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Emotionally distant / extremely independant toddler

(17 Posts)
YGLondon Tue 09-Aug-11 23:23:39


My 16-month old boy has been a source of worry recently to my husband and myself. He is perfectly developped physically (tall, strong, has almost all his teeth, walks, runs, eats with his cutlery by himself etc), but is so different from our eldest child emotionally that we are wondering if his behaviour is normal.

He is a very happy boy but likes to play on his own, he will go to the garden to play with his toys for 1-2 hours and will never ask for us. He refuses to hold hands to walk around the garden (he runs off on his own), doesn't like to be read stories (turns the pages himself) and can not sit still for long (not even in front of the TV). He doesn't interact with people a lot (he won't be curious about people who are coming in the house), but does interact with his close family (plays peek a boo etc).

Also he doesn't like cuddles. He gives us a quick hug or kiss when we pick him up from his bed or put him to bed, but won't do it during the day. If he does hug us, it literally lasts 5-10 seconds only! His brother was much more affectionate, loved to be walked around and loved having stories read to him, so we are a bit puzzled.

Finally, his speech is not very developped. His says mama, daddy, nana (banana), look (pointing his finger at the same time), thank you, bye, poopy, no and sings happy birthday.

Has anyone been in a similar situation? Do you think he might have a behavioural problem?

Thank you,
A London Mum.

Parietal Wed 10-Aug-11 00:45:00

There is nothing in the list that sounds like a big red flag to me. 18 months can be a time of big developmental changes - more words, more awareness of other people, more interaction. So I'd say just keep going, keep offering lots of cuddles, and he will get there. If by 24 months, things haven't changed, then have another think.

whitsun Wed 10-Aug-11 02:43:17

I understand your confusion YGLondon because it seems amazing how different children can be at that age. My son is 15 months and doesn't walk, or have any words, or feeds himself (though he does love turning pages in books!) but he is super super affectionate and touchy. Friends of mine have had children who have developed totally differently from each other and from my DS, but they'll all get there in the endsmile

YGLondon Wed 10-Aug-11 07:11:25

Thank you both for your answers x

amyboo Wed 10-Aug-11 08:59:15

Blimey - now I'm wondering if there's something wrong with my 16-month old! He sounds exactly the same as your son. Doesn't really do hugs unless he's ill or tired (and that's only with me not with DH). Will happily play on his own, won't hold our hands when walking, loves turning pages but not really stories, hates sitting still (can manage an episode of Peppa Pig but that's about it!). Like your DS, he is also tall and strong.

My DS's speech is also nowhere near what you're talking about though. He copies sounds, and says Mama and Dada but that's about it. He's in a bilingual environment though, so not sure if that changes things.

I just assumed he was perfectly normal. Addmitedly I was quite surprised about my friend saying her DS (12 months) now says 3 words well... Should I be worried then?

daytoday Wed 10-Aug-11 09:12:37

16 months is still very young. Some 16 months behave more like 12 month olds. Please don't fret. He sounds like an average boy to me! Just carry on offering affection etc. Revisit your feelings in 3 months. My son didn't really start cuddling etc till he was nearer 2. He was not interested in books and loved playing by himself. Holding hands was just about the last thing he wanted to do. Hated sitting at tables and being restrained in any way. He was too busy. I used to tickle and get the cuddles and kisses in then.

He is now the most lovely, cuddly 9 year old, who can still play for hours (by himself or with others). Everybody comments on what a tactile boy he is. I think he was concentrating on other things in toddlerhood.

PippiLongBottom Wed 10-Aug-11 09:16:33

He sounds very normal and average with nothing of any remote concern whatsoever.

pictish Wed 10-Aug-11 09:20:29

What Pippi said.

Can't believe you're worrying about his speech! My ds2 didn't utter a word until he was 2 and a half, and I wasn't concerned at all. He's now 3 and a half and chats away quite the thing!

He is 16 months - calm down.

shrinkingnora Wed 10-Aug-11 09:23:31

I think it is more unusual to find a 16 month old who will hold hands. And will watch tv. And wants to sit still cuddling. And his speech is good for his age surely?

shrinkingnora Wed 10-Aug-11 09:24:06

Is your other child a girl?

pictish Wed 10-Aug-11 09:24:51

That's what I thought shrinkingnora!

Tigresswoods Wed 10-Aug-11 11:39:25

Well he sounds exactly like my 17 month old son so no, I don't think there's anything wrong with him.

Mine doesn't sing happy birthday though hmm

amyboo Wed 10-Aug-11 13:17:32

Thanks God! I didn't question anything about DS until I read this thread! I shall go back to not worrying about anything.

AlpinePony Wed 10-Aug-11 14:02:55

amyboo - my son is nearly 14 months and we've been told to expect him to have a delay with his speech because of the bilingual thing - well, trilingual if you factor in his father's Glaswegian! wink

YGLondon Thu 11-Aug-11 08:25:33

My other child is a boy.
Ok I might be overreacting...
And he is brought up in a bilingual environment too actually.
God I can't believe my husband and myself worked ourselves up so much! Thank you all for your answers, I shall relax and give him time to develop at his own pace. Funnily yesterday (after I put this post online), he gave me 2 big cuddles!
Thanks you all again x

ayvsmom79 Fri 04-Nov-16 03:32:43

My 15 mth girl is kinda similar. I have no worries about her development, she walks, talks a bit, climbs, and copies everything she sees. She is able to get out of her car seat, and I can't believe some of the things that she does. Plays well, alone and with others, but she is so independent, it makes me crazy. She won't sit still, its hard to cuddle her, she fights sleep. But im a first time mom, and I feel like I should be closer to her. My mom had 3 kids in 3 yrs and said that we were nothing like my baby, e were calm and sat still, relied n mama. Does anyone else have a similar situation? I want to be close to my baby.

buckyou Fri 04-Nov-16 09:43:16

My little girl sounds similar. Cuddles are rare. I got a kiss and a cuddle this morning I felt quite honoured!

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