and talk about the damage continuous criticism and disapproval can do to a child, and would stay with him for years to come. At the expense of offending them probably! But you seem pretty determined to help the child :)If they think the child has some kind of disorder, chances are they never really consulted an expert except google, as You said ! Get them over here on parentune and seek advice from experts. The parents need help and direction and seems like a dim chance that they will go out looking for it. Take help to them is something I would do. Tc.

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| Nov 26, 2012

Hi Swati. This issue maybe more common than we know! I was a very shy and quiet child myself and used to stick to my mom when among strangers. I remember getting worked up and upset when we had to attend birthday parties and gatherings. I never played with the other children unless they were close friends of mine. My sisters, on the other hand, were very out going and friendly. My parents tried hard to coax me to play with the others, but it never really worked. I empathize with the boy you are talking about and hope he will gradually grow out of this and come out of his shell. I am not sure what Social Anxiety Disorder means.. Probably just being Introvert and Shy! Did his parents speak to you on how they were encouraging him to mingle and play with the other children? It is rather sad that they were criticizing him, more so when he could hear them. I do not have solutions to offer you here Swati. In my case, I feel I slowly grew out of it but still have difficulties making new friends and mingling well in gatherings. Lets see what the others have to say on this.

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