dd terrified of one person for no apparent reason - Mothering Forums

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Old 06-22-2004, 10:30 PM - Thread Starter
 
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My 28 mo dd used to react very strongly to a few people we'd see at the local food coop. She'd cry, demand to be held and act otherwise very afraid of these people at the store. As far as we could tell, these were all very calm, gentle folks who loved children! Now, she only clings a little bit, choosing silence and grasping mama.

However, there is one person who especially seems to drive her over the brink to hysteria! We see her at the laundromat sometimes, and today was especially awful for dd. As soon as she saw this woman (who didn't even notice my dd), my dd cried as if she was terribly hurt, I had to carry her and comfort her just so I could start the washers. She wouldn't even let me put her on the floor next to me. I totally do NOT get any bad or weird vibes from this woman, I like this woman, but my dd is terrified for some unknown reason. DD won't tell me why, or can't. And this woman doesn't look like anyone we know, either.

Has this ever happened to you or your dc? when did they grow out of it?

Past life? Smell? Sound of her voice? Would like to ponder your thoughts....

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Old 06-22-2004, 10:41 PM
 
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I think children have memories from much further back than we recognize. She may have heard a "scary" laugh or seen something that frightened her as an infant and something about this woman evokes that memory. Past life stuff. . I don't know. . it makes you wonder though certainly.
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Old 06-22-2004, 11:02 PM
 
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In Jacob Lieberman's book, Take off your Glasses and See, he writes that children are often able to see auras and they loose that ability as they get older or are "programmed" not to see them. He mentions how babies often look above a person's head and how they react differently to other people. So a negative reaction doesn't necessarily mean that the person is a bad person, but maybe their aura is different than what they are used to.

My dh, however, doesn't believe in all the woo-woo stuff. He thinks smell/perfumes has more to do with a child's adverse reaction.

My dd shows definite preferences for the adults she meets and I've often wondered what causes it. I tend to think that children are more in tune energetically speaking, but that's a topic that is hard to prove.
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Old 06-23-2004, 04:41 AM
 
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Your child could also have some empath qualities, and could possibly have the gift of feeling others' emotions.... perhaps people who have suffered a great deal of pain, or are in a great deal of pain.... your dd picks up on....
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Old 06-23-2004, 04:46 AM
 
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i've had a similar issue with frankie, he just turned two at the beginning of june and a neighbor of my parents dropped in unexpectedly during his bday party. frankie is normally very outgoing and extroverted, but as soon as this person came in and sat down, he ran out of the room, and refused to reenter it as long as she was there. it was VERY out of character for him, he has never been afraid or shy of strangers in the past. the woman who came over looked very "normal" and she didn't realy resemble anyone in particular, she just looked like a regular person. He kept peeking around the corner into the room to keep an eye on her, and totally flipped out when i tried to make him come in. As soon she left he went right back to normal.

I have NO idea what got into him, but I talked to my mother about it afterwards, (she is a "retired hippy" in her own words, and a mother of 6) and she said she wasn't surpised about it at all. we all know how intuitive kids are, prior to being corrupted by adulthood, esp. toddlers who are old enough to understand what is REALLY going on, but not so old to be influenced. anyways, basicaly what my oh-so wise mother said was that basicall he saw something that we (as adults) couldn't. it sould have been anything from a past life experience to just sensing a stess or pressure that she was holding in.

kids, especially toddlers, view the world differently than we do. i think they are much much wiser and atuned to to others than we will ever be. we need to give them credit for that.
i suppose i could go on and on, but little one is stirring. i hope you get what i mean.
j
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Old 06-23-2004, 04:52 AM
 
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my dd is really wise to people like that. listen to your baby, they know when somethings wrong. even if the person seems totally innocuous, your child sees something scary there. don't take her around them if she's that afraid! my dd has given the eye to a few people that i never wouldve looked at twice, but there's been a few times that those unremarkable folks have turned out to be really off. and the ones that still seem ok to me, well, there's some reason dd doesnt like them, and that's all i need to know!

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Old 06-23-2004, 10:11 AM
 
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I take my children's reaction to a person more seriously than my own. I really think children are more in tune and perceptive about character. They can "feel" more than we're able it seems- I try to listen to them and nurture it. I hope that quality is never programmed out of them.
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Old 06-23-2004, 10:22 AM
 
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My sister's 2 y/o dd used to react like that to their neighbor - Chris, who is a nice guy, funny, good looking, yk, your average guy next door (LOL)
Then one time he combed her hair (don't ask! I don't know) and she's loved him ever since.
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Old 06-23-2004, 03:57 PM - Thread Starter
 
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So much to think about!

In truth, my dd IS a sensitive child. She is very emotionally sensitive to me, and to others. She has always been this way. I agree with a little bit of everyone's advice actually. I hear you about listening to your child. I totally trust that, too. It's just that I get uncanny "right-on" gut feelings about people, too, and mine isn't throwing any red flags.

But really not liking someone for no apparent reason sometimes happens to me, too, so I can relate to dd.

The woman at the laundromat called me last night and in her message said that she had had the worst couple of days ever. She also apologized for dd's crying, which was nice but then I felt a little guilty because she said she just took dd's crying too hard. I mean, this is the first time my dd contributed to someone else's sadness in any way! But she's OK with it all, and very understanding.

I also believe that children can see auras, because no one has told them it's not possible. I think combined with dd's sensitivity and the woman's bad couple of days, we might have some theories that I can believe.

I've decided to not push dd into any interactions with the woman in question, at least until she feels differently - if she ever does.

I'm still interested in hearing others' stories of their children's reactions to people like this. Keep 'em coming!

Thank you all !!!

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Old 06-23-2004, 06:08 PM
 
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I very much believe that children and dogs are very astute at sensing people. My 2 year old has not had any strong reactions to anybody so far.

But, I have a dog story. Many years ago I had a wonderful springer spaniel. He was well socialized and went just about everywhere with me. We were stopped at a traffic light once and he started growling at a guy about to cross the street parallel to the passenger side of the car. The closer the guy got the more he growled and barked. I had to physically grab him as the guy got along side my car. He was charging the window going totally nuts. The guy stopped, bent over and looked in the window at me and I had the coldest evil feeling about him. He stood up and walked on. I have never had an experience like that before or since with anyone and that dog never reacted like that again.

I definately believe that children have abilities to sense things about people!

"To err is human, to forgive, canine." - Unknown
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Old 06-23-2004, 06:42 PM
 
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I would trust your child’s opinion and reaction to this lady.

But also sometimes kids will have misplaced memories and thoughts. They can be like little elephants and NEVER FORGET. Did this lady get “in her face” and scared her? You might have forgotten this moment but your dd hasn’t. She has at least an impression.

Does this lady have a tiredness or weariness about her? Sometimes simple differences scare our children and we have to work with our children but your child is still a little young to understand.

We all get these bad vibes from people. She is to young to expect much different behaviors so just try to keep them apart. As she grows you can teach her how to stay with in her safe boundaries and yet be respectful.
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Old 06-23-2004, 07:33 PM
 
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Dd does this. She has a quick and deep sense of who she likes and dislikes, very quickly. The pilot of a small plane, of another race she hadn't seen a whole lot, with a heavy foreign accent, who reached to hold her while Dh got out of the tiny plane and jumped off the wing...LOVED him. Went right to him, all smiles and laughter.

A man across a restaurant from us, eating his dinner with little notice of us. Deep upset, burrowing into my chest, crying. I finally asked them to move us. "I didn't like the funny man."

No telling.

I would be curious about a criminal check on those few to whom Dd strongly reacts with upset.

I used to have a cat who could read boyfriends. She hissed at everyone but for Dh she rubbed his legs as sooon as he walked in...
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Old 06-23-2004, 08:59 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Marsupialmom, interesting insights. This person does have a tiredness or weariness, in that she is VERY softspoken and gentle, slow to speak, and a quiet listener. I, otoh, am pretty animated, even when tired.

Go figure. It's also possible dd remembers a moment of her physical boundaries being violated by her, even though I don't.

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Old 06-23-2004, 10:05 PM
 
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I had ds react like this once. I took him over to meet/visit dh's aunt and uncle. Ds just flipped out once we were in the house. He was okay when we were in the backyard, but when we went inside, he just lost it. I'd never seen him like this before - he was hitting me, yelling no at them, demanding to nurse, crying, tantruming. I actually had to leave while she was serving lunch. He's never acted like that before or since.

This aunt and uncle have an adult son who is a drug addict, lives in their downstairs apartment, and is very abusive to them. He wasn't even there that afternoon, but they had all had a big fight earlier in the day. And, the aunt had just finished chemotherapy for breast cancer, and had been going through a really emotional time. I honestly believe that ds picked up on all the negative/emotional energy in the house and just lost it. He was about 2yo at the time.

I don't think it necessarily means that the person is bad or mean or evil (I know that dh's aunt is a very sweet and loving person), but I think that children have a much more heightened sense of emotional undercurrents than adults do, and that that is what they are reacting to.
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Old 06-24-2004, 01:34 AM
 
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It's certainly traumatic when my DD is terrified of someone, but I usually just remove her from the situation.

My DD is like this with the swimming teacher at the Y (unfortunately, the only teacher for her age group). Last summer, she was fine with her, but this summer, Marlena is terrified of this woman. I gave it a couple of lessons, because she loves the water so much, but it wasn't worth the terror this woman causes. Now, Marlena is so leery this woman will show up wherever she is. When we go to the public pool, she looks around warily, and asks if "Teacher" is going to be there. Basically, any time she's nervous a situation, she'll ask about "Teacher".

This makes me feel awful. All the other parents I know love the swimming instructor, so I wonder if she's violated Marlena's personal space at some time. I doubt she's a bad person.

The talk about auras is interesting to me. My DH sees them, and I wouldn't be surprised if Marlena inherited the ability.

Skim, I hope your DD doesn't encounter this woman again soon. And don't worry too much about the woman's feelings being hurt. If she's that bothered by a two-year-old's outbursts, she's just too sensitive, IMO.

Best,
Nichole

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Old 06-24-2004, 05:25 PM
 
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I'm the "other person" in this one. Well, not really but my dd is. There is a toddler girl at the playground that is terrified of my dd (for no apparent reason). She gets hysterical and appears to panic when she sees my dd.

I believe it is because my dd looks like a baby but she is very, very tall. Also, my dd can talk so she always says hello to this poor girl and addresses her by name in a very excited manner. I think the combination of height and addressing her by name just drives this poor girl over the edge. Needless to say, we avoid them at all cost and they avoid us.
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Old 06-25-2004, 01:12 AM
 
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Funny, this subject came up last night at the dinner table. My dh had taken dd to the mall while I had some alone time (yeah!) yesterday. At dinner, he commented how dd would cling tightly to him around certain people they would pass. DH said some of them were a little shady looking, but not all of them. I, wanting to do everything possible to help dd listen to her intuition, asked Dh how he handled it. He said he held her and quietly told her that they made him feel uneasy too and that some people make you feel like that. I'm so proud of him! Sometimes it feels like I'm talking to a brick wall, but I think things are starting to sink in!
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