Toddler not reciprocating My inlaws love. - Mothering Forums

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#1 of 5 Old 01-04-2013, 03:55 AM - Thread Starter
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Hi all,


My son who will be 3 by the end of this month has started acting weird. He absolutely doesn't like to go to his grandparents(Dads side). My parents haven't visited us often so i am not sure how his relationship with them will be. 


As a matter of fact he likes only me and his dad. Since ours is an extended family my in laws come and stay with us every 6 months. As a baby he used to go nicely to them but now even when they come forward to hug or kiss him he whines. Even when my niece (18 months old) who likes the game of touch and run comes and touches him he cries or goes and hits her. Sometimes my niece comes and pulls his hair and hits him real hard then also he starts crying and goes to hit her. This i understand because he gets irritated when somebody pulls his hair or hits him. But i don't understand why he does it when she just touches him. Its so embarrassing to have such a sensitive and whiny kid. Why is he acting like this. Otherwise he is a normal kid.



Everybody gets irritated with his whining (me too) and say he is acting so strange. Why does my DS do this. I feel sorry for my in laws. I feel my DS is being selfish on purpose. He only seems to like me or his dad. Is it normal kid behavior. I am having sleepless nights on this. How can i make him to be more considerate of others.



My in laws spend most of their time with my nephew( an autistic kid). Praise him a lot when he does things. Is it because of their close proximity to my nephew which is causing him to not to go to them. But when they try to come to my DS he starts acting like this. 



Thank you!

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#2 of 5 Old 01-04-2013, 09:14 AM
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Sounds pretty normal to me.  Some kids are naturally more outgoing and others, more reserved.


My son, for instance, is rather reserved towards most people, but is quite affectionate with people he's comfortable with and trusts.  With relatives he hasn't seen before, or hasn't seen for awhile, it takes him a while to warm up to them (they're basically strangers to him). 


Also, how do the people you're most concerned about act towards your son?  How do they treat him?  Do they treat him with genuine interest and respect, or not?  Are their expectations appropriate?  Do they do things he enjoys, or expect him to "perform", so to speak?  Kids are not oblivious to these kinds of things.


Generally, you have to meet the child on his or her terms (at least in the beginning) to develop a good relationship.  It's the same thing I do when I work with new students--I try to figure out what they're interested in, and use that to my advantage.   

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#3 of 5 Old 01-04-2013, 09:23 AM
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My children around 18 months started being "pickier" about allowing physical contacting.  I felt it was their way of setting their boundaries and we always respected that.  We also expected others, even family to respect their personal boundaries.  I feel it's important for children to be able to filter what kind of attention, especially physical, they get. 


My son, until recently, was not very touchy-feely at all.  He barely ever let The Hubby or me hug or kiss him, let alone anyone else.  My dad was horribly offended by this, expecting us to force my son to give my hi physical affection.  We stood firm and demanded my dad respect our son.  Now our son chooses to share affection with people, and it is truly his choice.  Everyone should be permitted to make that choice.

SAHM to DS BuggaBoo blahblah.gif  12/07, and DD Doozer energy.gif03/10.  Sharing life with The Hubby since 01/05.

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#4 of 5 Old 01-10-2013, 07:52 AM
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That sounds very normal. Some kids take a little or a lot of time to warm up and I think it is good to encourage them to find a way they can politely greet others that doesn't involve touching if they don't want that. So a wave and a friendly hello or maybe a handshake or high-five if they want to do that. This is a great time to start teaching him about the fact that he doesn't have to let people hug/kiss/etc. him if he doesn't want to, but that he still needs to be polite and to use his words instead of hitting. You may need to talk to the ILs too about making sure he is ok with a hug/kiss and if he isn't that he is going to just do a high-five or a wave. It really is good to teach kids they have control over their bodies and to not force hugs on them. Sure, hand holding and whatnot for safety are necessary, but they need to understand that they don't have to hug if they don't want to.

I know with my DD she takes a bit to warm up to people usually, but pretty soon she is climbing all over them and giving them big hugs and kisses if they want them (I have to remind her to ask before hugging and kissing sometimes). And sometimes she isn't in the mood for snuggles, which can be hard, but it is good she feels she can say no she doesn't want a hug or whatever.

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#5 of 5 Old 01-21-2013, 11:44 PM
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I wonder if he picks up on the constant praise that's given to autism nephew. Because I've never met a kid that chooses parents over grandparents, unless the child doesn't feel equal to the cousins.
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