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Dr. Phil, MD
Dr. Phil, MD, Board Certified Physician
Category: Medical
Satisfied Customers: 58756
Experience:  GP in the United States
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Hello, I have a 4.5yr old daughter who seems to be going through

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Hello, I have a 4.5yr old daughter who seems to be going through some form of social anxiety/phobia, but I am not sure how serious it is or whether it is something she will grow out of or needs help with.

She is an only child and has always been hesitant in public situations but used to warm up and was able to show her true personality, which is a very articulate and quick witted, generally easy going little girl. But now, her behaviour is just becoming increasingly inconsistent and she ends up looking blank or not interested in public situations. Though when she comes home, she will talk about the events though not why she was so withdrawn - when asked she says, 'I don't know'.

I used to think she was shy (as I was at the age - and still am to a certain extent). Her kindergarten teachers have been very good in not pushing her to do anything she is not comfortable with but still encouraging her to give something a go sometimes. They are hoping she will grow out of it but I am not so sure as she is 'freezing up' more often now.

She seems to freeze up/get upset in selective situations eg. friends' birthday parties (though she knows all the children and looks forward to going - we end up having to stay and hold her hand the whole time), group activities/dance performances (though she says she enjoys the classes and we have been told she is above average in her ability to focus for a child of this age), play dates/meeting new children and their parents (she doesn't really warm up to any new child now other than the ones she made in the early stages of starting at kindergarten, but will talk quite confidently on a one to one with the parents, who comment on how articulate she is).

Can you help me identify if she needs help or if this is just a phase of shyness that she will grow out of. Or am I just being a over the top?

Thank you!
Hello. I'm Dr. Phil, licensed and practicing internist. Excellent service is my goal.

Thanks for this question

Is everything okay at the house with you and her father?
Customer: replied 4 years ago.



Yes, I do believe everything is fine with us. The only situation we have at the moment is that her grand mother (father's mother) has pancreatic cancer and was diagnosed before Christmas. We have tried to not talk about it in front of her but I am not sure if she has overheard. I don't really think she understands. She does ask about her grand mother and talks to her normally when she sees her. So I don't think this is affecting her?

Thank you for this reply and I'm sorry about my late reply

This could be the cause Rajini

Children are very conscious of these things and this might be bothering her.

I suggest you have an open discussion with her including a therapist and see if there is anything wrong

It could just be her coming into her own self but it seems like a rather sudden change

I suspect she is fine though

I hope this helps.

If you have more questions, just reply. :)
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