You might notice that your gregarious child has suddenly started avoiding going to functions or places where they will have to meet new people. Now that your child has started understanding that they are their own individual selves, separate from their parents, they also feel that they will have to perform as individuals. This can be a cause of great stress and anxiety for the child.
What you need to know
They are yet not sure how they will be perceived and accepted. Their self-esteem is greatly shattered whenever they feel that they are not being noticed.
Anxiety for the unknown is a natural tendency for all human beings. Children who are yet unfamiliar with a lot of things of the world are more anxious when faced by new things, people and experiences. The natural tendency for them is to avoid such situations.
What you can do
To avoid such situations, the easiest way for them is to refuse meeting new people. It is natural for all children this age to feel shy, but if your child is avoiding making new friends, trying out for the team etc then this can be a cause of concern for parents. Studies have shown that parents can play a huge role in helping the child overcome the anxiety and avoidance behaviour. Children need to be gradually exposed to their source of fear but avoid being too pushy.