It is no longer surprising that teenagers are suffering from social anxiety. In fact, 13 percent of American teens and children are showing symptoms of anxiety. Social anxiety is common among teenagers and it is so sad to note that this can impair their cognitive response and alter their behavior which may also lead to dire consequences. The bad news is that teenage social anxiety is often left undetected. It can become disastrous if it is left untreated because it may lead to depression. Here are some ways that you can help your teen cope with social anxiety.
Do not patronize often
Anxious children will often ask for reassurance. They would often ask that if everything will be alright and will be fine. This is actually harmful because it prevents them to learn how to cope with their social anxiety. Let them think things through and figure out the situation on their own. Instead of reassuring them, make an effort to ask them a question and let them answer it. This will not only breed independence on your child but it will also make their minds work extra hard which can be helpful in maintaining excellent mental health. Make them believe that they can overcome any tight situation on their own without much help from adults.
Criticize your child less
It is important that you don’t shout or scold your child in front of other people. This can create mental wounds that will scar your teenager for life. It gives an impression to your child that you are not contented with his or her actions. Instead of scolding your child in front of everyone, try to boost his or her confidence and discuss intelligently and maturely what went wrong. Then, offer opportunities for the teenager to realize his or her mistakes. Your teenager will see you as someone who sees an adult in him or her rather than a rascal child that is up to no good.
Be aware of your criticisms
It is helpful to avoid talking about other people within an earshot of your teenager. The messages that come out from you may form ideas on your child how you view other people behind their backs. This reinforces a lot of negative views that are previously unheard of. Instead, try to become more positive and make sure that when you are making sneaky remarks of other people try to be more discreet. If your child continues to perceive you as a wholesome person, the respect and obedience will never be compromised.
Let your child run wild
Of course, we do not mean making your child totally wild to the point of making him unmanageable but just enough to give your teenager an opportunity to have more independent social interaction. One good place would be the local mall since it has a lot of people that can help your teenager build self-confidence. Tell your teenager that he or she will be responsible for buying her own stuff. Initially, he or she will ask for your help but gently tell your teenager words of encouragements that he can do it on his own.
Listen to your child
Allow yourself to be available to listen to your child. Sometimes a caring ear is all it would take for your child to ease up and melt the anxiety away. Let the child become more comfortable telling you about his or her feelings and offer advice as necessary. Never sound judgmental and never make her feel that she is being blamed. Remind your teenager that these situations will come to pass and show confidence that she will be able to cope splendidly.
Seek professional help
Sometimes you can only do so much. If your child’s social anxiety has become counter-productive and the teenager has been showing signs of inflicting self-harm or showing suicidal tendencies, it is time to seek professional help.
It is easy to get lost in the crowd. It is overwhelming and daunting for a blooming young adult. The world is not the rosy and fun-filled place that we see on TV. It is more like an utter wasteland. But you can always help your children cope with anxiety by sticking to them and providing support to help them make it on their own.