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  • Sam DiFranco

The Shy Child vs. The Socially Anxious Child

It is relatively common to find children clinging to their parents at a young age. Parents usually say, “He/She is a shy child.” The question is, is the child shy or do they have social anxiety? The child’s social anxiety may be misinterpreted as shyness. Here are some behaviors to look for that may point to social anxiety. The child:

-May make limited or no eye contact.

-May exhibit hypersensitivity to criticism, rejection, and disapproval.

-May need excessive reassurance of being liked or approved by others.

– May have limited or no close friendships outside of family members.

If you see some of these behaviors in your child it may be helpful if you place your child in new social settings and encourage them to interact with their peers. It would be beneficial if you help your child in the development of social skills that will help them become more comfortable with social interactions.

It may be beneficial to talk to a counselor and learn how to reinforce positive social interaction skills for your child and for the child to learn how to socialize in a way that they do not fear the interaction.

Visit to learn more about our counseling services or call 813-244-1251 to schedule an appointment with one or our great therapists today!

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