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One day I hope to be lucky enough to have children. But one thing is for sure, if I do, I will be very involved in their lives and make sure they are developing socially. I'll make sure they're involved in social groups in and out of school. I'll talk to their teachers to make sure they are interacting and participating.

I thought about writing this thread after attending my nephew's kindergarten graduation today. I hadn't been around a grade school for a long time, so being there brought back memories of my own childhood. I sat there watching all these little boys and girls, thinking of where "my" niche would be in that group if I were that age again. I was actually flashing back to many of the insecure terrified feelings I had when I was in Kindergarten. But today it was so interesting to see them all: the outgoing ones, the attention seekers, and of course the shy ones. It all seems so clear watching them, you can see all those little personalities starting to form, the way they interact with each other and their teachers. It's like a dress rehearsal for the rest of their lives. Not to say that personalities won't change and evolve, but that's when the warning signs start, at least mine did.

In fact, there were warning signs my entire life for SA. Problem is, I don't think anyone knew such a terrible thing as SA even existed. My parents and teachers probably just shrugged off my behavior as shyness or lack of confidence. I did have one teacher in eighth grade send me to the school pyschologist to try to find out why I was so withdrawn, but I didn't know, and they obviously didn't either, so it was a waste of time.

But I do think SA can be genetic. My grandfather on my mothers side was a quiet man. And even my mom seems to get anxious in social situations (even though she's good at interacting). So if there's any chance this can be passed down to my kids, I will fight like hell to make sure they don't go through what I've been through in my life. I won't control them, I won't make decisions for them, but I will definetely push them to get involved and develop socially.

If there is one good thing that can come out of what I've endured all these years, its that I'm an expert on the subject, I know what to look for, and this should be one problem my kids won't have to experience.
 

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I wouldn't want to push my kids too hard, but I would do my best to encourage them to have a better social life than I have had.
 

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I won't have children because of my SA along with all my other "issues"
 

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I can't have children due to medical issues but I do have hopes of adoption once my SA is under control and I can obtain employment and become financially secure.
It scares the crap out of me that I may project my issues onto my child. I don't want them to be like me.
But I wouldn't adopt until I felt sure that my SA is under control enough that I could properly care for the child.
 

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I agree with the OP that is has a gentic component. All my siblings are shy as well, as are my parents.
 

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I wouldn't want to push my kids too hard, but I would do my best to encourage them to have a better social life than I have had.
I may have misinterpreted this when I first clicked to quote you. I first interpreted your quote to mean *academically* you wouldn't push your kids too hard, which is what I hope not to do as well.

The original post is such a good question. I'm sure there is a genetic component to it, since I see a lot of anxiety in social situations from my mom in particular, and just a lot of avoidance with my dad. Then again, it could simply be that this way of acting and being is what I observed, so I took on their mannerisms.

In any case, I have a son now, and instead of acting as if academic success is the only thing that matters, I hope that I teach my son and future children that of course academic success is important, but so are social connections. I certainly want my children to be independent, but my parents devalued the importance of "fitting in" and I think that was to my detriment. I hope I teach my kids that its nice to fit in, but it's also important to cultivate a sense of self outside the group.
 

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I will be approachable, and encourage my children to talk to me if they have problems. I will assure them that I will discuss things through with them, and that we can come up with a solution together. I wouldn't insult them, I'll consider what they tell me instead of shoot all of their ideas down, and I'll allow them to become more independent when the time comes, but that's not to say I'll let them do whatever they want. I want them to feel supported and loved, but not spoiled.
 

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One day I hope to be lucky enough to have children. But one thing is for sure, if I do, I will be very involved in their lives and make sure they are developing socially. I'll make sure they're involved in social groups in and out of school. I'll talk to their teachers to make sure they are interacting and participating.

If there is one good thing that can come out of what I've endured all these years, its that I'm an expert on the subject, I know what to look for, and this should be one problem my kids won't have to experience.
SA undoubtedly has a genetic component. It was certainly the cause in my life. When you mention keeping your children actively involved in school and other activities, should you have some, be very careful you do not end pressuring them to do things that they are scared to do. I guess I am saying this more to people in general than you in particular Jeff, but that pressure could equally reinforce SA's existence in the life of a child. The best way, it seems, to interact with children who have SA, is to be very calm, gentle, reassuring, and praise any attempts, no matter how small, that they make at interaction. Good intentions can be made that still have disastrous results; a good plan is required in order to carry out those good intentions. I'm not criticizing, but I am just encouraging people to think things through before they actually do them.
 

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I understand your sentiment. My children are being raised with my SA . . . pretty hard to get around that. None of them have SA themselves, but that's no thanks to me -- just luck. They have three very different personalities. Each, like most of us, has strengths and weaknesses. I think to encourage the positive in any child is important and to support them in their weakness is essential as well. As far as being able to prevent them from having specific weaknesses and difficulties, social problems or any other problem, I don't think that's wholly possible. I know as a child, it would have been very traumatic for me had I been pushed very far. Normal expectations, like attending school, were difficult enough for me. I personally don't feel that there was much my parents could have done. They were my security though, and I knew I was loved. Without that I could be far worse off today. My kids sometimes speak up for me, and don't question too much why I don't speak up for myself. It's not something I'm proud of, but I may have inadvertently made them a bit braver being as how they are pretty much forced to speak up for themselves if they want something because in most cases I won't do it for them. One of my children is so outgoing and outspoken, I try to get her to tone it down a bit sometimes. To no avail thus far; same as no one could have forced me to be something I wasn't. If I didn't have SA, my kids would have different experiences growing up, but who is to say if they'd be better or worse off. I have some positive traits as a result of it as well, and they reap the benefits of that just as they endure the not so positive stuff. It's natural to want to spare your children any pain, but it's nearly impossible, and horrible as it may be in the moment, sometimes that's what helps mold our characters and makes us better people. My kids don't have SA, but having one grown kid, I believe almost everyone at some point is going to suffer either due to their own weaknesses or someone else's and about all you can do is give them enough love and security that they'll be able to pull through a better person rather than a bitter person.
 

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My dad and mom tried to make me more social because they both had either SA or at least problems fitting in. They did more damage. My dad especially since he tried to force me into doing things that he never liked doing and I didn't like doing. Every time someone tried to set it up so that I had to do something I'd resist doing it even more. If I'd just been treated normally I probably would have come out a bit better than I did. If someone had actually been supportive and understanding I might not even have SA. Instead they tried to force me until I completely withdrew and then they gave up and left me that way. One of the main things that has helped me get over SA is the rule that I won't do anything I don't want to do. I won't do things just because I should or because it would make me more social. I will only do things because I actually want to be able to do those things or I really do want the results. Not because other people can or think I should be able to. It took a lot of pressure off and got rid of a lot of anxiety to think that way.
 

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When talking to my therapist, we went through several sessions about being raised in a secluded environment, not being allowed to play with the other kids when I was away from school, or do sleep overs or get involved socially in highschool, like school dances. And while it was easy to lay blame on all that on my parents he said that studies of SA were showing more and more that SA has little to do with how you were raised, but more with where you got your genes from. Seemed so fatalistic at the time, but made me quickly realize that I was wasting my energy blaming my parents.

But when I finally do have kids, I will have the strongest emotional support system possible and ready for them. And I will try with all my heart to dispel the notion that seeking psychological help is taboo, so that if need be they can get help early in their youth.
 

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Discussion Starter · #12 ·
SA undoubtedly has a genetic component. It was certainly the cause in my life. When you mention keeping your children actively involved in school and other activities, should you have some, be very careful you do not end pressuring them to do things that they are scared to do. I guess I am saying this more to people in general than you in particular Jeff, but that pressure could equally reinforce SA's existence in the life of a child. The best way, it seems, to interact with children who have SA, is to be very calm, gentle, reassuring, and praise any attempts, no matter how small, that they make at interaction. Good intentions can be made that still have disastrous results; a good plan is required in order to carry out those good intentions. I'm not criticizing, but I am just encouraging people to think things through before they actually do them.
I hear what you're saying Dan, but as I said in the bottom of my post, my intention would never be to control what they do or make decisions for them. I probably should have prefaced my post with that. I will say that I just don't completely agree with your assessment of what is best for children with SA. The biggest challenge for a parent of a child with SA is identifying the symptoms in the first place. I think its very easy for those of us with SA to fall through the cracks, to get labeled as shy. For those of us with SA, we learn at a very young age how to avoid attention, even to the extent of not drawing the attention of someone who may want to help us by encouraging us to join this or join that, or talk to so and so about things. The average parent would have a hard time picking up on the clues.

If you have strong suspicions your child may have SA, I don't think you can simply encourage them to socialize or join a group, to praise their efforts, be there for them, and then hope that everything turns out ok. My parents did all those things for me, but I learned what to say and how to act to keep them off my back to avoid the attention.
Of course those are all good things and any parent should use them as a starting point. But SA requires a more involved approach, and I think that starts with really communicating with your child, and others in your child's life. And like said, let them make their own decisions, but don't turn a blind eye either.

The point of my post wasn't to say "hey, go throw your kids into boot camp if their shy amd control their every move". I was really just getting at the idea that we as parents with SA will have the opportunity to identify this problem at an early age and save our kids from a life of misery, and that's one thing we SA'rs can feel good about.
 

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My sa didn't start to affect me until middle school and later, so I really didn't want my parents to intrude in my life at that time. I guess I'll have to keep that in mind when my kids are around that age and take a different approach, but not be overbearing or forceful.
 

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If you have strong suspicions your child may have SA, I don't think you can simply encourage them to socialize or join a group, to praise their efforts, be there for them, and then hope that everything turns out ok.
Actually that would have been pretty perfect for me. My problems were greatly increased by parents that didn't just praise and encourage but kept pushing to do more. A simple good job or it's ok would have gone a long way. Most people with SA withdraw because they don't want to face a mistake or negative consequences. If there are only good consequences even when you don't do something perfect there's no reason to be anxious. Praise and encouragement even when an attempt does not meet complete success is probably one of the most important things you can do to help someone with SA.
 

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I am not having children. I can't hardly take care of myself. I wouldn't even have them if I could due to there is not much of a future for them.
 

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Discussion Starter · #16 ·
Actually that would have been pretty perfect for me. My problems were greatly increased by parents that didn't just praise and encourage but kept pushing to do more. A simple good job or it's ok would have gone a long way. Most people with SA withdraw because they don't want to face a mistake or negative consequences. If there are only good consequences even when you don't do something perfect there's no reason to be anxious. Praise and encouragement even when an attempt does not meet complete success is probably one of the most important things you can do to help someone with SA.
Interesting. Because my parents didn't push me at all. In fact, they were very supportive and didn't meddle in my life. Yet I've had devastating SA most of my life.

My post wasn't meant to suggest "pushing" as much as "identifying". Perhaps I should go back and rewrite the post lol
 

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I can relate so much. When my nephew graduated from kindergarten a few years back, I totally took a trip into my past and could clearly see myself in kindergarten. I watched my nephew interact with all the kids (he'd ask me if he could go talk to so and so or go play with whoever and I let him) and it made me happy, but also kind of sad because I remember that I wasn't very social, even then. Most of the time, I'd be sitting on the tree that was at the edge of the playground and watch everyone else play.

I don't think SA runs in my family, so I'm okay there. No one else seem to be socially anxious, I think it's just me.
If I have kids, and I hope I will, I will definitely make an effort to see that they are getting the proper socialization(if they're asked to parties or sleepovers, I'll let them go, provided I know something about the parents and such), but I certainly won't push it on them. I'll gently encourage them instead of not really paying attention at all, like my own mother. I think if she wouldn't have been so, I don't know, afraid to let me socialize or whatever the problem was, I probably wouldn't have such bad anxiety. There have been times in the past where I'd want to be social and go out with people I sort of knew, but she wouldn't let me, so that passed and I wasn't interested anymore. Now, I'm not interested in it at all, and being social scares me. Working on it, though, but it's kind of hard at my age. I just don't want my kids to have to deal with it the way I have. That would depress me.

When talking to my therapist, we went through several sessions about being raised in a secluded environment, not being allowed to play with the other kids when I was away from school, or do sleep overs or get involved socially in highschool, like school dances. And while it was easy to lay blame on all that on my parents he said that studies of SA were showing more and more that SA has little to do with how you were raised, but more with where you got your genes from. Seemed so fatalistic at the time, but made me quickly realize that I was wasting my energy blaming my parents.

But when I finally do have kids, I will have the strongest emotional support system possible and ready for them. And I will try with all my heart to dispel the notion that seeking psychological help is taboo, so that if need be they can get help early in their youth.
Interesting information, but somehow I do think it has something to do with how you were raised, as in if it gets worse, or better, or stays the same.
 

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If there is one good thing that can come out of what I've endured all these years, its that I'm an expert on the subject, I know what to look for, and this should be one problem my kids won't have to experience.
Yeah, I think people who have gone through this would be much more understanding parents for shy children than people who have never experienced SA.
At every parent teacher conference, my teacher told my parents how I wasn't interacting with other kids, and that making friends should be my goal for the next trimester. My parents were just mad at me afterwards, as if I was being a bad kid ("she punched a girl at recess again!") They probably thought I wasn't making friends out of laziness or spite towards them.
I'm not going to have kids but if I did, I'd try my best to help them avoid following the path that I did. Friends are a must. I could never ground them (for punishment, lol); I'd want them to have as many social interactions as possible.
 

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Interesting. Because my parents didn't push me at all. In fact, they were very supportive and didn't meddle in my life. Yet I've had devastating SA most of my life.

My post wasn't meant to suggest "pushing" as much as "identifying". Perhaps I should go back and rewrite the post lol
That is interesting, and surprising. I feel like my parents praised me when I achieved, and perhaps most significantly, were critical when I was not successful. This definitely inhibited me and has led to a lifetime of largely trying to stick to what is known and familiar, rather than taking risks with something new.
 

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I wouldn't want to push my kids too hard, but I would do my best to encourage them to have a better social life than I have had.
+1 pushing them too hard can have side affects such as mixing with the wrong people - the ones who listen to rap music at max volume on the bus
 
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