Is something wrong with my toddler who is very antisocial?

Raquel - posted on 07/21/2011 ( 5 moms have responded )




My 21 month toddler is not very social, she is actually quite shy & will throw a fit if being approached by anyone she doesn't know even kids her own age. If I take her to the park she won't even want to walk around, she would want to go from the swing straight to the stroller. If I even attempt to put her on the floor to play and interact with kids she would cry until picked up. She is also not talking. She would say "Da" to anything, she would say "wow" & "shhhhh" since she has seen her favorite cartoons say it a couple of times, but that is all. I am very concerned she is delayed & like I have failed as a mom. I am a stay at home mom & I have taken care of her always. I am one of those moms that if it's raining I won't even take her out, but I feel like confining her has affected her development. Please help, give me any feed back you guys have other than speak to the doctor which is just a typical response. Thank you in advance.


Nancy - posted on 07/21/2011




My daughter is almost 3 and just starting to move out of the parallel play stage. When we first moved she would freak out if I wasn't next to her all the time. She refused to play with other kids. I was wondering if I was raising a feral I started going to Parent & Tot classes with her and watched as she started to become comfortable with other kids and now chats with them (took almost a year). This is what I've learned;
1. Don't label your child as shy, they can hear you say it and start to seem themselves as such. You can say that they like to take their time getting to know others or that they prefer that you get down to their level (when dealing with adults)
2. They learn to socialize by watching you. Make a new friend at the park/playground. Be friendly.
3. Don't pressure a kid to play with someone. They may be content to parallel play until they are older. The key is to encourage them to be friendly when they are approached.
4. Toddlers sometime like playing with older daughter does because she wants to learn how to do things they do.
5. Keep exposing her to other kids through church, playgroups, classes, drop-in centers, anything where you can be a security blanket and gradually increase the physical distance between you and her until she comfortable playing with you being on the other side of the room. It's a long process but it helps them build the confidence to be more independent.
Good Luck!

Jenni - posted on 07/22/2011




It's a little early to tell. But I wouldn't be concerned at this point.

My son only said a few words at 22 months and then by 24 months he was saying 100s of words and learned about 5 new words a day. He started talking in short sentences and counting, as if overnight.

My step daughter sounds like your daughter socially. She was always very shy around that age and only came to family. Generally, kids don't really start playing with other kids until around 2-2.5 years. My step daughter was the same way, she would cry in social situations and become overwhelmed and clingy. But now at 4 yrs old she's become very outgoing and makes friends immediately in social settings. She usually will befriend older children and has no problem going up to them now and starting a conversation and engaging in play.

So I wouldn't worry about it too much right now, give her time. Let her warm up slowly in those situations and offer gentle encouragement.

[deleted account]

Dont feel bad, my soon to be 3 year old is the same way. I think she is just coming out of it though. the other day at the store she was sitting in the basket talking to people. She doesnt talk as good as I would like but she is coming around... I personally think all kids crawl walk talk ect when they are ready. I dont push her but when she says something I will repeat it back to her the way it should be said a couple of times and if she still hasnt gotten it I just leave it alone :) Just takes time.

Adrienne - posted on 07/21/2011




I'm a big believer in kids do things at their own pace, like talking for example. My nephew is 24 months and he doesn't say much either, he CAN he just doesn't want to! I was worried my daughter would be shy since she is my first, I'm a stay at home mom and don't have many friends with kids her age, atleast that have the same kind of parenting ideas that I have. :) I'm pretty protective of her as well, but she has always loved baby Einstein movies. She LOVES the babies and kids on there and laughs at them. She has a lot of interaction with my nieces and nephew as well so that helps her. I would suggest maybe if you don't have other kids/babies for her to get to know as friends, have her watch some baby Einstein movies and get kind of introduced to other kids that wouldn't be as intimidating. When watching the baby Einstein movies (only before nap time to relax) we talk about everything that's happening as well, maybe that will help encourage her to get talking a little more, by pointing out what everything is and asking her what the different things daughter has a very broad vocabulary for 12 months, which amazes me everyday! lol I think the baby einstein movies helped a lot with that too. She may just be a shy little girl too, which really isn't all that bad! lol Just an idea to try the movies and see if that helps anything :)


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[deleted account]

I have a 3yo who is shy. I think a lot of it stems from being at home with me all of the time. Over the past 6 months, we have finally been able to leave her with family members to be baby sat. If a person she doesn't know comments about how cute she is, or says hi to her, she will hide behind me and just peek around. I don't think there is anything wrong with being she. My other daughter was really shy too. She would turn bright red and look down at the floor. Sometimes, she would start crying. We got her in school to assist with learning to open up. It worked! Perhaps putting her into a preschool that is only 2 days a week to start will help. My older daughter went 3 days a week and they have classes for 2 days a week... Check around at different private preschools. Hope this helps!

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