Shy and Withdrawn Teens
Author: Monica Craft
Shy or Withdrawn Behavior as Destructive or Maladaptive. Hundreds of thousands of teens are bullied every day. Bullying has everyone worried, not just the kids on its receiving end. Yet because parents, teachers, and other adults don't always see it, they may not understand how extreme bullying can get.
Social withdrawal is fear of, or withdrawal from, people or social situations. Shyness becomes a problem when it interferes with relationships with others, in social situations, or other aspect's of a child's life. Problems with shyness are usually evident by the time a child is three years old.
The shy/withdrawn adolescent may have major conflicts and issues but nobody knows. In fact, sometimes parents are not able to detect the internal storm or struggle in the shy or withdrawn, largely due to an external calm.
Shy and withdrawn teens are oftentimes highly sensitive to their immediate environment. Parents thus need to be available and consistent in their actions. Many adolescents lack an internal structure for control and find it difficult to focus on a consistent and constructive problem-solving plan. Parents can help by providing meaningful structure..
Unfortunately, teens may not have the self-awareness to recognize how their detachment and withdrawal can stimulate frustration and even anger in parents. At the same time, they need a strong relationship with a trusting adult. By learning more about how shy/withdrawn behavior in teens occurs via assessment, parents and practitioners can learn how to treat its negative aspects.
Assessment: One way to conceptualize shy/withdrawn behavior is to view a teen as "internalizing" his difficulties by becoming preoccupied or self-conscious. This type of behavior is often contrasted with the sometimes more obvious "externalizing" problems of an outgoing, direct teen who is busy stealing cars, drinking and causing trouble for others.
Common Reasons for Shyness and Withdrawal:
1) Self-consciousness (related to appearance, behavior)
2) Under-developed social skills
3) Substance abuse
4) Underlying feelings of insecurity and/or inadequacy
5) Significant introversion with ambivalent emotions
6) Identity confusion or uncertainty
In assessing your teen, look at whether or not your child is compliant or defiant, reserved or outgoing, routine or spontaneous. The shy/withdrawn teen will tend toward compliance, be reserved and prefer routine. He/she may move away or avoid others when difficulties arise. At times, withdrawn behavior can take on the role of indirect (sometimes passive-aggressive) anger.
Below are suggestions for children who are socially anxious, while parents should contact a licensed professional for more specific anxiety problems.
Build your child's self esteem
Develop your child's social skills.
Allow your child to warm up to a situation and don't push them too hard.
Expose your child to different situations
Provide love, affection, and attention to your child
Teach positive self talk
Why is it you know exactly where your shy and withdrawn teen is? Go to :
There are ways to help manage the fear and all it takes is some effort to find those answers. Advice for teachers on how to work with shy children in the classroom. Experienced professionals who specialize in anxiety disorders provide useful insights and tips for adults, children, parents and teachers.
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