A very shy (around other kids) two year old?

Discussion in 'Parenting' started by AmericanTerrorist, May 2, 2013.

  1. Hi. =) My son is two years and 4 months old. He's generally a very happy, energetic, wonderful two year old (I'm sure all parents say stuff like that about their kids, but he really is. He's a sweetie). He's very outgoing to us and his grandparents and other adults that he knows and he shows an interest in other kids when he goes to the park, library storytime, etc.- but he is shy of other kids and afraid of them. When he was one he wasn't like this... he would sit with other kids and be just fine. But now if another kid near his age comes up to him and wants to play with him at the park or somewhere he runs right up to mommy or daddy and hides behind them and looks terrified. He's not in daycare or anything like that so he hasn't had a super amount of exposure to other kids his age and I am trying to get him around other kids as much as I can but getting the same scared results. He's not like that to adults.. just kids. I'm hoping it's just a phase and as he's around other kids more and more often he'll just used to it. A couple weeks ago we went to the Unitarian chuch specifically so we could leave him there at the nursery and give him that hour around other kids without us there, but one of the ladies ended up coming to get us because he was freaking out so bad. So, yeah, that didn't go well. And I do feel bad about forcing him to do anything.

    So, has anyone else had a two year old who was very shy around other kids? Or know if this could be normal or abnormal or have any advice? Thanks!
     
  2. calgirl

    calgirl Senior Member

    It's totally normal. Their brains are developing, and bond with mom/dad is strengthening so it's all a lot to absorb for a little one. If there has been a recent trauma though....death, divorce, move, pet, etc, it might be a reaction to that. Provide tons of reassurance and acceptance, and he'll do great.
     
  3. Meliai

    Meliai Banned

    I was painfully shy as a kid and my mom always embraced it as just being a part of my personality. Play dates and socialization are definitely a good thing but be careful not to push him too hard and remember introverts, while in the minority, are just as valuable to society as extroverts. As long as he isn't withdrawn from everyone and is comfortable at least interacting with his family I wouldn't worry about it too much.
     
  4. Yeah, I'm an introvert myself so I totally get that and I don't want to change him if that's how he's going to be. But it does stink to see him at a play area very clearly watching the other kids with interest but then getting so scared and running away if another little boy, say, runs up to him. I mean it really makes me feel bad for him cause I think he wants to play with the other kids but just gets scared. I'm hoping that part of it is a phase..and also I really wanna try to find the right setting for him to be around other kids (maybe just a couple more quiet kids in a calm setting compared to a lot of kids or really loud kids at first til he's more used to those types of things).

    And I really can't think of any stresses or major changes or anything that has happened recently...
     
  5. David54

    David54 Member

    My kid has always been super outgoing, so I don't have any personal experience dealing with this.

    Seeing the way kids his age can act, I'm thinking maybe it's a response to something that someone did to him that you didn't see. Dylan's always getting pushed, punched, kicked, bitten, etc. by kids his age. And I admit that he can be just as bad. So maybe your kid is just realistically afraid that kids his age are going to attack him. My son prefers older playmates.

    I would definitely not try another experiment where you leave him alone with people that he's scared of. I think it's more likely to make things worse than better. Have you tried playing games together with him and the other kids at the same time? Might make your son feel more secure and more willing/able to be outgoing if he doesn't have to leave your side to do so. I would try helping him make friends when you're right next to him, if that's the way he wants to do it.
     
  6. Thanks, David. Yeah, that's a good idea and I'll try that.

    I've been noticing more and more how absolutely outgoing he is with other adults and teenagers and older kids...but bring a 3 or 4 year old loud boy his way and he's scared...

    Hmmm something I didn't see...maybe... I hate to think of it really because my son tends to take everything seriously. As the one time I did see a kid push him aside (a while ago, before all this started) he just started crying and crying and was scared.

    You know....what do you think... there was one thing I did see... when we dropped him off at the church nursery that day at first (while me and my husband were still there), he was fine. They had a big train track and Thomas trains and he was playing with a train and this boy came up to him- that was a year or two older than him and this kid almost freaked out... looked at my son and tried to grab the toy from him and he literally GROWLED and had his hands fisted and his hands were shaking and his nostrils were flaring and the kid was MAD (that my son had that one train)... My son just stood there staring at him, frozen... like he didn't know what to think or do.
    Anyways, it seems his fear (shyness, whatever you wanna call it) has gotten worse since then...
    I mean... could something like THAT do it?
    Regardless this makes me scared for when my son gets to school if he doesn't start being able to take things like that more. I will point out though that I LOVE my son's sweet, loving, gentle personality (not to say he can't be loud and silly and outgoing around us and other adults) but he's a truly sweet child and I def. don't want to change him or "toughen him up" or anything like that... but I do want him to be able to handle the way other kids are...
     
  7. calgirl

    calgirl Senior Member

    In the scenario where the kid wanted the train, what I did back in those days was to lean down with my own child and say something like "boy he sure looked mad, huh. He likes your train. I hope he can find one to play with." It takes some of the weightiness and mystery out of things. For a long time, we have to interpret the world for them. When they see us handle things in this way, its calming. They become more capable as they develop.
     

  8. Okay, I like that. :)
     
  9. jgirl

    jgirl Hip Forums Supporter HipForums Supporter

    My son was just like this at 2. He would rather play alone or be with me. He started playing with kids at age 3. He has the same best friend since then. He is 10 now and very outgoing. It's hard for me to believe that he was ever shy. He has friends and feels comfortable around kids he doesn't know. I think it is all stages they go through and when he is ready, he will naturally start playing with other children. Right now, he just needs you :) Enjoy it!
     

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