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Arlin Cuncic

Tips for Parents of Socially Anxious Children

By October 16, 2007

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As a parent of a child with Social Anxiety Disorder (SAD), you may find it challenging to balance the need to socialize your child with the desire to be protective of him or her. Summarized by the Anxiety Disorders Association of America, this list of tips for parents of socially anxious children is adapted from the book Triumph Over Shyness by Murray B. Stein, M.D., and may be useful for parents of children with SAD.

  1. Expose your child to different social situations. Birthday parties, play groups, and after school activities will all give your child a chance to learn social skills.

  2. Although it may be tempting, don't speak for your child. Encourage him or her to speak up whenever possible, such as when ordering food in a restaurant.

  3. Praise or offer rewards for your for child speaking up. Take him/her to the movies if he or she will ask for tickets at the box office.

  4. Lead by example. Be a good role model in social situations so that your child can learn from you.
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