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Why would a toddler be scared of his own mother?

I'm trying to understand, my cousin is going through a bad divorce with a 21 month old son. His wife had been a stay at home mom, then met another woman and moved in with her. Soon the baby, Corwin wouldn't want to leave with his mother, he acted this way at the caretakers home and when his father would bring him back to his mother. The mother left Corwin for a week with his dad so she could move to Dallas with her girlfriend (They were living in Houston), then when she picked up Corwin he freaked out and did not want to go. Now his father has decided to keep him, his mother came to the house and he screamed and freaked out when she tired to pick him up. He was terrified of her, even when she first showed up he tried to hide from her. I found it hard to understand how he went so well for a whole week without her. But it scares me to see a baby that is so scared of his own mother. What would cause that kind of reaction?

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Asked by meegan77 at 12:28 AM on Sep. 3, 2009 in Toddlers (1-2)

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Answers (4)
  • A friend of mine's brother went through this with his son. And honestly the ONLY thing any of us could figure out is that she just wasn't caring for him, and wasn't treating him right. We found out later that on 'her time' he was often left at his grandparents unattended. Or gobs of family would be there with the older kids pounding on him. Luckily the courts saw the truth, and my friend's nephew is with his dad MOST of the time. Mom gets him every so often, but it is so little that he seems to tolerate it. But he comes home sometimes and has some 'bad' stuff he has picked up. And he is HAPPY to be home...but he doesnt scream anymore when he goes with her. Which in the end, I think is the best they could have hoped for. (on a side note, she got him for a week this summer, and brought him back early because 'she needed time to herself'. ONE week out of the year...and she didn't want him for it all.)

    Answer by ProudSingleMum at 12:56 AM on Sep. 3, 2009

  • he could have been tartled or angry that she left, i do not mistreat my children and ama sahm but today for a rare change went to a fabulous hot spring resort and when i came home my children hostile towards me and me little one took it as far as a screaming wailing fit for his father i did nothing! maybe she came on to strong a week away is like a lifetime at that age,,,

    Answer by mirit.rose at 1:06 AM on Sep. 3, 2009

  • and yes there are crappy mothers but not all remember that!

    Answer by mirit.rose at 1:07 AM on Sep. 3, 2009

  • I am wondering if the divorce triggered high anxiety that he wouldn't be able to see his father. Did he not see his dad for awhile? He may have associated dad not being in his life because of his mom. Children have their own perception on adult situations. I would not rule out something else, but this is what it sounds like to me.

    Answer by experiencedmoma at 1:58 AM on Sep. 3, 2009

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