Social anxiety in children can be hard to manage and can impact their overall health over time if you don’t work towards improving it. According to the National Institute for Mental Health, social anxiety disorder is a steady fear of being watched and judged by others. If you start to notice signs that your child may suffer from social anxiety, take advantage of these tips.

1. Establish a Healthy Sleeping Environment

One of the best things that you can do for a child with anxiety is to provide them with a healthy sleeping environment and a safe place. Their rooms are often their private space, and they should be allowed to make it their own and feel comfortable while they are in there. Being able to get adequate rest in a room that is warm and equipped with the right appliances will improve their overall health. These children need mattresses that offer hypoallergenic benefits and space heaters that can keep the room warm when it feels too cold or a draft comes through. Electric space heaters add quick heat to a small space like a bedroom or small living room. This will help them calm down and increase anxiety that may be building up.

2. Familiarize the Child With Your Local Community

Your child’s health will improve as they get familiar with their local community. This includes taking a walk as a family, and walking your pet so that they have a sense of security as they get to know the area. According to a survey by Psychology Today, roughly 40% of people don’t walk their dogs often. Take advantage of this opportunity to not only get some exercise for everyone in the family but also walk with your child and let them get familiar with landmarks, paths, and the distance it takes from your house to these different areas.

3. Shift Your Focus on Progress

In the past, social anxiety was associated with children who felt the need to be perfect and always do well. As a parent, it is important to give good feedback on the effort that your child is putting into their work, sports, or extracurricular activities, instead of focusing on their scores. They need to know that they can make mistakes and learn from them instead of being afraid to make them. The goal of success is great, but their mental health will suffer if there isn’t recognition of the process that they took.

4. Embrace Coping Techniques

If your child suffers from social anxiety, they need to understand what that means and have some techniques in place to help them navigate that anxiety if they are alone or away from you when they start to have an attack. The most common technique that they can use is deep breathing, where they shut everything out of their mind and start focusing on their breaths. Teach them to inhale to five and exhale on five with deep breaths to help them naturally calm down.

Other coping techniques will include drawing or counting to a certain number. Both drawing and counting allow them to shift their focus from what is happening at the moment, which will reduce the anxiety attack and suppress it. If drawing is something that works well for your child, make sure they have paper and pencils handy in their bags. A small drawing pad that fits in smaller bags will allow them to be discreet but also embrace the technique whenever they need it.

By tackling these four techniques, you can give your child the tools they need to fight against social anxiety and maintain good mental health. Not all techniques work the same for each child, but these are some of the most commonly used, as they are easy to manage. See what works for your child and embrace that so they can move forward successfully in social situations.