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Would you be worried by a toddler that didn't speak to strangers?

(19 Posts)
xxxxBAMBOOxxxx Sat 05-Sep-09 22:44:08

DD is almost 2. She can say a few basic sentances; where is it? who is it? what is it? and quite a few words. She understands a lot of what we say to her, knows her body parts and can point to a dog/cow/duck etc

DH and I have no close family but she does see our friends regularly and can say their names.

But when we are out, she doesn't say hello to anyone who says hello to her. Doesn't wave at anyone (although she does wave at planes, boats, trains) She just looks at them, dosen't try to commiunicate in any way at all. And I keep getting odd looks from people that do speak to her.
She also doesn't like anyone to touch her who she doesn't know - she will scream the place down if another mum tried to pick her up for example

Is this normal?

maryz Sat 05-Sep-09 22:55:11

I don't know what is "normal", but dd didn't talk to anyone apart from close family until she was about 4. She started playschool at 3 and didn't speak even to the leaders until after Christmas, and then only ever said yes or no when asked a direct question. She was unbelievably shy with anyone she didn't know well, and would certainly not have allowed anyone else to pick her up.

She is now a happy, outgoing, confident 13 year old.

morocco Sat 05-Sep-09 22:58:52

dd certainly wouldn't even let another mum pick her up - she's more discerning than that grin

does she communicate with family and friends? are you worried about her development? or just that she might be shy? I prefer to think of my dd as very choosy - she's not going to talk to just anyone - not til she's sussed them out and worked out if they're worth it or not grin

LynetteScavo Sat 05-Sep-09 23:01:45

DS1 was like this.

We were amazed when he actually said hello back to someone when he was 4.5.

I'd say she is very wise to sum people up before interacting with them.

xxxxBAMBOOxxxx Sat 05-Sep-09 23:05:04

Thats reassuring mary? Did you anything to encourage your dd, or did you just give her time?

She communicates well us and our friends morocco, enjoys playing with them and giving them cuddles.

I do think she is shy tbh. Her dad is very shy, is it hereditary? Even as an 8 month old baby she wouldn't let people hold her, only dh and I.

People speak to her and I know she won't respond in any way and they stand there waiting and then give me a funny look.

DEMifnotwhynot Sat 05-Sep-09 23:05:22

Actually you might have half the stranger danger beaten. My ds thinks everyone is his friend and combined with having no fear he is a nightmare for a parnoid mummy

LynetteScavo Sat 05-Sep-09 23:09:38

I agree about the stranger danger. I knew DS1 wouldn't be kidnapped without me knowing. DS2 would have trotted off with anybody.

Shyness is hereditary. Some people learn how to deal with it better than others.

xxxxBAMBOOxxxx Sat 05-Sep-09 23:10:31

Is there anything I can do to help her?

morocco Sat 05-Sep-09 23:14:30

that's quite normal (or is it just my kids lol) not to let other people hold them when they are babies - in fact is a good sign - shows they are attached to you (don't mean by velcro). poorly attached babies don't show any concern when other people pick them up (obv I don't mean all babies who love strangers cuddling them are not emotionally attached to their mum and dad). I mean - would you let a complete stranger give you a big bearhug (or do I want to know the answer to that?)

GrimmaTheNome Sat 05-Sep-09 23:15:37

Bamboo, I think they give you a funny look because what usually happens when a strange adult talks to a small child is that small child says nothing and the parent wades into the breach and says something. Either says, oh she's shy, or just answers the question or whatever.

Some kids are shyer than others but at less than 2 this seems absolutely normal!

xxxxBAMBOOxxxx Sat 05-Sep-09 23:21:16

When they speak to her, I say to dd, 'say hello', wave' even though I know there is not a cat in hell's chance of her doing it. Then I end u making up an excuse 'she's tired' 'she's just woken up'. I think they look at me funny because of the look of fear on her face.

Morocco - I'm not really into bear hugs from strangers no!

maryz Sat 05-Sep-09 23:30:07

We just left her alone, bamboo. I used to answer questions for her, if necessary.

In fact, she only really started improving when I stopped encouraging her. I think she was just much more perceptive than my boys, and more aware of what was going on around her. Once she settled into school she came on in leaps and bounds.

morocco Sat 05-Sep-09 23:31:36

why do you want her to say hello to strangers she obv doesn't trust? let her follow her instincts . if she sees you say hi to everyone in sight she'll prob follow suit one day

LynetteScavo Sat 05-Sep-09 23:38:11

I think the best thing you can do is be confident yourself, and let her follow your example, but don't do every thing for her untill she's 21; encourage her to say hello, just as you are doing.

The thing that helped DS1 the most was having a younger brother who wasn't afraid to wander up to people and have a chat.

There are bound to be loads of books on Amazon about helping shy children.

mathanxiety Sun 06-Sep-09 01:28:28

I would be much more concerned about a child who talked to anyone and everyone and seemed to have no internal radar about friend or foe distinctions. Under no circumstances should she be encouraged to speak to strangers. Not even to be polite. Or should I say, especially to be polite. Child molesters 'love' children who are too polite to tell them to f--- o-- or to ignore them and run.

mathanxiety Sun 06-Sep-09 01:29:26

Do you want other people, even strangers, to like your child and fear they won't if she won't talk to them?

xxxxBAMBOOxxxx Sun 06-Sep-09 08:10:56

No mathaxiety that is not it at all.

Thanks for your advice everyone, it is helped reassure me that she is fine smile

racmac Sun 06-Sep-09 08:39:23

Please dont worry - DS3 who is 2 and 5 months has been meeting with my friends and their children at least once a week since he was born but he still wont talk to them!

He will shake or nod his head in response to a question but will not speak to them but at home he babbles away and cant stop talking.

I wouldnt worry about it - id be more concerned if your dd was of talking to all and sundry!

meandjoe Sun 06-Sep-09 09:02:55

Oh all kids I know don't talk to strangers or even people they just aren't ever so familiar with! My ds never spoke to anyone other than me and dh til a few months ago and even now if it's a complete stranger like the cashiers is tesco for example, he just stares at them until we leave then he shouts 'bye' but that has only just started happening. I think it'stotallynormal to be honest. I think even the most confident of toddlers don't like strsngers, it's a normal part of development. I wouldn't force it ad if people give you strange looks then just think to yourself, why would you want dd talking to such an arse hole anyway? She's probably just a good judje of character!

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