Helping the Socially Awkward Child

Posted on August 29, 2014

Is your child being bullied, at school? Does your child seem to have trouble making and keeping friends? Would you describe your child as “quirky”? If yes, your child might be socially awkward. The solution is helping your child feel comfortable, in their own skin.

Why doesn’t my child fit in?

It is important to understand your child developmentally. A child’s developmental challenges can determine his/her ability to function socially. Childhood development is a complex matter.

Children with Autism Spectrum Disorder, ADHD, learning disabilities, or other neurological/emotional issues are often socially awkward. Also, children with uncommon events in their gestation, birth, and milestones, a child of neglect or trauma,  these children are unfortunately prime targets, for being bullied.

It is essential to understand what is socially normal for your child’s age. Erik Erikson and Jean Piaget made significant contributions to understanding what is considered “normal”. Every child is different, yet certain developmental goals are considered normal.

How do I help my child feel accepted?

“Fitting in” is not as important as if they “feel” accepted. Your child needs self-awareness, self-esteem, to be able to face teasing or bullying.

Consider the following:

Step 1: Help your child know they are valued.

  • Shower your child with praise.
  • Avoid criticism.
  • Create a support system of relatives, mentors, clubs, support groups, et cetera.

Step 2: Help raise social awareness, to your child.

  • Help your child understand hygiene and do the best you can, with clothing.
  • Help your child understand social cues step-by-step, using role-playing, of social situations, and exhibiting the behavior and posture that will help them feel successful.

Step 3: Help your child develop emotional security

  • Help your child create and use a “Worry Box”.
  • Help your child talk back to their social anxieties, with self-praise.

Written by: Chris Denzler, MA

Chris has helped many families with children who have social problems. If your child needs help coping with bullying or other social issues, contact him at 317-474-6448×116, or Chris@groffandassociates.com. 

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NzE6Imh0dHA6Ly9ncm9mZmFuZGFzc29jaWF0ZXMuY29tL3dwLWNvbnRlbnQvd29vX3VwbG9hZHMvMy1ncm9mZl9oZWFkZXIucG5nIjt9PC9saT48L3VsPg==