Tagged: social anxiety anxiety
- This topic has 7 replies, 2 voices, and was last updated by Natasha.
August 10, 2022 at 12:11 pm #11612
(CROSS-POSTED on FB)
What do you do if you have a child who refuses to engage with strangers, and even family members?
My daughter is 9, an only child, 2E, anxiety, ADHD, lots of sensory issues.
Before the pandemic she was actually very extroverted and engaged.
She refuses to say please and thank you (this has been a lifelong struggle – she finds the words annoying and stupid and we have tried modeling, tried letting her know this will give her trouble in society if she refuses to engage in basic courtesy), refuses to answer any question posed by anyone, including her father, and actually gets angry if people ask her questions about simple things like “what flavor ice cream did you get?” Or “what did you do on your birthday last week?” Or “how was your vacation?”
This causes me so much pain and frustration – first of all, I get an earful from everyone about how badly brought up my child is and can’t I parent her properly, and then it is SO hard not to answer for her in situations and just sit there while she refuses to engage. We often do end up answering just to share the information with people who are asking.
Medication, therapy, none of it is working for this particular issue.
It IS contextual – she will engage with me, with her tutor, with her preferred peers (NOT kids she doesn’t know or like), and she will say “I hate answering stupid questions that don’t matter, or saying please and thank you it’s so fake” (!). We have tried to explain the importance of these basic things, but nothing is working. HELP.
PS she does not have PDA or ASD or other diagnoses
August 10, 2022 at 2:08 pm #11613
I guess the first question is – do you feel her answers are true? She says saying please and thank you are “annoying and stupid” as well as “fake.” She says she doesn’t answer people’s questions because “I hate answering stupid questions that don’t matter.”
Those aren’t the responses of someone whose behaviors are driven by social anxiety or selective mutism. So either there is something more underneath or it is more of a true annoyance to her and is less about anxiety?
August 10, 2022 at 4:52 pm #11614
Yeah, I mean…I feel they ARE true. I tried to engage with her more deeply about it after I posted and this is as far as I got – she LOVES loves loves answering trivia questions. She had zero problems in school with being questioned or quizzed, etc…it is the more open-ended, personal questions, “small talk” that she despises. “How was your day?” Will send her into an abject meltdown! Growling, crying, anger, etc…!?!?!? I mean, it’s a lot. It’s weird. It’s frustrating. It’s alienating for her father and other family members and friends. It’s really hard to deal with :'(
August 11, 2022 at 8:29 am #11617
From how you are describing it that doesn’t sound like an anxiety issue, more of a behavioral struggle?
August 11, 2022 at 9:33 am #11624
But no one seems to know how to address it? All the therapists say it is social anxiety :/
She also has ADHD with emotional dysregulation.
It’s impossible to talk about it as she just gets too upset.
Never experienced anything like this. It’s so frustrating and humiliating and people just accuse me of being a bad parent (!!!).
August 11, 2022 at 9:57 am #11625
From the brief things you’ve shared about her it seems like unless it’s her idea she is resistant. I wonder if you can try to help her see that others will take it as rude and it will impact her relationships? It seems like getting her to see why it is worth the buy in might be the approach – if she’ll even let you discuss it.
August 11, 2022 at 4:31 pm #11628
We have tried – we have explained why people say Please and Thank You (to show gratitude and appreciation!), we have explained why people ask personal questions (to connect!!), but it literally somehow triggers her and sends her into some sort of spiral. That is what makes me think it is anxiety-related. My own therapist believes it is social anxiety and so does her psychiatrist. SIGHHHHHHHHHHHHH. We had a lengthy discussion about it last night but got nowhere. She just shut down. I just have NO idea how to proceed except I guess she will learn the hard way when no one wants to be friends with her???
At least at school she seems to do OK! She doesn’t resist teachers asking her questions, as they are generally not personal. but other kids can be an issue :/
August 11, 2022 at 4:48 pm #11629
Sometimes the only motivation comes from natural consequences unfortunately 😢.
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