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Social Anxiety in a Toddler?

Is Jersey Really Just Shy or Could It be Anxiety?

Jersey is shy. We have all seen evidence of this as we have watched him grow up. At only two-years-old, we are starting to see that, while he’s a rambunctious little guy, when he is in front of strangers or large groups of people, he tends to clam up and get nervous. We think that he may be experiencing some social anxiety/


We aren’t overly worried about the anxiety but it does make us pause and consider why Jersey reacts like this. Honestly, I think he gets it from me- this is Justin writing. Ami is so outgoing and fearless and so are the girls, but Jersey has introverted tendencies and I can’t help but see some of myself in my son. 

Hear Me Out…

I know that some of you may be thinking “Um, Justin, you definitely aren’t introverted. Have you watched your own videos?” I think what most people fail to consider is that when we are filming, we are rarely in situations where I have to interact with a bunch of people that I don’t know.

I like my alone time and I would much rather spend my days with only my family and keep the world at a distance. Not because I have issues with people, but because at the end of the day, I am an introvert. I really enjoy working with people, just for short periods of time and I want to focus on work. It’s just who I am. 

I think that this is also why I enjoy being a photographer. Observing people and taking in my surroundings without the pressure of too much social interaction is ideal. I have noticed this in Jersey. When we are in new situations, it takes him quite some time to warm up and actually participate. 

You May Have Noticed His Anxiety Before.

If you have seen our video about the Hot Wheels trip or the State Fair, you can see that the little man would rather observe from a distance until he can be sure that what we are doing, he is going to be comfortable with. 

I took him to a gymnastics class this week and if you watch the video that we made, you can see that it is an effort to get him to participate because there are so many eyes on him. It’s just a reminder that Jersey is a little different than our girls and there is nothing wrong with that.

In my own experience growing up as a person with social anxiety, I can see that my son may have some of the same struggles that I have had, and more than anything, I want him to know that there is no judgment in those hard times and that he is not alone.

I Want to Try Something!

Having anxiety is nothing to be ashamed of and it’s more common than we are led to believe. So, I want to do something special. So Jersey can look back on this one day and find encouragement, or others just like him, I am going to ask that we all take a few moments in the comments and share our experiences with anxiety and how we have found encouragement along the way. I want this to be a positive space where we can find community with each other. 

So, drop a comment with your experiences and maybe some encouragement for those who won’t find it elsewhere. Feel free to share this blog with someone who needs to know that they have people they can talk to! 
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  • Gracie
    October 27, 2020

    Social Anxiety & Shyness can be helped (not necessarily cured) with bits of encouragement & positive interactions & experiences. Encourage his self-confidence. Please don’t push him into situations he’s not comfortable with. Please don’t rush him into conformity. If given a wide berth, he can choose (yay or nay) to venture there on his own. Shyness isn’t a negative, but rather a positive. He’ll exercise his own judgments & make his own decisions based upon his thoughtful observations & assessments. (As a shy person, I can relate to Jersey’s struggles & have all of my life. He’s a great little guy! Give him time. He may grow up to become your doctor, lawyer, scientist, teacher/professor, author, artist, etc.)

  • Pearl Opoku
    November 9, 2020

    All that I can say about anxiety is that its a growing processing. Once you step out there you have this notion that all eyes are on you. Waiting for you to make an error so you are used as a laughing stalk. Take that’s advantage and do more public speaking. You can start with the mirror, followed by closed family or relation, church if possible. With time you develop this boldness and get rid of all the anxiety. By then all mistakes would have been corrected

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