Always in my arms in front of strangers - Mothering Forums

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#1 of 14 Old 11-07-2004, 05:50 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Hi!

Motherhood is difficult for me these days

My dd is 20 months. We have big sleep issues with her (she's awake every hours and even more sometimes) and I'm really tired.

But, this is not the only thing who trouble me. First, I have to say she's a really nice toddler and I think she's the sun in my life. She's full of joy and I'm really happy to be with her everyday of her life.

But her behavior change completely when she's in front of strangers (and even people she know but don't see often). She's really shy and if someone get near to her she's often clinging to me. I know this is a normal behavior. But people react in a really bad way to that and they make me feel this is anormal. They know we cospleep and that we have sleep problems and I feel their judgement. I guess they think my dd is a spoilt child. My doctor told me last week to put her in daycare because of that behavior. What a stupid man!

Can you reassure me about that situation? Do you have experience with that?

Thank's!
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#2 of 14 Old 11-07-2004, 08:27 PM
 
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I only have a minute but I wanted to tell you that I can certainly relate My dd is a few months older than yours but we have the same situation. She is bright, loving, high energy, active all that stuff until someone new comes around. Then she is shy and quiet and leery and definetley clingey. She is very slow to warm up with people she knows but doesn't see often enough. My family tries to make me feel badly about this saying I need to get her out more, but I think thats ridiculous. I think it is in her nature to be leery of strangers and what's more I think that is perfectly okay. i myself am a bit withdrawn around new people and I'm espesially cautious of men I don't know.

As for the sleep issues, I'm sorry you are having a hard time If you want some suggestions, post a bit more details.

HTH, and welcome to the community
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#3 of 14 Old 11-07-2004, 10:02 PM
 
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Isn't it natural for a child to be cautious or afraid around strangers? My daughter was that way, still is a little at 2.5 years, and most children I see are that way. Anyone who has been around kids won't judge you for that.
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#4 of 14 Old 11-08-2004, 01:02 AM
 
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I agree that this is totally normal behavior. My DS will be 2 this week and he is so slow to warm up, even to our families. Once we've been somewhere awhile he'll start to venture out but it really takes some time for him. Once he is comfortable, he turns on the charm. People comment all the time about what a great personality he has and I have to say I agree! Just this morning at church he talked to EVERYONE but this is totally new and really out of character for him. We'll see if it continues.

BTW, I thought 18-22 months was a really challenging time. Things have gotten easier around here lately. I can't put my finger on it exactly, but hang in there mama!
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#5 of 14 Old 11-08-2004, 01:36 AM
 
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Please don't worry. My DS is almost 18 months and acts very similar. He is charming and sweet but rather shy at first and often will cling to me. I guess since I was shy as a child I consider this "normal". In any case, it's certainly not "spoiled" behaviour. If anything, it is wonderful that your DD feels so secure with her parents that she can seek comfort when in a new social setting. Your doctor said to put DD in daycare? Huh? I wouldn't listen to any of those people making comments. Have you noticed - people always say something. For me, first my son was too "colicky", now he is either "too shy", "a mama's boy", or if he is loud and giggly ("oh, is he always that loud?") or when DS is rambunctious ("oh, our DD - she listens to instructions").See what I mean? My Inlaws have been giving me grief b/c DS clings to me and I know they think it's b/c I'm with him all the time and we co-sleep. The thing is, I'm not sure what these people's problem is ... what do they want? A child who has no need for his or her parents? Who never needs a hug or reassurance? I feel your frustration - I get tired of judgmental comments too. As some other MDC members as said, this is a chance to learn a parenting lesson - just nod and smile and don't take their advice. Please don't worry - your DD sounds perfectly wonderful.


(I have also noticed that sometime when DS is shy and clingy - he looks very seriously at people - this never fails to elicit some sort of comment. I wonder if these people are actually so insecure that it bothers them if a child stares at them without smiling or being effusive. Do you know what I mean?)
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#6 of 14 Old 11-08-2004, 01:46 AM
 
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Just wanted to say that my 20 month old son is exactly the same way, and I've been getting some of the same kinds of reactions, and have also felt like it was partially my fault, since I don't know many other moms with kids like him. He also wakes a lot, especially if I get up and leave him, either for naps or at night. He also gets very clingy around strangers and in new situations, and since we just moved to a new area, that's pretty much all the time now, since "home" is a new place. It can be very draining. I'm sure it's just a developmental thing, but it is hard when you see others your dc's age running about and playing when yours is clinging to you.

Jen 47 DS C 2/03  angel.gif04/29/08/ DD S 10/28/09 DH Bill '97.

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#7 of 14 Old 11-08-2004, 01:47 AM
 
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I have two kids and they are both very different. I coslept with them both and practiced Attached Parenting, breastfed them both til they were about two etc. My first son was and is very outgoing. Occasionally he is shy but only if he's tired or out of sorts or in a place that is totally overwhelming to him. My second son is much more shy. Until recently he would stare at the ground or cling to me whenever anyone else was around. I just allowed him to use me for comfort while he peeked out at the world. I didn't keep him from social situations but helped him be more comfortable in them. Now he is 26 months old and this has pretty much completely changed around for him. He is much more outgoing now. He acts the clown and talks to people. Occasionally he still is clingy and shy but nowhere near as much as before. When he does feel that way, I hold him and talk gently and positively to him about what is going on around us. He is still a quieter person than his big brother and probably always will be. I say chalk it up to her personality, don't force anything on her, keep her feeling secure and ignore the pressure from others as much as possible. I believe we know our kids the best and it is our job to protect them and feel secure in the world. She'll go out into it when she's ready
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#8 of 14 Old 11-08-2004, 12:21 PM
 
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I thought that stranger anxiety was a perfectly normal stage for kids. I'm suprised your doctor would tell you to put her in daycare to get her to stop this behaviour, especially considering that daycare wouldn't even be a guaranteed "solution."

My daughter is the exact same way. She's very leary of strangers or people she doesn't know well, and I see nothing wrong with that. She does warm up to people after being around them for an hour or two, and I've thankfully never had anyone scold me for "spoiling" her to cause this behaviour. I was the exact same way as a child, and am still fairly shy until I warm up to a person (not quite to the extent that I was when I was young ). Besides, I'd rather her be leary of strangers, then have to deal with her running up to them wanting to be picked up. That could cause some problems. :P

My daughter goes to a sitter with another girl her age, a couple of times a week. The other little girl is the exact opposite of her. The first time I walked into the house, she ran up to me and said "up?" She'd never met me before. The sitter was telling me that it's a major problem for her, because when she takes the little girl and my daughter to the park, or for a walk, the other girl is constantly going to strangers, asking to be picked up. I shudder to think of what could happen if she ran up to the wrong person.

That's why I mentioned the daycare thing not being a solution. My daughter is around this other little girl for probably 10-15 hours out of the week, and has not picked up any of her extroverted habits. She's still my little shy girl. :P

Every kid has their own personality. You shouldn't be expected to train them out of it.

I also wanted to add that I doubt this behaviour stems from attachment parenting. Like I said, I was the exact same way as a child, and my parents were far from attached. :P I slept in my own room from birth, and was rarely held or hugged, as it was frowned on back then and thought to spoil children. I co-slept with my daughter until 12-13 months (at which point none of us were sleeping due to her wiggling, so she went to a crib and does quite well there). She's always been shy, whether sleeping in a crib or with us. So don't let people scold you for "ruining" her by attachment parenting. That has nothing to do with it, imo. It's all about the child's personality.
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#9 of 14 Old 11-08-2004, 02:34 PM
 
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Not that you haven't received enough affirmation but I wanted to add that my 19 month old dd is the same way. I think it's completely normal. So don't worry about it!!!
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#10 of 14 Old 11-08-2004, 07:31 PM
 
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More positive thoughts for you!!

My DH was so worried about DD1 that he asked our pediatrician what was wrong with her. Thankfully the Dr. was great and pointed out a bunch of the benefits. Cautious kids are less likely to go with strangers, and thus less likely to be abused by strangers. Plus think how glad you will be when she is 16 and is still cautious about new situations. Maybe less likely to participate in dangerous behaviours.

As long as your child is happy and safe at home with you, don't worry. And of course I think cosleeping is wonderful!!!
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#11 of 14 Old 11-09-2004, 01:34 PM
 
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God, I'm so sick of the judgmental comments from people, so I feel for you there.

You got some great responses here, and I agree with all of them. I just want to add that -- as someone who has a toddler who gets easily overwhelmed when he's around his peers or in unfamiliar situations -- I think we can help our toddlers with their feelings in these situations. For instance, if I took my DS out of those situations every time he was uncomfortable or picked him up every time he wanted me to when he started getting anxious, I would be reinforcing his fear. Instead, we can acknowledge their feelings ("I see that you're upset/scared") and also let them know they are safe ("You're also very safe.") Just wanted to add that.
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#12 of 14 Old 11-09-2004, 06:43 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Hi mamas!

Thank you so much for your responses It's a real reassurance for me and it give me faith in my way of parenting my dd. I put this thread in may "favorites" so, in moments of doubt, i'm gonna read you again

Thank you
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#13 of 14 Old 11-09-2004, 09:48 PM
 
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Could you help you dd by play acting out things that are appropriate (by your terms) behavior. Like looking a person in the eye and saying hello, but she can still hold your hand. or teach her how to answer some basic questions like how old are you, or what's your name.

FWIW I think the behavior is totally normal.

My dd is 28 mo old and we have her in 'gymnastics' and they practice social skills there and we have seen an improvement in her ability to be 'social' but we work on skills at home with pretend tea parties and playdates etc.
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#14 of 14 Old 11-09-2004, 11:02 PM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by maman de Corinne
Hi mamas!

Thank you so much for your responses It's a real reassurance for me and it give me faith in my way of parenting my dd. I put this thread in may "favorites" so, in moments of doubt, i'm gonna read you again

Thank you
You are so welcome

And btw to the community
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