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Dd is afraid of men!

618 Views 10 Replies 9 Participants Last post by  mamatoady
My daughter has become almost terrified of men. If we have a male waiter, for example, she'll jump in my lap and hide her face whenever he comes to the table. And she is not playing... with women, she'll pretend to be shy and then smile, wave, etc. Certain men make her more afraid: younger men, men who try to hard to talk to her- who squat down to be at her level and won't accept that she is afraid. She seems ok with older men. I haven't exactly figured out an entire pattern, yet.

I try to ask her why. All she has told me is "I don't like boys, I like girls" and "Boys are mad". Is this normal? It used to just seem quirky, but now its getting pretty bad, and I'm worried. Any advice?

Btw, she just turned 2.
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My DD is 18mo and she does this I'm interested in the replies. The thing is that my dd goes to day care and everyone the works there is a woman. And the majority of people I hang out with are women (sis, Mom, girl friends). The only men she hangs out with are my dh and his guy firends and they're always in the garage playing with cars or something. So I kind of attibute it to that. Mostly it's weird for us becuase until about amonth ago, DD would wave and say hi to EVERYONE. I just chalk it up to a stage and it will pass.
DD is also leery of men. It's perfectly fine with me. I'm not going to force her to be "nice" if it doesn't feel right to her. I just say she's shy around strangers. They're adults. They can handle it.
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My dd is the same way with strange men. When I took her to a new doctor for her 18 month check up she was terrified of him and he had a hard time doing the check up. He was telling me that is normal for children at this age to be more leery of adults, especially men and that it is a type of survival instinct. I have no problem with it at all, and I also tell people that she is just shy of strangers (and she is, just more so with men).
My 17 month old dd is terrified of strange men. With women she will run over to me and hang on, but will smile and wave, but with men, she will run behind me and hide. She will get upset even if they look at her. I'm not worried, I figure it will pass eventually.
our DD was AWFUL about men since about 5 months or so. if one comes too close (including good friends, and even my dad for a while!
) she FREAKS! She's getting somewhat better at 14 months, but still not great. we even figured out the hierarchy of who would set her off. man- bad, man, glasses- worse, man facial hair, very bad- combo of all, forget it! it's really starting to get better now. my cousin did it until she was 3

maybe these girls are just really really smart?
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I can totally understand this, and I don't think it's at all uncommon.

My DD, on the other hand, is terrified of women. I have no idea what started it, and I'm hoping she'll grow out of it. She is a shameless flirt with men, which worries me more!

IKWYM about it being worse the nicer they are to her. If a stranger just ignores her and talks to me, she can't stand it, and has to get them to talk to her. But if they get down on her level and are extra-nice to her, she freaks. I just tell people she's bashful.

Maybe it has something to do with the way men interact with children? It does seem to be different a lot of the time. They have lower voices, aren't as kissy/cuddly... "roughhouse" a bit more.

I'm feeling better knowing its pretty normal. I was worried because I was afraid something might have happened to her that I didn't know about or that I had passed on my occasional discomfort around men to her.
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Originally Posted by bobica
maybe these girls are just really really smart?

I'm thinking so!
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Lily is the same way, has been from about 4 months. We went through the period of her being afraid of my dad, which really hurt
. I used to really worry about it too but eventually decided it would be much worse if we tried to push her into accepting men. She is getting better on her own, she will now play with and hug my brothers. And she is completely in love with Papa now
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my dd(22 mo) is kind of like that, but doesn't talk yet, so I haven't gotten the "I don't like boys" or anything. I think it has a lot to do with the fact that since she's been born she's always been around friendly women with children from playgroups and my friends etc. My dh works a lot so weekends are our only times out and frankly our friends take second seat to family time. THerefore, she doesn't meet a lot of men. She loves her paternal grandpa, but my dad, who she hardly ever sees, she is afraid of. She is also afraid of our male neighbors, with the exception of one who she is seeing more and more.

I think the problem are most of the men she sees are gruff, loud, quick, and have very little understanding of what might be happening in her little mind. Women are usually more instictive even with other peoples kids. They accept when your child is shy. Men, don't get it and even with shy children think its funny to pick on them, poke them, tickle them etc. even not knowing the child.

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