Toddlers

Is your child socially anxious & prohibits eating happily?

Does your child ask repeatedly what’s for dinner when you are heading to a wedding?

Is he preoccupied with the menu on the way to friend’s birthday?

Is your child anxious in social gatherings?

The need to know what will be served in his next meals is natural for a child.

In the past, your child might have arrived home hungry from a playdate or a party, as there were no safe foods to eat. Children may even ask to skip family gatherings and social functions to avoid this stress. Or they completely shut down their eating and just sticks with you.

Do you relate?

It can be painful to watch your child struggle in should-be-fun settings, but there are a few strategies — paired with a good dose of patience — that experts and fellow parents have found to be helpful. I am so happy to share with you today. Why? A good VALID reason!

Because I have simply raised a socially anxious child to a thriving eater in gatherings. I ensure you to make my ways to be your ways now.

Adjust Expectations!!

If difficulty in social situations has become a pattern at your home, it’s important to accept that this is part of your child’s personality, not a deficiency. Your children are as sweet as Christmas mornings.

Understand and try to ease this social anxiety in your child. These phrases may help :

‘We will find something you can eat’

‘I believe that you will find something you can eat. I called them ahead, they are having cake & pizza and few more of your choice’

‘We’ll eat at home after the party, so it’s okay if there’s nothing you want to eat there’

Break it down 

Once you understand that your child has social anxiety, sit down and figure out what might be challenging for him? Is that he is not comfortable with the surrounding, or being in a big crowd or not having safe foods for him (food which he likes). From there, start making PLANS.

Learning  is power

One of the most effective things you can do for your child is to arm her with all knowledge about the event. Tell the child where it will be, who will be there and what might happen.

 Role modelling & scripting are all excellent tools for the socially anxious kid. 

Related: 11 lesser known reasons why kids won’t eat 

Take baby steps and praise 

Many kids will want to hang back for a while to observe before actively participating.  Encourage her to take little steps out of her comfort zone, like starting out watching the other kids, then maybe moving closer, then playing nearby to the kids, then eventually actually playing with them.

Find a Buddy 

A lot of kids want to go to sports practice for example, but only if they know someone who goes there,” which is okay. Look for common ground. For example, finding another kid with similar sneakers, or a favourite character on their shirt. After doing this for a while, the child starts doing it on his own, just help is required.

Reassuring your child that he won’t go hungry or won’t be alone helps his anxiety. Enjoying the social scene is goal for now – though sometimes your child may surprise you and try new things away from home !

What did I do?

  1. I PREPARE them. The simple mantra which always worked for me for my kids. Though I am not a party lover but tend to attend many due to many reasons( don’t ask). I fibrously feed my two little human beings with dinner or a big snack before they leave home. Well, balanced nutrition is my priority for them especially  when I know they will be off track while partying.
  2. The menu is PREDICTABLE to them. Another sure shot way to breathe and being joyful at gatherings and even at our resort stays is to make the place, menu predictable to them. Our focus remains on JOY instead of eating before it finishes, anywhere they go.

Do you know a child who is socially anxious and hides behind, or you have your own, reassure that you are there for him?

Do share your comments if you like it or share it with those if you have a tiny one around!

Happy Partying!!