Dear David: How do I help my daughters deal with their social anxiety?


Teenage girl on her way to school going out her front door. We see her from behind going out the door and holding it open. She is wearing a back pack and a denim jacket. Shot from the knees up.

Melanie Acevedo/Getty Images

Thank you to everyone who proposed questions for my new evidence-based advice column. This time, I am responding to a reader who is concerned about his daughters’ social anxiety. “For one of them, this is so high that she feels unable to ever start a conversation with someone outside of the immediate family,” he tells me. How can he help?

It is a major dilemma for many parents. Social anxiety affects adults and children alike, but it seems to be especially problematic in the second decade of life, with the US National Institute of Mental Health estimating that around…

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