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My daughter has severe stranger anxiety!!!

My daughter, 2, has always been on the shy side. During the 4th of july we went to a park and she was playing good, but then she went up the stairs to go down the slide and then all of a sudden about 7 kids, around 10yrs old, climbed up the slide and the stairs and boxed her in! Now she is terrified if there is even 1 kid on the playground! What can I do to help her? Should I just buy a playset for our house or continue to take her to the park to be around other kids? My other kids, 3 and 10 months, fine.


Asked by SabrenaLeigh at 12:43 PM on Jul. 7, 2011 in General Parenting

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Answers (3)
  • Hugs. Even if she decides to sit with you the whole time and just observe, she is still reaping the benefits of getting desensitized to "friendly" strangers . . . so it is still excellent to go.

    She may just have a personality that does better and is more comfortable with close, familiar, one-to-one relationships than in groups. They are separate skill sets. And, people that tend toward the one-to-one wind up making excellent friends.

    Just to help her navigate, though, you can do some social skills training by just talking about specifics of what to do behaviorally in groups. That'll help her out alot.


    Answer by ImaginationMama at 12:57 PM on Jul. 7, 2011

  • I would keep with your normal activities, but help her through. It sounds like that incident was too much for her and traumatized her a bit. That can heppen when someone is shy, anyway. So, for a while, make sure you are by her side at the playground, helping her to navigate with the kids. SHe'll get more comfortable again.


    Answer by ImaginationMama at 12:47 PM on Jul. 7, 2011

  • I try to go really early in the morning, because its usually people just walking their dogs and no kids around. The second she sees a kid she cried, unless she knows them (her cousins), and then sits by me the whole time. I try to walk with her to go on the playground but she wont even do that:( I just hate that something like this terrifies her

    Comment by SabrenaLeigh (original poster) at 12:49 PM on Jul. 7, 2011