{ "media_type": "text", "post_content": "I think my 2yr old son is having severe social anxiety issues… he is perfectly fine at home, playing and laughing and talking. But outside especially when other people get closer to him (especially small kids at his age) he immediately freaks out, becomes very anxious, and would try to flee the scene as soon as possible. Ever since he’s a baby we take him to play ground everyday and he is still the same. Any moms experienced the same?", "post_id": "61005bdf36e953002114403c", "reply_count": 12, "vote_count": 4, "bowl_id": "5a0c9a1f61b01a001937c406", "bowl_name": "Working Moms" }

I think my 2yr old son is having severe social anxiety issues… he is perfectly fine at home, playing and laughing and talking. But outside especially when other people get closer to him (especially small kids at his age) he immediately freaks out, becomes very anxious, and would try to flee the scene as soon as possible. Ever since he’s a baby we take him to play ground everyday and he is still the same. Any moms experienced the same?

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My daughter has social anxiety. She’s 7 now, and because she makes improvements/progress every year, I haven’t yet taken her to a therapist (other than having an analysis done by early intervention when she was around 3, and she did not ultimately qualify for services). When she was in the 2-4 age range, she was like your son - perfectly happy at home, but a lot of anxiety around other kids. In the 4-5 age range, it was less about not wanting kids near her- in fact she’s very active and loves to be out and about doing things- and more about not wanting to speak to other kids. In kindergarten she loved doing all the activities, but barely spoke at all the entire year (she’d mostly communicate by shaking her head yes or no). In 1st grade the teacher was amazing and took an active involvement in encouraging her to speak up in class, and helped her make a friend to play with at recess. When she’s with me, she’ll talk to people she knows really well, but won’t talk to anyone else. One thing you could try with your son if you haven’t already - has the neighbor girl come over to your house for a play date (rather than the playground)? My daughter’s safe space is most definitely our house - she will talk and play with kids at our house, even when she won’t talk to the same kid at their house or at a playground.

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Thank you for the kind words and sharing your story with me! Yes we will love him no matter what…

My 2 year old is like this. We sent her to half day school and just talk to her about it a bunch. I’m seeing improvement. I also notice she likes a lot of warning about what’s happening so I talk about how we are headed to the playground and there will be other kids there and how she should play with them...it gives her time to process and warm up to the idea.

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We’ve taken him to playground everyday since he’s a baby and he’s seen some same people/babies many times but he still freaks out when they try to be closer to him. I took him to try a gym class for a couple times, because of the crowded space and kids at one point he broke down and couldn’t stay in the room. Should I seek a therapist’s help at this point?

Have you tried one on one play dates? Either in your home or elsewhere? Just curious - I didn’t do well in groups as a child. But I loved playing with friends one on one.

I would suggest a play date in your home with her. Somewhere your son feels safe. (Obviously subject to the girl’s parents’ approval - I know indoor play dates can be tricky.) The playground isn’t in his comfort zone.

Totally normal for the development stage of a 2 yo and nothing to be embarrassed about. Dr Becky Kennedy has awesome practical advice for these situations and the many more curve balls ahead as your sweet baby transforms into a defiant toddler. If your baby just turned two, hold on to your seats. Many things he used to do/enjoy/be cool with are about to vanish. It’s normal and is more about how you handle them.

I don’t think there is anything to be embarrassed about! All kids are different. You sound like a great mom! If it were me, I would speak to your ped about possible options to help her. Not because I think there is anything wrong with her, but because you might learn some great tips snd tricks to help her feel more comfortable. There’s absolutely nothing wrong with being introverted, of course, but she might really enjoy playing with her peers! If there was a way to help her become more comfortable in groups, it might open up lots of other activities for you guys to do that she would really enjoy.

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