Advanced search

Anxious toddler

(4 Posts)
DancerDan Wed 13-Feb-19 13:04:50

My DD (2.4) is showing signs of anxiety and I'm not sure how to respond.

She was always a 'serious' baby and has remained cautious and thoughtful as she's got older. If someone talks to her in the street she will avoid eye contact and look away, always needs time to adjust to new situations and would never snatch a toy from another child or push in for example. I think for the most part this is just her personality but I'm concerned she's showing some mental health issues.

Her favourite phrase is "don't like it xxx"
So, do you want a cheese sandwich is replied "don't like it cheese sandwich!!" Replace the word sandwich with don't like it put slippers on, watch Bing, see Daddy, change nappy etc etc. I'd estimate that she says this upwards of 100 times a day, if I don't acknowledge she repeats it over and over again.

I'm a SAHP and I take her to 3 toddler groups a week as she's missing the socialisation she would get in childcare. She's always needed a hand hold during these groups and rarely strays from me but this seems to be escalating to asking repeatedly to go home and then pleading if I try and distract her. Often it's a minute or so after getting there, sometimes a little longer. She usually hides her face in my neck and refuses to engage with anyone or anything. I'm not quite sure how to deal with this, I feel like taking her home reinforces that there's something to be nervous about but on the other hand I don't want to force her to stay somewhere she isn't enjoying. Her speech is excellent for her age but she isn't able to vocalise what is making her uncomfortable.

I'll add that at home and around people she knows very well she's silly, lively and gregarious. Loves bouncing around the house and chasing, enjoys soft play and playground when it's one to one with me or DH.

Sorry that wasn't very concise. Anyone have advice? I feel a bit out of my depth.

OP’s posts: |
ERS25 Wed 13-Feb-19 13:35:31

My LO is exactly the same. Coming up to 2.5, she has been in nursery since she was 7mo, it is mainly men she doesn't like but it takes her ages to come round, even to family (though this is getting better). I just let her cuddle into me. If she doesn't want to play then she doesn't or if we're in a play gym I go in with her. My LO interacts with kids her age only at nursery, not outside of nursery, only child and she has an older and a very much younger niece who she sees sometimes. My LO has also started saying I don't like xxx. But now I say, yes you do, and then I'll ask her to eat some, or, today, have some beans then have some fish fingers. And she did because she wanted the beans. I'm having issues with her tantruming with me atm. But otherwise the things you said above are exactly what my LO is like. I think it's her personally. At first I was worried she may have autism or something and then I thought... Maybe I'm overreacting. Though for me when I tried to say my concerns over her socialising side that you explain your LO does, they just seemed to brush it off which I found annoying and unhelpful. So I've just come round to the idea I have a clingy, causious child. I wouldn't say she is particularly anxious, more that she just takes a while to warm up to people.

All I would suggest is to go with how she is being and don't force her to do things she is reluctant to do, or say 'shall we do it together'. Or I will just talk to my friends and they will be silly with her but not too forward and if we are seeing them all day we does eventually come round. But if I was seeing then for only an hour then the likelihood is she will just sit in my knee the whole hour. But that's fine with me.

Sorry I can't be of much use. But from my unexpereicned view (or experienced from my only child ha) your LO seems normal/not anxious, as my LO seems to be the same.

ERS25 Wed 13-Feb-19 13:36:42

Sorry I must have missed the bit about her pleading to go home. Maybe only do one or two classes with her. And then try take her to play guns where it is just you and her but there are others about as well?

DancerDan Wed 13-Feb-19 15:25:31

Thank you so much for replying ERS, they do sound very similar. Mine takes longer around men too, in fact she only just started to warm to FIL a few months ago despite seeing him once every 2/3 weeks.

It's interesting that your DD has similar behaviour even though she goes to nursery, DH has always put a lot of it down to DD spending so much time with Mummy and not being in childcare. She definitely exhibits separation anxiety too which I think is pretty 'normal' at such a young age?

I'm not as concerned about the "I don't like xxxx" I think it's just an advancement of 'no!' which toddlers are so fond of! It's just the combination of her traits along with asking to go home that has me out of my depth, it can be frustrating too as I take her to these groups for her benefit, of course, but more often than not I'm trying to convince her to stay or spending the whole time with her clinging on to me and I seem to be the only parent doing so.

I think we'll try and drop one of the groups that's she's disliked for a while now and see how it goes, thanks for the suggestion.

OP’s posts: |

Join the discussion

To comment on this thread you need to create a Mumsnet account.

Join Mumsnet

Already have a Mumsnet account? Log in