2yo really scared of people

(7 Posts)
Banana0pancakes Sun 30-Aug-20 13:26:13

Has anyone had a little one who is terrified of others?

My dd is 28mo. I've had concerns about her development before, not pointing/waving/talking until after 20mo.

Her speech has really took off in the last 2 months so it's a relief on that front. I'm just worried about the way she reacts to situations.

For example, about 6 weeks ago our neighbours dog barked in their garden whilst we were in ours. Dd has seen this dog before without issue but she looked scared, said bye doggy and ran back in the house since. She point blank refuses to go back in the garden, or any other garden. When we go to play parks she's ok, but if there are other people she will avoid.

The most worrying thing is though if we see people when we're out she will freeze on the spot or look to hide and then say bye babas and not move. She's terrified. She nearly backed into some nettles today so I'm just want some reassurance or similar experiences

I don't know how to help her, I don't feed into her anxieties around this but reassure her everything is ok. I smile at people and say hello if they look to try and show her people are ok.

Anyone have any ideas?

OP’s posts: |
Tacca Sun 30-Aug-20 14:34:22

Our little one had this but it was mainly due to being stuck in for so long during lockdown.

When I would take him out he wouldn't let me put him down, the world became scary. I made a point to go out lots after that to wide open spaces, where there wasn't anyone else about. Slowly he wanted to get down for a bit, then longer and longer and now he doesn't want picking up ever.

I appreciate it sounds like there is more than just this going on with your child, but I wanted to mention it in case lockdown has made whatever is bothering her worse.

RealityExistsInTheHumanMind Sun 30-Aug-20 15:52:09

I suspect it has everything to do with lockdown. Even without language kids pick up on emotions, and they understand far more language than they can use.
She has, I would think, have picked up on your general anxiety, even if you reassure her she will know that your feelings don't match your words, (doesn't matter if you are anxious about Covid or about her) which makes it confusing for her.

Add to that not seeing anyone but you for 6 months and even now, when she see people no-one is getting close to anyone else.

I think the best and hardest thing to do is to kind of ignore it. Don't try to reassure her, carry on being as friendly with others as distancing and masks allow and as soon as some sort of play group starts go with her. Don't however try to encourage her to mix, let her do it in her own time.

Banana0pancakes Sun 30-Aug-20 16:00:17

Thank you both for your replies.

Lockdown is definitely a huge factor.

I think you're right, there are days when I do try and encourage her but wonder if this is actually counter productive. When her younger brother is having his nap I leave our back door open so she has free choice, I don't mention it she just knows the option is there.

It is reassuring to hear there are other little ones finding this tough too

OP’s posts: |
takenbywine Sun 30-Aug-20 22:07:39

My little one is younger than yours and he also hates strangers. He turns his head around or hides behind me. I definitely think it's because of lockdown. We went on holiday and back and it has been better due to change of scenery. How's the pointing now? My DS stopped waving but recently I have noticed him using his index finger swinging about and pointing at random objects, so just wondering if that's going to develop into a full on pointing.

corythatwas Tue 01-Sep-20 09:26:36

Lockdown is no doubt a factor, but it is also common for children to develop fears around this age. My niece was terrified of other people, including extended family members she knew well. My db was terrified of a whole range of things, including stoves, railway crossings (awkward as we had to cross one to get to town). My mother was scared of hoovers and (embarrassingly) of her uncle by marriage who was the kindest man imagineable but not the prettiest. They grew out of it.

Marimaur Sat 05-Sep-20 11:34:26

Came on here looking for answers to the same issue. 21 month old backs away from other children and looks to me for reassurance/hides behind my legs/wants to hold my hand in the park. I’m sure it’s lockdown related!

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