Family

Timid tot

Dear Wendyl, oy son is 13 months old and seems to be terrified of people. over Christmas it was awful because he wouldn’t go to any of his relatives. By the end of the holidays, they all thought he was a bit odd because he hangs off me the whole time. I know that some kids are more shy than others, but should I be worried about his behaviour? Jane, Dunedin

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Dear Jane, Between the ages of seven months and 18 months, most children experience separation anxiety. For some it can last even longer so don’t buy into your family’s expectation that your baby should be the life and soul of the party. often we have unrealistic expectations of our kids, expecting them to behave like characters in a TV sitcom – if they’re not all cute and precocious, people think they’re abnormal.

Let your son be the person he is. With constant reassurance, as well as not throwing him into strange situations without warning, it will ease. Remember to praise him when he does communicate or react to another person, even if it’s as simple as eye contact. Also, try to get your family to accept that he’s not the kid to choose to entertain the grandparents at Sunday dinner.Wendyl

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