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Social Anxiety

Maybe it has happened to you before…. Your daughter is scheduled for her first dance lesson, karate class, or soccer game and you get her to the class or the field and she freezes! She just doesn’t want to get into the class or step on to the field! Your son’s first baseball game is Saturday and he’s been talking about it all week can’t wait to hit the ball, I can’t wait to run the bases, I can’t wait.” Then when the time comes to get his baseball uniform on he refuses! Or how about when you feel as though a particular activity will be beneficial for your son or daughter and you say “hey would you like to give ___ a try?” and they say “No!” you then ask why and possibly un-intentionally argue about how it’s no big deal to try things!

In my nine plus years as a martial-arts school owner and instructor I’ve witnessed my fair share of children who seem to become un-interested at the moment of truth. If this has happened to you don’t worry about and don’t be mad at your child. All that happened was a slight case of social anxiety brought on by the thought of stepping out of their comfort zone. If you were able to get them there because they were excited and then they suddenly changed their minds all that happened was simple. Their mental picture did not match what they now see in reality. If you asked them about trying something and they said, “No!” Then they simply already made a mental picture of themselves being uncomfortable.

We’ll pick this up in the next issue of The Banner.

Welcome back to our discussion on social anxiety! Last time we left off talking about the mental picture that is taking place prior to stepping out of their comfort zones. Let’s continue.

We all have social anxiety. It’s not easy to step out of our comfort zones. Just imagine attending a party where you don’t know anyone? Or, if you’re ok with that, how about speaking in public? The key fact to remember is our kids are no different. But the sooner you help them step out of their comfort zone the easier it will get each time. If you give up the first time the harder it may get!

There’s a psychological principle called systematic de-sensitization. Which simply means; the more you make yourself do what you are sensitive or fearful of the less sensitive and fearful you will be. So if your child experiences some social anxiety don’t let it bother you too much, just keep trying and don’t give up, social skills and the ability to control fear are essential in our world and the sooner your child begins develops these skills the better.