I have lately been noticing that my son gets uneasy around a large gathering of people. Maybe it is just me, but I could swear that he has developed social anxiety. As a first time mom, I was totally confused how to tackle it.
So I turned to the good ole Google. This is the definition it gave me:
Children and teens with social anxiety disorder have an excessive and persistent fear of social and/or performance situations such as school, parties, athletic activities, and more.
It involved intense self-consciousness and fear of embarrassment… Mostly what i got from google was what my husband kept telling me: “It is all in your head.” In addition, google kept giving lists and lists of symptoms that would go to show that a child really does have social anxiety.
I feel bad for using these terms without actually understanding the depth of them. So I have completely stopped saying it. I can’t imagine people actually having these feelings, and I hope my son or any ones child for that matter, goes through such a horrible ordeal. We use these words so lightly and deliver our diagnosis with no real knowledge of Psychology. It is normal if a child has fear of performing in public. And it is okay if they are fearful of an interaction. We all learn from our mistakes and we as mothers should encourage our kids to move forward and MAKE mistakes… just so we can look back and measure the extent of our learning.
Try not to instill fear of negative evaluation in your child. Always explain the child what they are doing wrong instead of yelling and screaming at them. Trust me they do understand, and if not at first, eventually do respond.
Long story short, I suppose he doesn’t sweat or shake or gets scared… but he does get irritable. WHICH is super irritating for me as well sometimes when I am trying to have an adult conversation with a friend or relative. After a lot of random researching, and discussions with hubby, I was constantly pointed towards the fact that a lot of “Only children” have these symptoms. They are so used to being alone, they prefer to avoid large gatherings, or weddings or play-dates that involve too many kids. Even when I take him to the Play Area at McDonald’s or the mall, he wants me to be within sight range. I guess the children without siblings are not used to the concept of sharing so much. I just hope he grows out of it with age as a lot of mothers have said he will.