Making Strange :(

Tara - posted on 09/07/2010 ( 23 moms have responded )




My son is 1 week away from turning 1 years old, and from birth pretty much, he has not liked anyone else holding him other than me, his dad, and my mom! Everyone told me he would get over this, but as the months have passed, he if anything, has gotten worse :( No one can hold him without him screaming. And when i say screaming, i mean total melt down, panic, red spots all over his face! Its very hard to deal with. I socialize him, i take him out all the time, but if im not right there, he will loose it. If anyone can help me get my son over this, that would be greatly appreciated. I am at a loss on this one.


Ang - posted on 09/09/2010




Take it slowly, but start to tell him gently and constantly when you pick him up that mommy can't always pick him up. That's what I did with my daughter. I would also sit on the floor with her when she wanted me to pick her up. Sometimes it was a issue of wanting to be at the same level that I was at, so I would go to her level and play with her for a little while, and slowly move an inch or two away. Eventually I was able to go do dishes and laundry in between intervals of playing for 10mins with her. Invite others to sit close on the floor with you and your son. Maybe not right beside him but a couple feet away so they can still interact with them, eventually he may feel comfortable enough to go to the other person rather than you, when this happens you try to back away a little at a time and see how far you can get. When it fails try again. Practice makes perfect. Being persistent will eventually make him realize that just because someone else is there to hold him at that point in time doesn't mean that mommy won't be back to cuddle in a little while


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[deleted account]

I would suggest putting him in childcare for about a month or two until he works through his separation anxieties. It doesn't have to be full time just a few hours each day or even 2-3 days all day each week should work fine. Your distress at seeing his separation anxiety only increases him anxiety. There is no quick fix but he will grow out of it. He will have to. You need to intentionally leave him in childcare or with someone other than you, your DH or your mom. I am sure that after a while he may still have his meltdowns but it will only be when he can see one of you. Kids tend to grow out of it pretty quick and then it is only a matter of the parent leaving so that the child will stop the meltdown. I am a SAHM, nurse, and have had one that had the separation anxiety. She is 14 now and just fine.

Di - posted on 09/16/2010




Seperation anxiety is not uncommon, your not alone. Dont force it unless you have to, and take baby steps. I did things like go outside and let my son watch from the window so he knew I was still there, talking to him while leaving the room so he could still hear me, play games like peek-a-boo (helps with object perminence - knowing something doesn't disappear just because you cant see it). Later ( or if leaving is necessary) set up a routine to help him predict, like a story, waving at the window, and later a recognisable time of day you'll be back, like after his sleep, morning tea, when the hand on the clock is here - what ever is developmentally appropriate. Have a photo of you and Dad, a comfort toy or blanket. I dont reccomend sneaking out or showing emotion in front of him as he'll pick up on your anxiety and might misinterpret it. These things are not quick fixes, and it might take some time for them to kick in. Good Luck!

Rachael - posted on 09/16/2010




This is my son a year ago. Seriously.

From birth, he hated anyone else touching him, but I didn't really clue on until he was a couple of months old, that it was directly related to other people.
My mother persisted with him, and eventually she was able to hold him without a meltdown ensuing, but his aunts and uncles (most of whom he sees on a daily basis) have never been granted the privilege. He turns 2 in two days.

When he was one... (he has earned the nickname: "The Attack" so that is how I'll refer to him from now on.)
When The Attack was one, people told me he'd grow out of it. They said I should just force him into situations that he wasn't comfortable with to "Get him used to it." Ummmm, no. That was not going to happen.

And he has not as yet, grown out of it. He is better. Once he learned to walk and talk he stopped having as many meltdowns, and was mostly content to chant "DOWN DOWN DOWN DOWN" if someone dared to pick him up,

So we persevere. I'm constantly trying to stretch his comfort level, without violating his boundaries. It's a hard line to walk some days.

Sorry, I'm not being very helpful, I just fully understand what you're going through :)

Angie - posted on 09/14/2010




LIke Susan, I also had a child that was like this. And like Susan, any man that looked at her made her panic. She even went through a stage where she hid behind my legs and growled (yes full on growled) at anyone who looked at her. She's 9 now and is a very shy child. I really think that she behaved that way as an infant and toddler because she didn't know how to deal with her shyness. She has great coping mechanisms now. I also agree with Dora, my oldest child is leaving for college in a year and he'll be too far away to visit us more than 3 times in the school year. I know these times are trying for you but keep doing what your doing and enjoy the time you have with her being so clingy. Then hang on to your hat, before you know it, you'll be sending her off to college thinking, "I sort of miss the days when she needed me so much"

Dora - posted on 09/14/2010




I have to say I love the fact that my son who is 2 1/2yrs old only wants me and his daddy. The reason why I am saying this is because I know it won't last forever. Embrace whatever stage your child is going through because before you know it time goes by way too fast. Now my son is in daycare and whenever I go pick him up he runs to the door with the biggest smile on his face and smothers me. I LOVE IT!!!!!!!!! I have friends with toddlers who can care less whether they are around and I see how much it hurts them.

Pamela - posted on 09/14/2010




Sounds tough but u really have to try and stand back a little try sending him to a creche maybe one day a week start small maybe for a ahalf an hour or so and see if that helps it seems that the only people this little boy has only had you his dad or nana to look after him it will be tough but for his sake and yours i hope it works out

Joann - posted on 09/11/2010




this is very common yall are the people he counts on most. more then likely you will just have to wait it out unless you can walk away from him when he starts screaming like that,maybe try letting him take some kind of security blanket or toy with him always

Susan - posted on 09/11/2010




Tara, My youngest daughter who is now 28- was very similar. She loved her Grandma, put up with her Dad- and wouldnt have anything to do with her uncles or Grandpa. When getting groceries, I had to stress to the checkers- especially men- to not even look at her. She would literally come unglued and be in a panic and screaming very loudly. She grew out of it when she was close to 3 yrs. She wasnt scarred for life, she is to this day very selective of her friends, and that is a definite advantage during junior high, high school and college!

Karla - posted on 09/10/2010




My son, now 2 1/2, didn't mind being held by others when he was little, but as he has gotten older the must be with mommy/daddy issue has really gotten serious. For the longest time, I tried to help him get over it. Now I have accepted that is just how he is. The more I pushed him, the worse it was. He has been in a moms day out program twice a week for about a year. He still often cries when I leave him, but he stops within seconds. I agree with many of the posts about helping him with games of peekaboo, but I suggest you don't force it. Take it as a compliment to your parenting.

Margaret - posted on 09/10/2010




you could try joining a mothers group or start one up your self, this way your child will see other kids playing , try your local baby center or ring your local hospital to find out where any groups are.

[deleted account]

I would play peek-a-boo, where's mommy/ baby gone?, and games where you encourage him to hide in boxes or somewhere you know he is safe but he cannot see you so he knows that mommy ALWAYS comes back.

I found with my son, I would leave him in a room and sing lullabys so he KNEW I was near but then I could still make dinner and go to the loo without him. Now as he crawls he knows if he wants me he can find me but generally he is happy playing. You could try doing something similar.

Also I would gently encourage him to be held by other people (family) with you right there maybe even holding his hands so he still has contact with you (if he becomes distressed then you are there to have him back) gradually you can reduce the contact you have with him until other people can have him without you being in the room.

Nicola - posted on 09/08/2010




You could try playing peek a boo and hide and seek games with him a lot as well to help him learn that even if he can't see you or feel you you are still there.

[deleted account]

Wait it out and go w/ his comfort level. Hard, but true.

A little example: I have a very close friend. My son and I have spent more time at her house than just about anywhere else. He ADORES her, but it was only a few months ago that I was able to leave him w/ her w/out him having a complete meltdown (I'm talking about I couldn't even go to the bathroom w/out taking him w/ me). He's 2.5 now....

Sherri - posted on 09/07/2010




It will come with age my son was like this until he was 4. I finally enrolled him in a preschool at 3 yrs old and they would wait for me to come and I would hand him off and run because I could hear him blood curdling screaming even on the St. the following year he was over it and so comfortable he used to run to school and we were finally over it.

P.S. You are lucky my son wouldn't stay with anyone but ME and me ONLY!! He wouldn't even stay with dad/husband. He was over the top extreme but it did get better.
My advice no matter how hard it is, is to enroll him in some kind of daycare even just a few hours a week to get him used to you leaving him.

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