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extreme stranger anxiety

my little girl is just over a year old now and she has a really bad stranger anxiety to men only. she will go to females she doesnt know as long as im still in view (like my friend from colorado she'd never met) but if a guy she doesnt know so much as walkes into the room she panics and runs to me crying. I left my husband back when she was just seven months old because he was verbaly abusive and it was upsetting the baby more and more as she got older. my question is, is his past verbal abuse the reason for the male stranger anxiety now? and will she outgrow it or be afraid of guys for years to come? It takes her months to get used to any guy, she is just now getting used to my best friend's fiance and she's been around him alot since christmas.

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Asked by Anonymous at 10:10 PM on Jun. 18, 2009 in Toddlers (1-2)

Answers (6)
  • It sounds like that is why she is having stranger anxiety towards men, but I think that the older she gets she will learn that not all guys are loud and scary. I would not force her to go to guys though if she is afriad. Give her some time to adjust and slowly introduce her to people you trust, respecting her fears and anxieties of course.

    Answer by Precious333 at 10:18 PM on Jun. 18, 2009

  • sorry about what you went through That must have been a hard decision and a very courageous one to make.

    Answer by Precious333 at 10:19 PM on Jun. 18, 2009

  • it makes me nervous to have strange guys be around her cause i know she gets afraid so i definitely dont force it on her. my friends dad took her to hold her the other day even though he knows she gets scared and when she started crying i took her right away from him and avoid him now :( i didnt apreciate his pushiness

    Answer by Anonymous at 10:20 PM on Jun. 18, 2009

  • it might also be that since there isn't a man at home she is nervous around them. my little guy is 4 weeks old (nowhere near your dd's age) but my husband is deployed and so he hasn't been around men at all except my dad maybe for a total of 4 hours, and every time my dad tries to talk to him he screams bloody murder. i'm assuming its the different pitch in his voice that scares him, but my daughter was the same way when my husband was deployed and she was 1, she was afraid of any man she did not know, but total and complete strangers that were women she was fine with

    Answer by vabchmommy at 10:55 PM on Jun. 18, 2009

  • i live with my parents so she sees my dad all the time and loves him to death so she does kinda have a father role model.... and he's a really good one too :)

    Answer by Anonymous at 10:59 PM on Jun. 18, 2009

  • Men are usually bigger, with deeper voices and this can be scary when you are only so big :) Also, since she is not exposed to a man living in the house with you it may take a little time for her to get used to people. If you have any brothers, uncles or close male friends I would suggest having them come over sometime to the house where she is most comfortable, and just sitting. Don't push it, but maybe have them bring a treat or something to help "break the ice" around her shyness. She prolly will outgrow the shyness in time, especially after she starts school. Good luck and I commend you on making a difficult choice!

    Answer by Anonymous at 12:14 AM on Jun. 19, 2009

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