Toddler scared of kids

Jennifer - posted on 09/19/2015 ( 3 moms have responded )

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Hello everyone,

My daughter is 21 months old and absolutely completely petrified of other kids. One of the first and only people we hang out with has an older daughter (3 yo kid#1) that does not play well with her. When we could go to their house if my daughter touched anything of hers kid#1 would run over and push my daughter away and take the toy. I always tried to redirect and teach my daughter to give the toy back but no matter what I do my daughter gets pushed away. Because of this my daughter is very afraid of this kid. My friend's kid likes to sit in my lap which makes my daughter cry and cry. I don't know if she is aware that it upsets my daughter or if she just does it for my attention and out of love.

I thought for a while that maybe my daughter is just shy but just the other day my friend said something to her daughter which made me consider...maybe they are a bad influence? Kid#1 took away her younger daughter's (kid#2) toy and began playing with it. My friend said at first, "Don't take her toy, you have your own." But the behavior kept repeating. Finally she said, you don't have to share with her since she isn't sharing with you. Kid#2 is 1 year old. Friend has expressed to me that kid#2 will just be average because she doesn't have time to do early childhood education stuff with them and things like that. I feel like when we are over there she tends to ignore kid#2 and favor kid#1. Because of this incident I began to wonder if she will ever encourage kid#1 to share with my daughter or play nicely or if this is just the way it is going to be.

My main concerns are as follows:

1) Is this situation contributing to my daughter's social anxiety?

2) Is this actually totally normal and I'm just crazy?

3) Should I keep reintroducing my daughter to these people even though she screams bloody murder and literally claws at the playgate of their playroom to escape when we are there? I don't really feel like severing the relationship would be easy.

This behavior extends to any child that comes near. Going to the park my daughter gets very upset and scared if she sees something she wants to play with but some other kid gets to it first. I would love love to have my daughter be able to play nicely and learn that she can also touch playground equipment when another kid is on it. I have tried clapping excitedly when other kids are playing on the same equipment and acting like a crazy happy person but she is still very upset.

Any tips are much appreciated! I don't know if this is normal or what but it isn't worth a $160 visit to the doctor's office to ask my pediatrician. :(

3 Comments

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Bratney89 - posted on 09/23/2015

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oh dang it! nice catch. I had forgotten that I left my local community group.oops. I do live in Michigan, that would be one long drive :p.

Jennifer - posted on 09/21/2015

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That is so kind Brittany! However, I don't think we live in the same state? I live in Texas and Moran Park seems to be up north somewhere :(

Bratney89 - posted on 09/20/2015

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Social anxiety is normal. I would not force your daughter to interact with the kids if she is absolutely terrified, but that is just my opinion. I feel like it is best to slowly introduce back in. My little one used to be terrified of all men (minus her father) for no real reason, but we let her be and eventually she warmed up to them. lol My daughter is 21 months as well if you want to have a playdate with just one child? We normally go to the Moran park during the day and it is usually always empty if you are open to that. My daughter is pretty petite and happy, maybe your daughter wouldn't mind her. haha. We do not play with much kids the same age, but when she is around other kids, she tends to just try to follow them. Not really a toy stealer or anything, plus we dont really bring toys to the park.

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