Social Anxiety: What to do when your child has a meltdown
Awareness of social anxiety in our school-age children has become more prevalent. Educators and parents are well aware of the damage and pain excessive shyness can produce. But what do you do when your child has a melt down? Most children just want to be heard and their pain acknowledged. At these times, children are searching for a sense of value and respect.
Almost all parents would agree that “caring” is an important aspect of raising children. Through basic respect parents and teachers can convey “caring”. The following list are behaviors through which you can convey “caring”.
- Create comfortable surroundings – find an appropriate place to sit and talk.
- Give your full attention to your child with active listening on your part and good eye contact.
- Ensure your body language conveys calmness. Keep a quiet and steady voice.
- Clarify your understanding of your child’s needs.
- Be unhurried, relaxed and confident. Act exactly as you wish your child could.
- Focus on what you can do to help.
- Ask if you can give feedback to your child.
- Ask questions and give explanations if appropriate, but don’t talk too long.
- A genuine smile is helpful.
- Use your expertise and draw on your own personal experiences to meet your child’s wants and needs.
“Caring does not mean just making sympathetic remarks. It refers to the behaviors in dealing with your child’s wants and needs in a way that lets your child know you are there to meet his/her needs while at the same time being courteous, polite and patient. Remember, most children with social anxiety just want to be heard.