Social anxiety is to be expected during this unprecedented effort to get the nation back on track after the derailing effects of Coronavirus related lockdowns all across the country. Daily life — habits, meetings with friends, and regular schooling schedules – has been altered, but we as a nation are working hard to get things back to normal for ourselves and our children.
Children in all corners of the country are having to face the loss of parents and grandparents, parse competing information, and utilize avoidance techniques to maintain a safe distance from people who they would have hugged, played with, or sat next to just a few months ago. Putting children back in the classroom is essential to restarting the economy and our routines, but it will take some getting used to for those who have had to handle a ruptured school year and faults in restarting for the new year that leaves many stuck at home and others unsure of how to proceed. Here’s how you can support your children during this unprecedented time.
The best thing you can be for your child is patient and understanding. Children who have underlying issues that prevent normal socialization may require additional support during this transition period. Taking your son or daughter for a pediatric hearing test or visiting a specialist in order to overcome social anxiety might be the best way to help them. Health issues like hearing loss can contribute significantly to shyness in social situations, so correcting these easily fixable ailments might be all it takes to put your child back on the right path. Others may benefit from speaking with a therapist about the things that are bothering them. Whether your child’s social phobia is caused by a type of hearing loss or by an anxiety disorder brought on by the tumultuous year we’ve had, it can be treated. Pediatric audiologists specialize in working with young children who may need a hearing aid, so caring for your child’s hearing by making sure they take a regular hearing test can be done by seeing a professional. And if your child needs help managing anxious thoughts, social phobia, or shyness there are also professional therapists who can help make social interactions easier to handle.
Seek professional help for more severe issues.
If the thing troubling your child is more deep-seated, then seeking out specialized help from an early childhood psychologist might be the way to go. A welcoming environment and professional listener can help your child get to the root of the distress they are feeling in order to overcome the sadness, stress, or anxiety that is keeping them from maintaining eye contact, or participating in everyday life as they did before. Children are resilient and efficient problem solvers, so speaking through their troubles might be all it takes for them to identify and defeat the issue altogether.
Keep a calm home.
Children also have an acute sense of reason and can tell when things at home are strained, even if they don’t show it. Maintaining a loving and calm home, and remembering to take your kids’ feelings into consideration, is important for normalizing the social elements of life for a toddler or young child dealing with panic attacks or anxious thoughts. Serenity at home is key to battling whatever is going on inside your child’s head. Help them as best you can by trying not to argue or add additional stress. It’s certainly difficult to maintain a level head at the moment, but it will really improve the struggle your child is going through and will make your struggle to carry on each day that much easier in the process.
Children need nurturing and support during the best of times. If your kid is going through some difficulties as the school year starts back up again, don’t hesitate to take action to help him or she resolves whatever hang-ups are lurking around in his head. Take the opportunity to help guide him to his own solutions or provide simple medical intervention to defeat minor maladies that might be keeping him lost in thought instead of the playground alongside their friends.