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How to Help Anxious Kids in Social Situations

Tips for helping reluctant children join in play and group activities

Debbie Weingarten’s son has been going to the same school for three years, loves his teacher and friends, and has a great time once he’s there. But the five-year-old still struggles with drop-off and often cries when Weingarten leaves. Similarly at soccer — which he enjoys — he gets overwhelmed or upset several times a practice and runs off the field.

For many kids, adjusting to social situations — whether it is a birthday party or a play date — can be challenging, even if they want to be there. Big groups of kids can be intimidating for even the most outgoing child, so for those who are sensitive or prone to anxiety it can make for a rocky transition.

“My son is a highly sensitive person, and it takes him quite a long time to feel comfortable in new situations,” explains Weingarten. “I honestly can’t think of a single new situation that has been easy for him. He’s just not that kind of kid.”

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To finish reading the full story and view the helpful tips, visit the Child Mind Institute website:

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