My son is an adventurous and happy little guy. Jude is 14-months-old and just loves to play and run and climb all day long. He is (almost) fearless. All of the typical things kids are scared of, Jude loves. He loves loud noises, animals, running into dark rooms, climbing on things he should be afraid of falling off of. The one thing he is afraid of - other children. He cries if he has to be left somewhere with other kids. Anytime I take him to the nursery at church or drop him at a friend's home daycare when I'm in a babysitting pinch, Jude has a complete meltdown.
This is not a separation anxiety thing. My husband drops Jude off every morning when he goes to work, and Jude never cries. He just waves bye-bye and runs off to play. This morning, Jude's regular sitter (my aunt) was unavailable, so he went to a friend of mine's house. She watches a couple other kids and has a few of her own and Jude has been there twice before. Around 7:30 am, I got the call. It was my husband. "Jude cried when I dropped him off today," my heartbroken husband said. I was shocked, he never does that! He just can't handle being around other kids. He just doesn't know what to do with himself if another kid touches him or gets near him or, heaven forbid, takes a toy from him.
I don't know how to explain this. It's not that the sight of another child terrifies him. He likes to see other kids while we are out and about and he does interact with other children when I'm with him (like at the doctor's office or a playground). I think it's when he's left somewhere, with other kids, but without Mommy or Daddy. That's when he loses it.
What do I do. I don't really think playdates will help, because when I'm around, it's not really a problem. He's just not around other kids on a regular basis. While my husband and I are at work, he's with adult family members and doesn't interact with any other kids. He has one cousin his age, but we only see him every couple of months, and again, it's when I'm around.
This is something that I want to help Jude get over. He should enjoy playing with other kids and, when I need a back-up babysitter, he will have to be in places where there are children his age. I want Jude to be able to overcome this issue, but I don't know the best way to break him of it. Moms...any advice? Did any of your kids have this same problem? I'd love to hear from you! Post your comments below or e-mail me (firstname.lastname@example.org). I'm hoping someone has some tips on how to make my son more of a social butterfly.