It can be difficult and frustrating to watch a child suffer from social anxiety. Social skills training can supplement therapeutic programs to help a child with social anxiety learn valuable social skills and build self esteem.
1. What is Social Anxiety
According to Wikipedia, social anxiety is “anxiety (emotional discomfort, fear, apprehension, or worry) about social situations, interactions with others, and being evaluated or scrutinized by other people.”
2. How Social Skills Training Can Help Children Overcome Social Anxiety
Social skills training helps kids learn what behaviors are appropriate in social situations. By knowing what behaviors are appropriate, children can begin to feel more comfortable and at ease in social situations. Social skills training breaks social skills into simple tasks to make learning social skills easy and fun. For example, greeting people could be broken down into simple tasks like (1) Look the other person in the eyes (2) Smile (3) Say “Hello” (4) Ask “How are you?”
3. Why is Social Skills Training Needed?
Most social skills are not specifically taught at home or in school. Children are expected to pick up most social skills through observation. Children who have social anxiety are less likely to pick up these observable skills because that child may be more focused on fear or social anxiety rather than on other peoples’ behaviors.
Feeling more comfortable and knowledgeable about social skills can also help a child to improve their self esteem. Overcoming social anxiety involves both learning social skills and raising self esteem so that a child can feel better about themselves and about their interactions with others.
4. How Parents Can Help a Child With Overcoming Social Anxiety
If social anxiety interferes with a child’s daily activities or seems overwhelming, a parent should first seek therapeutic programs to see if a child needs therapy or medications to help with overcoming social anxiety.
In conclusion, social skills training is a great supplement to therapeutic programs to help children with overcoming social anxiety and help boost self esteem. Being comfortable in social situations through understanding specific social skills helps put children at ease. Instead of focusing on fears, children can focus on the fun which is the goal to any program involving social skills training.