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"guest" child won't look at me, or speak to me ... anything I can do?

(54 Posts)
NotQuiteCockney Tue 29-Jul-08 12:35:35

We have a 3-year-old visiting. She's pretty good friends with DS2, and gets on with DS1, too.

She's always been a bit funny with me, tbh.

She won't look at me, and is covering her face if I'm in the room. I can hear her interacting fine with both DSes, so I can tell she's not distraught.

But it's a little bloody weird, isn't it? And it means I have to delegate DS1 to help her with the loo ...

CrushWithEyeliner Tue 29-Jul-08 12:38:08

maybe she is just shy I would just go easy with her - my DD does this a lot - she is 19m though

Blu Tue 29-Jul-08 12:38:47

One of DS's friends was like this with me. To the extent of saying 'get away from me' if I tried to inter-act. But she was like it with lots of adults apart form her parents.

I would just make sure she is ok and allow third party communication until she decides to 'let you in'. You know, classic 'horse whsperer' tactics - don't approach her, let her come to you.

It's not you, per se, I'm sure.

Marina Tue 29-Jul-08 12:38:54

Sellotape a packet of chocolate buttons to your forehead NQC, and see if that gets a result
Yes it is weird and annoying, tbh. Is she just three or almost four? If the latter, I might be tempted to call her bluff by not setting her a place for lunch wink
Can you text her parent/guardian for some back-up guidance on this? I agree that loo matters could be fraught otherwise.

Marina Tue 29-Jul-08 12:40:12

PMSL at small children getting the heeby-jeebies from either of you, tbh, although I recognise it must be extremely annoying to deal with at the time
It must because you are both such horrid, cruel women wink

nappyaddict Tue 29-Jul-08 12:40:14

Is she like it with other adults or just you?

Mercy Tue 29-Jul-08 12:41:05

My ds was like this (he still finds it hard to talk to familiar adults sometimes at nearly 4½).

Blu's approach works best ime.

NotQuiteCockney Tue 29-Jul-08 12:43:46

She's about 3.5? Maybe a bit younger.

She's been funny with other adults, but she is notably funny with me - I know her from the co-op, actually, I've known her, a bit, since she was quite tiny, from running swaps.

Her weirdest recent trick - I was on shift, she needed a wee. I took her to the loo, she got on the toilet, I wandered off, came back, wandered off, came back, etc. Still no wee.

I asked, did she need the loo, was she going to pee? No. Then I asked if she would pee if someone else was in charge? She said yes. So another adult (who she knows less, afaik) took over, and she peed.

She does quite like DS1, who is good at being the Big Boy.

I do really have to follow her lead, and I can tell she's fine. I have told her I won't look at her until she wants me to (and not even in a huffy way!), and have been doing my best to stick to that. But I'm in the same room (on the mezzannine, however you spell it), so I can hear that she's fine, and interacting well with both DSes.

NotQuiteCockney Tue 29-Jul-08 12:44:23

She is ok with some other adults, I do think it's me a bit (history, chance, whatever - I'm not taking it personally!).

MumRum Tue 29-Jul-08 12:45:07

my DS has a friend like this and he's 10! he speaks through my son, so to speak (no pun intended) ... ie tell you mum... even when I ask what he wants for tea it comes through DS,
Drives me crazy...

Marina Tue 29-Jul-08 12:45:32

I think you are handling it fine NQC, and it sounds as though she is basically comfortable to be in your house

solidgoldbrass Tue 29-Jul-08 12:46:33

Are you exceptionally revolting?

RedHead81 Tue 29-Jul-08 12:51:46

do you have a big wart on your nose? wink

OverMyDeadBody Tue 29-Jul-08 12:52:44

It's bloody weird?

weird and annoying?

drives me crazy...


wow. This thread has upset me, irraitonally I suppose as you're not actually talking about my DS, but I just assumed other parents would be a bit more understanding.

DS is 5, he's selectively mute. He will not answer any direct question asked by an adult. Ever. Sorry if there are people out there who find it wierd, crazy or annoying.

OrmIrian Tue 29-Jul-08 12:54:38

My children have done this before. With various lovely and well-intentioned people. It is just shyness and it will pass.

NotQuiteCockney Tue 29-Jul-08 12:55:41

OMDB, I don't find selective mutism, or similar, annoying. I do find it weird, but that's because my two are so outgoing, iyswim. (DS1 is, if anything, pathologically outgoing.)

But selective mutism I can work with, I know what's going on there, and it doesn't seem personal.

This child's behaviour with me is personal. To be fair, it's less annoying than a phase from a month or two ago when she kept hitting me (and hard).

I'm sorry this thread has hurt your feelings, selective mutism sounds quite frustrating to deal with.

(I'm still not allowed to look at her. I asked, DS1 asked her, she said no. It's good that she can feel in control of the situation, as she's been left here by her mum, and it doesn't seem like she wanted to be left.)

NotQuiteCockney Tue 29-Jul-08 12:56:33

I don't think I'm exceptionally revolting. No warts, no.

Marina's DD liked me fine, but I think she may be one of those overly-sociable kids (did she get dragged off to the house of one of my friends? Or did that just nearly happen?).

DumbledoresGirl Tue 29-Jul-08 12:57:28

It wouldn't bother me as I am shy myself and actually worry slightly when my children have friends over that they will want to talk to me rather than my child. blush

Also, it is better than having a child who does not know what not to say, ie ds2's friend yesterday who came to play for the first time ever and cheerfully said to me "You shout a lot dond't you?" when I was trying to instill some proper behaviour at the lunch table (I was not shouting at him despite there being a need for it IMO)

That said, how on earth do you manage with taking her to the loo? I would not have taken on such a responsibility if I knew the child would not speak to me, so I think you are brave to have done so.

NotQuiteCockney Tue 29-Jul-08 12:57:52

And to be fair, too, I'm using this thread to vent, and to try to stay calm and cheerful with my friend's DD, and be good with her, iyswim. I do want to be understanding and calm, and treat her well, and hearing about other people's experiences helps.

RedHead81 Tue 29-Jul-08 12:58:32

I don't find it weird - some kids need time before they feel comfortable to talk - my DS on the other hand, is totally opposite - sometimes i wish he didn't talk quite as much, to, for example, a large lady walking in the supermarket - asking her if she has 2 babies in her belly shock (i was pregnant, so big bellies = baby) not all the time though eh? I didn't know where to put my face! blush

she didn't have any babies in her belly btw! blush

NotQuiteCockney Tue 29-Jul-08 13:00:07

Oh, the mum wanted to take a course today, and I want her to take it, so ... it was going to be for 'later babysitting', but then I spent Thursday night puking, and really needed help on Friday, and she totally sorted it out.

I'm figuring DS1 will take her to the loo, he takes care of DS2. Ok, if she needs a poo, we may have a problem, but as long as she goes into downwards dog to get cleaned up, I should be able to wipe her without seeing her face. grin

NotQuiteCockney Tue 29-Jul-08 13:02:07

Ah, but I know this little girl pretty well - she was always at the co-op, so I've seen her for four hours once a week, at least, for the last year or two. Plus at pick up and drop off, plus going climbing or whatever with her.

Ha! I was just about to get DS1 to ask the guest if she needed the loo, but I hear DS1 hurrying her downstairs to have a wee. grin

Oh, she's peed herself. Hmm, this may get tricky. Well, at least she didn't pee in the bed.

Marina Tue 29-Jul-08 13:02:26

You beat me to it NQC - OMDB, anyone dealing with a house guest with selective mutism would liaise with the parent first to find out the best way to put the visitor at his/her ease, and how to deal with situations where some interaction is usually necessary - such as visiting the loo.
As NQC said, this particular child is singling her out for avoidance, and knowing it's personal (and totally unjustified, I've met NQC and so have my dcs, and the welcome is warm and relaxed from everyone in her house) makes it that bit harder to be objective.
We often have a child with a raft of sensory/eating issues to play. Everything we need to have in place to make her time with us a happy one is discussed with her mum in advance, not in the child's hearing.

NotQuiteCockney Tue 29-Jul-08 13:02:49

I'm used to children sharing their opinions, that doesn't bother me. I've had 'your house is messy!', and 'your baby is screaming!'.

Marina Tue 29-Jul-08 13:04:25

LOL x-posted. Dd opted to stay with us all in the end I think, but she does often ask when we can come back and see you.
Favourites are your Ikea egg chair and Poisson Rouge on that mezzanine

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