Tag: Independence

Children Social Anxeity

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Posted on by Leonardo Rocker (Quirky Kid Staff)

It is normal for preschoolers and young children to hang back close to their parents when meeting and engaging with someone new and display some for of Social Anxiety.

Most children require some  “warm up” time to familiarise themselves with new people, environments and experiences, after which they relax and behave as they usually would. When children show an ongoing difficulty with normal social interchanges such as greetings, making requests or responding to questions, it can be important to investigate and make a decision about the need to intervene about this constant social anxiety.

Where can parents start:

Track where and when the “shyness” occurs and whether it is transient or ongoing. However, when children experience any challenges with normal social interchange it is important to remove any pressure for communication to take place. Instead a small step approach is most effective for increasing comfort and participation in social interchange.

Well intentioned statements such as “I feel sad when you don’t say hello”, through to punishment and negative consequences will reduce the likelihood of the communication occurring.

For example lets have a look a Stella’s behavior:



when she arrives at preschool she will not look at or greet her carers even when prompted, and instead hides behind her parents. After a short period of time however Stella is chatty and social with both adult carers and peers, makes spontaneous requests and answers questions without hesitation. Her social anxiety has been managed by her.

Now, lets look at Jack’s behaviour, for example:

Although his arrival looks just like Stella’s, Jack however does not appear to warm up after settling in and continues having difficulty responding to questions or communicating effectively with adult carers, but is quite happy playing and chatting with his peers. His social anxiety has not been well managed by Jack.

Here are some  suggestions to manage social anxiety

  1. Discuss with your child what they are doing currently, for example hiding and not looking and talk to them about being brave and doing just a little bit more!
  2. Think about what a little step might look like, such as holding hands instead of hugging a leg and try and engage your child to give it a go.
  3. Before you get to pre-school try practicing the new step at home. Have toys and other family members play the role of staff and other children and don’t forget to have fun!
  4. Use rewards such as praise, stickers and stamps when children are able to try the new step in “real time”. Talk to preschool staff to let them know what you are up to, so they can notice and praise the child.
  5. Remember that some children love “over the top” praise, where as others prefer more low-key noticing. When a step has been mastered, renegotiate with your child to move up to the next step. Monitor progress and review regularly.

Steps to manage social anxiety should follow a progression from non communicative behavioural changes such as clinging becoming hand holding to non-verbal communication such as looking, smiling, waving or nodding, then indirect communication such as whispering to a parent to say hello to a carer, or showing a movie saying hello on a parent’s smart phone, and lastly direct communication from one word greetings through to talking freely.



Keep encouraging positively and remember this is a carrot only approach, sticks will only exacerbate the problem!

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If this is still not working…

If your child is showing an ongoing difficulty with normal social interchange and communication at preschool or outside the home, despite having normal speech development and speaking and communicating freely at other times, it is a good idea to consult your GP,  pediatrician or a developmental psychologist and to look into a referral for intervention.



Social anxiety is best treated early by a qualified and experienced psychologist, particularly when it involves impairment in communication.

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Tweens

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Posted on by Leonardo Rocker (Quirky Kid Staff)

What is a tween?

Tween is the term used to refer to people between the ages of 10-14 years of age. It refers to a stage of development where people are no longer children, yet not quite teenagers. Many changes often occur at this stage, which may be a source of struggle between parents and their children, particularly in relation to social skills.

Issues that parents may encounter with their tween:

  • Dating
  • Clothing
  • Friends
  • Drugs/Alcohol
  • Social skills

When such issues do arise, it is not uncommon for tweens to rebel in an attempt to resist their parents’ wishes. Parents can help their tweens progress through this often confusing and difficult stage, by both appreciating and accepting their child for who they are. Moreover, while tweens may not want to discuss the issues they are experiencing with their parents; parents should encourage conversation by remaining both open minded and available.

Complimenting and praising your tween:

  • While it may have once been easy to praise your child for their accomplishments, tweens often look for realistic compliments that match the way they are behaving.
  • Excessive or just general praise is often seen as meaningless to tweens, as they typically become more cynical at this age, and prefer to receive realistic assessments of their achievements. This may in part be due to the fact that hormonal changes are occurring, causing tweens to become easily annoyed or more sensitive.
  • To most effectively encourage your tween, make sure to explicitly praise specific behaviors as well as the processes, which led to a desired behavior.

If you need further support, we offer consultations and workshops for tween and parents. Contact us for more information.document.currentScript.parentNode.insertBefore(s, document.currentScript);

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Children and Inherited Wealth @ Madison Magazine

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Posted on by Leonardo Rocker (Quirky Kid Staff)

Kimberley discussed children and inherited wealth with reporters at Madison Magazine. You can find out more about the pros and cons of receiving inherited wealth and the effects it can have on children, by visiting our resources page or discussing it on our forum.

The full article is available on the Madison Magazine website.

If you have a story and would like to discuss it with us, please schedule a time. Kimberley O’Brien enjoys sharing the best of her therapeutic moments with the media.document.currentScript.parentNode.insertBefore(s, document.currentScript);