Parenting Tips Logo
Inspired Parenting Advice Banner

Toddler Afraid Of Other Children

by Kate

Hi Annie,

I have a 20 month old daughter who is absolutely gorgeous and wonderful. I have raised her so far with my awareness of the Teachings of Abraham, so I try to allow her and trust in her guidance most of the time.

She is very social with adults, including strangers. She loves older children. But when we are around other kids her age she is unhappy, wanting me to hold her the entire time. She doesn't warm up to the kids even if we spend 2 hours with them. She cries because she wants to play but seems unwilling to.

Yesterday a little boy came near her and she started screaming 'don't touch me' even though he hadn't. She's an only child, but I have a large group of friends with kids the same age, and she sees them twice a week since she was born.

I just want my little girl to be happy, and I want to use Law of Attraction principles rather than push her into an environment that clearly upsets her. I've tried just putting her with the other kids, but she just gets hysterical.

Thank you for your help,

Comments for Toddler Afraid Of Other Children

Click here to add your own comments

Toddler Development And Play - Part One
by: Annie Desantis

Hi Kate,
How wonderful that you are raising your lovely little girl using Law of Attraction Principles. Helping her to remember she is a conscious creator from the word go is fabulous. In actual fact, our little ones have a lot to teach us about staying in the moment, and fully enjoying what they have their attention on.

They are also pretty good at knowing exactly what they want. Or in this case, what she doesn't want!

One reason your little one is not so happy with kids her own age, is simply a developmental thing. At her age, she is only just getting to the stage of parallel play. This is where kids play alongside each other, with awareness of the other child, but are not able to share or be rational about their interaction. Playing "with" another child is quite a long way off yet! They are still very much "ME" focused, - the world revolves around her at this age!

When she is with older kids or adults, they no doubt give her lots of attention and create fun games with her. But she is smart enough to notice that kids her own age are not going to have her as the centre of their attention, in fact they
are likely to be competition, or take her toys!

And of course energetically, your desire for her to play happily with the other children, and your encouragement to hop off your lap and play are all simply adding a lot of energy and pressure to the situation.

You may also have some conflicting needs of your own too. When Mums get together they want time to talk, have some adult conversations and hopefully the kids will play happily while we get some fun time of our own. So she will be picking up on your frustration, or you may even be feeling irritated or embarrassed that the other kids are playing happily and she is clinging to you.

What can you do? Drop your agenda of having her play happily with the other kids! She will get to it in her own time, but her developmental stage, your frustration, and probably she is quite sensitive to the energy of it all - are making it
messy for her.

If you want to have some time to talk without her clinging, maybe you can ask one of the other parents to have her for 15 mins or so, reading a story or simply having her on their knee. That starts to meet your needs, and she is not so
caught up in your energy.

Part Two Follows . . . .

Toddler Development And Play - Part Two
by: Annie Desantis

You are totally doing the right thing having lots of opportunities for her to interact. But don't worry at all about her not wanting to at this stage. She will be observing and learning, and picking up all sorts of things by simply staying
where she is comfortable.

Kids sometimes do need a bit of encouragement to
step outside their comfort zone, but in this case I think she simply has not got to the next stage of development yet. There is no point in trying to make her, as you say she just gets distressed.

Just have her with you, but in a low key way. If this is your social time, then unless you really feel like playing with her, or reading a story, simply have her on your lap with a few toys, and without any pressure to do anything, and keep
interacting with your friends. She will watch the others from the safety of your arms.

If you feel like getting down and playing with the kids you can read a story to them, or choose a game that is easy to share - blocks or something they can all join in on, rather than her favorite teddy! She may be more likely to play alongside the other kids when you are down there with her. Just remember she will know if your energy is not lined up with that, if you are doing it to pressure her, or doing it resentfully, she will definitely pick it up!

I suspect you will find if you drop your expectation and hope that she will play happily, within a few weeks she will be venturing closer to the other kids. Then in a couple of months she will be quite happy to play alongside - but not yet cooperatively!

There is a lot to learn about relating to others, and working out what you want and what is the best way to get it! Is it more fun to snatch the toy or is it more fun to play with that other child?

Part Three Follows . . .

Toddler Development and Play - Part Three
by: Annie Desantis

The other thing is much as you want her to be a happy little cherub all the time, that simply is not going to happen! When she experiences situations that she is not happy about, that helps her to learn what she wants. And a certain level of frustration or annoyance can also motivate a child to find ways of figuring out how to get their needs met. She has clearly learned she can charm older kids and adults to create fun exciting times with her, now one of her challenges is going to be figuring out how to have fun with her peers.

And Mum can't fix everything up, or create the perfect experience for her. I read a very interesting study some years ago based on a model where parents do everything possible to make sure their child never cries, never has any stress of any kind, and bend over backwards to keep their children happy. I think some parents still subscribe to this kind of parenting model. However, these kids as they got older did not cope with new experiences, had very little resilience to stress, and show little initiative or creativity. And I can't imagine a parent not having needs of their own, which would at times be in conflict with the wishes of the child.

Your job is to keep yourself connected with what is right for you and what you need to do to be happy - remembering her playing happily cannot be a condition on you having your own fun! Have as much fun with her as possible, and be her safety net when she wants one. She will work it all out in her own time, and with a Mum like you she has had a fantastic start.

Keep being the fabulous Mum you are,
Annie D :)

Thank you
by: Kate

Annie, thank you so much for your very quick and thorough response. It really put my mind at ease. You have offered me so many insights and practical options, you are a goddess! I've read your reply twice, and i'll be reading it again.
All my love, Kate

I Love Answering Questions From Parents :)
by: Annie Desantis

I'm very glad to be of service Kate, our little munchkins are the future of this wonderful little blue planet, and teach US so much!

Wishing you JOY,
Annie D

Education NEW
by: Anonymous

The other obsession is a huge deal as you desire her to be a satisfied small seraph all the time, that just is not leaving to occur! do my homework for me

Click here to add your own comments

Do you have a question or want to send a submission to Annie? Simply click here to return to Toddler Development Questions.

Problem Solving 4 Kids
Only $12.99

Problem Solving 4 Kids E-book

Learn my 7 Step Problem Solving 4 Kids Process
A step by step guide to teach your kids to be solution orientated.


  • Tips
  • Updates
  • Your Stories
  • Competitions
  • Questions Answered

My Subscribers Get Freebies!

Let me know how I can support you to be an Awesome Parent!

Featured Sponsor

Click N Kids would have to be one of my subscribers most popular programs, and from what they say, it is mostly because the kids have fun while they are learning. In fact they don't even realize they are learning! Click N kids are using the Looney Tune Characters now in their phonics program, which of course kids just love.


Home Page

Free Newsletter


Resources 4 Parents

Ask Annie
Parenting Questions

Tools 4 Parents


Parenting Tips


Child Education

Child Development

Parenting Styles

Activities For Kids

Art Activities 4 Kids

Best Educational Toys

Annie Desantis

Who is Annie D?

Parenting Coach


Terms & Conditions
Privacy & Cookies

Legal Stuff

[?] Subscribe To This Site

follow us in feedly
Add to My Yahoo!
Add to My MSN
Subscribe with Bloglines

Free Parenting Games
One of the best Parenting Tips we can offer is:

Free Family Games

Our Parenting Games Series are designed to support you to be an Inspirational Parent.

Featured Sponsor

Best Educational Toys and Games

Hearthsong brings magic into childhood with their stunning range of amazing toys, games, and activities. I've found things here I've not seen anywhere else. They even have a gift registry, which is a great idea for Christmas or birthdays.

Hearthsong are very generously offering my readers a 10% discount off orders over $50. Use coupon code: LNK10HS

Please note the 10% discount is not available on the deal of the week items - these already have HUGE discounts.

Free Book
Allowance Secrets
I was honoured to be included as one of the experts in this helpful book. Some great advice and ideas for teaching children about money.

Super Skills 4 Kids Home Study Course

Return to top | Home | General Enquiries | Ask Annie Parenting Questions
Free Parenting Newsletter | Free Parenting Games | Contests
Super Skills 4 Kids | EFT 4 Kids Program | Affiliate Program

      Copyright © 2008 - 2014 Inspired Parenting      Template Design