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    Stranger Anxiety towards men only
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    chantella6473 posted:
    My daughter just turned 2 in March. From the time she was about 6 months old, she would cry hysterically anytime we were around my FIL, BILs, or pretty much any man that was not DH or my dad. To be fair, my DD only sees my FIL and my BILs every couple months but I just feel like she shouldn't still be doing this. It has gotten a little better . It's only REALLY bad with my FIL and one of my 3 BILs but it is still heartbreaking. And yesterday, DH kind of snapped at me saying that we have to stop babying her and that her behavior is getting ridiculous but my feeling is that if she is genuinely scared of these men b/c she never sees them, then she deserves to be comforted. How am I SUPPOSED to handle this situation. We've tried talking to her (haha, try verbally reasoning with a 2 yr old right?), we've always comforted her when she gets like that, I've even made up a picture book of all the male relatives that she freaks out on to try to get her accustomed to their faces and nothing seems to work. I just feel like I'm doing something wrong. I always feel like there is pressure for her to perform (meaning to be the cute, bright eyed, bushy tailed girl that she is at home) and I just cant deliver. I don't try to force her on these people but I think they force themselves on her and I don't know how to handle it. Advice PLEASE! I am at the end of my rope. Thanks!
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    linzuh04 responded:
    It's just a phase. DD did this too, but with females. She would walk up to any man and reach out for them, but women, she would scream like they were attacking her.....even my best friends! She eventually just grew out of it. Until then, it's just something you have to deal with. Try showing her pictures and telling her who they are. I guess DD was closer to 3 when she outgrew it.
    ME (20s) DH (pushing 30) DD(2006) DS (2008)
     
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    SAHM2myGirl responded:
    Mine was the same way too towards my brother. She has finally started to get over it at about 2.5 years old. I did figure out that part of the problem was MY uncle has the same name as my brother (HER uncle) and my mom would always say what an a$$ MY uncle is. I finally started calling my brother by the nickname I gave him forever ago and that has helped considerably too. I tell her how fun Uncle Nickname's house is, she'll get to pet his animals and play with her cousins toys, etc. That makes getting in the house easier too. Otherwise, it's just a phase and she'll get over it eventually.
     
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    ryanandleigh responded:
    DS was somewhat like that as at that age. My dad would chide me about sheltering him and holding him when he was scared or nervous at being at their house. (He would warm up after a few minutes.) I know it is hard but really you are reinforcing her behavior. She cries and you comfort her so she thinks there is a reason to be afraid. I know it is hard but I would say try to gently encourage her to watch you or your DH interact with these people. Or let her hang back and start interacting when she feels ready. As long as she isn't hurting herself, let her cry. But you will have to do this consistently for a few visits before she realizes you aren't going to rescue her. If you don't want to do that, then I would just wait for her to outgrow this because it really is a phase - just a LONG one.
    Leigh, Jacen (5), Alexa (2)


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