As a parent of a socially awkward child, you probably spend time carefully selecting what activities and resources are best suited for your child. Hopefully you’ve come to a place of accepting your child for who he or she is as a unique person. Being socially awkward in itself is not a problem to be solved; however, it is something that can lead to depression or anxiety for a child in the future, and this can inhibit your child from forming a healthy identity and high self-esteem. When you consider the lasting impact that it can have on your child if he or she is considered by peers and adults to be “socially awkward”, you’ll likely want to find the best options possible to get that extra support – and get it soon.
What does it mean to be socially awkward? For our purposes, let’s consider that there are many children who just don’t fit in with certain groups – or sometimes, any group. While there can be a variety of reasons for this, what matters is that it’s addressed in a way that allows your child to cherish his or her own individuality, and feel that it’s cherished by those close to him or her. In addition, find suitable ways for your child to connect with others so that he or she can learn and grow. If you’re reading this, you probably already know that you’ll need to think “outside the box” when it comes to finding the things that your child needs in order to be socially and emotionally healthy.
When you reach out to find a resource for your child, does it seem that all you hear is the sound of crickets chirping? Or, do you feel as though you are being bombarded with suggestions and ideas?
Finding the best support for your child for any personal or educational need that he or she has can become a much simpler process with these five tips.
1. Connect with other parents. Everyone’s experience is different, but you can learn from what another parent has gone through with his or her child. One way to make these connections is through a support group or parenting class. There may be one in your area that focuses on exactly what you and your child are going through, understanding what “socially awkward” means in your family as well as in society around you. The best support for a socially awkward child and his or her family will come from parents who have benefitted and can share their experiences with you.
2. Assess your true desires and expectations for your child. Are you spending time searching for resources that are consistent with your hopes and expectations for your child? Are your expectations reasonable? There may resources and experiences that are already available to benefit a socially awkward child, which you which you are not properly enlisting (perhaps within your child’s school or your community).
3. Assess your child’s strengths. Looking at your child’s skills and abilities (rather than weaknesses) will help you find groups and situations in which your child can flourish. Finding resources that focusing on challenging children to grow by appreciating the talent they have and accomplishments they make will allow your child’s emotional health to be a top priority. This will impact your child’s ability to function effectively in future situations, turning a period of being socially awkward into an experience of growth and possibility.
4. Identify your deepest needs and concerns. There are many types of resources out there for a socially awkward child, and providers of these resources will often provide an overwhelming amount of information about themselves, which can confuse you as you search for what you truly are looking for. If you clearly identify the deep need that you and your child have that you want to be addressed, you’ll be able to reference back to this as you sort through the available options.
5. Take a thorough inventory of your existing areas of support for your child. Is there one that you could benefit more from if you used it more consistently or to it’s full extent? Is there are current area of “support” that you actually need to break away from in order to prioritize your child’s time and energy? Before jumping into something new, be sure that you’re not stretching yourself thin with things that are not of true benefit to your child.
6. Find a professional to advocate and support your child’s mental health and personal growth. Get answers about what your child is really going through. Being socially awkward can be both a minor or a major issue depending on how this is or is not addressed in a child’s life. A private therapist has the opportunity to get to know your child personally and create a vision for your child’s wellness that will enlist child resources that are unique to your child. A relationship with a therapist is a child resource that is naturally designed to be one-of-a-kind help and support for your child. Plus, you’ll feel more grounded and supported as a parent!
This is the time to invest in your child’s future, through finding groups, activities, and individual resources that will help create a healthy foundation for future growth and healthy adjustment. As these tips suggest, taking purposeful steps toward organizing and implementing a plan that includes resources will allow you to start seeing a positive impact in your child’s life. Your child doesn’t have to be defined as socially awkward – he or she will be defined by strengths and areas of growth when you access the right support.
If you are concerned about your child’s wellbeing and psychological health, please don’t hesitate to contact me for support on how to make this process work for you.
Contact me for a free phone consultation.