Toddler scared and not interested in other children
I have a 2 and a half year old little girl who doesn't show any interest in playing or interacting with children her age and younger. She doesn't like to go to the park, unless she knows it's a park with not many children, and often get scared when a child (even very young) gets too close to her. It's almost worse with children we know, and last time I planned a play date with a friend, she cried for the first 20 minutes, saying she wanted to leave. She then, calmed down and started playing, but on her own. I have seen her play with other children, but it's pretty rare, and usually when I start the interaction and I stay around.
She goes to daycare 3 mornings a week and is about the same there, exept that she doesn't seem scared, just doesn't show interest.
Besides that, she communicates very well with us, and other adults, and seem to like older children better.
It's been getting these last few weeks. I'm pregnant and I was wondering if that could play a role too. She loves music and enjoy going to our music class a lot. She has many interests and is very independent and playful at home, but I'm worried she'll have a hard time fitting in later in school.
Has anyone been through that? Thank you for your help!
This is called social anxiety. It does appear from what you have written that it is not a severe form of anxiety. And you are correct - she will have a hard time fitting in at school (at first), but with guidance and patience and understanding, she will eventually do fine. But please do not try to "talk" her into "not being afraid" - this does not work and can slow down the process.
I might suggest you google the phrase "social anxiety and children" or "how to help an anxious child" or "toddlers and anxiety" or similar words/phrases. There is lots and lots of information on the internet and in bookstores re this issue. But, at this time, the best thing you can do is to "oversocialize" your daughter - take her to the grocery store, the mall, the park, Sunday School or nursery school, have many playdates, visit friends and family. Just do not expect too much too fast - it takes a long time for a child to learn to "trust" the world and we're talking years, not weeks or months. But, I suspect the outcome will be fine. As for the new baby - often a child with anxiety will feel safer when there is another sibling (even a new baby). I think it is because a lot of the attention will be directed toward the new baby and not at her. Most who suffer from anxiety do not wish to be noticed or have attention drawn to them. All the best ...
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