My Young Child is Having Anxiety, How Can I Help?

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Because a 7-year-old having social anxiety.
One of the core things that we, uh, quickly recognize is
that's pretty young to have social anxiety.
Now, is it, uh,
is the child more introverted than extroverted?
Uh, what is the language that the child shows
that lets you know that they have social anxiety?
And so these are things, excuse me, these are things
that you need to observe.
So social anxiety is the fear of being with other people.
It's the anticipation that people are gonna reject me,
that I don't fit, that I don't belong.
Are there experiences that they've had that escalate
that, that those fears?
Or are there other things going on in the background
that we simply don't know?
For example, did they have a bad experience at school?
Did somebody make fun of 'em? Did they get bullied?
All of these things are relevant in this equation
as we look at social anxiety.
Now, if none of those things are there, then we start
to also look at things like in our family.
Uh, anxiety is something that we can genetically inherit
and be passed down from generation to generation.
And if you would like a reference for that, uh,
it didn't start with you speaks to cellular memories
that we can pass down from generation to generation for up
to three or four generations.
So we have to be clear on, it's not one thing
that's triggering social anxiety.
There are multiple things,
but the, interestingly enough, the solution,
which is fascinating to me, is a very similar thing.
Earlier I started talking about
that we're in this fight or flight response.
If we can help our children learn to relax their body
in various situations
or circumstances, then what's actually happening is they
feel more in control of their emotions
and their expressions of emotions.
So things like a mindful breathing exercise,
helping your child with, um,
what I would say maybe a play date with those peers
with whom they feel safe.
All of these things are trying to get your child exposed
to other experiences that help combat those fears
of being around other people.
So a neighbor, a friend, talk with a friend
of yours if they have similar children, similar ages, uh,
uh, because what we know is,
and this is really interesting research for many,
many years ago, we can actually turn our genetics
and how they express themselves up
or down based upon what we're experiencing.
So if I can turn gene expression up
or down, they figured this with shyness,
that you could turn it up or down
and you can find a research on that, then, then
what do we do with anxiety?
Can we turn anxiety down by experiencing, uh, a connection,
meaningful conversations Now to parents, this is something
that we really want to encourage.
We want to encourage our children
to have meaningful conversations with us.
Asking interesting questions. What did you think about this?
Encouraging their feedback. By the way, children, uh,
there there are questioning is very common
and a 7-year-old is probably really interested
asking lots of questions.
Mom, dad, mom, dad, what about this?
Did you know the moon had did this? And why does it do that?
And why do the stars fall? And why do
And why do and why do.
And what happens is they can overwhelm us
because we don't know the answers.
But what would happen if we said, okay,
we're gonna try and experiment.
Let's go over to our friend
and let's use the internet for our benefit.
Why do stars do this? Why does this happen?
Now we're spending time with them.
They're recognizing their curiosity
and their curiosity is beneficial for them.
So my long answer
to your question is we wanna have social experiences.
We wanna recognize our genetic history
because if we have anxiety, that doesn't mean
that we can't do anything about it.
It means that we have to spend a little bit
of extra energy helping our children adjust
to their anxious feelings and ways that we do that.
Mindfulness exercises.
I have children who have had anxiety
and it's not uncommon for me to be up by their, uh, head
and just put my head up there and hum.
There's something about the humming
that actually sends a message to the central vagal, uh,
vagus inside of all of us,
which actually helps us feel relaxed.
If you want an experience with that, try the basic exercise.
Just type in the basic exercise on Google
and you will come up with Stanley Rosenblatt,
uh, I think that's his name.
And he has a really interesting simple three minute exercise
that is very helpful in helping reduce anxiety.
Alright, so those are just a few thoughts
that I have on this question.

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Dr. Kevin Skinner