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Anxiety in 2 year old
What's normal?


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#1 BornToLove

Posted 25 November 2012 - 07:55 PM

DD has always been on the anxious side. It's who she is and we have always accepted it and try not to push her beyond her comfort level. Some of her fears are reasonable, others we (and child care) have tried to help her address as they are everyday things that we can't always avoid.

There have been a few incidents lately that have my mummy gut going and I'm not sure if this is beyond typical for her age group or if it warrants her being assessed. I guess I would like to know what fears a typical 2y/o has and their reactions when faced with it. If you have had your child assessed, what was that process.

Edited by BornToLove, 25 November 2012 - 07:55 PM.


#2 Babby and Roo

Posted 25 November 2012 - 08:06 PM

My 2 yr old is a bit on the anxious side too. She is wary of dogs and new people. Although she seems to be getting more confident as she gets older. She used to be afraid of walking on the shiny floor in shopping malls (she was afraid of "the shadows" which I assume meant the reflections). She can be fine with new people or new kids sometimes, and other times she will just recoil or worse, scream in their face. Oh, also when we tried to toilet train her about a month ago she became extremely anxious about "letting go" into the potty/toilet and was holding on for hours until she would wet herself. So we are back in nappies for now.

Some anxiety in normal in all toddlers, but if it is getting in the way of your child's ability to do their every day tasks like play and learning then it might be worth getting an assessment.

What sort of behaviour are you concerned about?

#3 BornToLove

Posted 25 November 2012 - 08:30 PM

Where do I start? She's afraid of everything from the ocean (is okay to sit on the sand, but will not go near the water) to birds, to new/strange people (especially men and overly active children), to anything with a loud noise, cars, most animals, etc, etc, etc. really anything she doesn't understand or can control has the potential to become a fear to her.

Her reaction is mostly to be held, though she has started shaking and crying when pushed too far (like when a too friendly Santa got too close today). There is one boy she seems to be afraid of at child care (he attends one day, DD is full time) and she shuts down when he is in her space too much.

Edited by BornToLove, 25 November 2012 - 08:32 PM.


#4 ozbilby

Posted 29 November 2012 - 03:25 PM

I know exactly what you are saying, my daughter is the same. She is 2 and a half but we still can't take her to many public places because lots of things terrify her. Not that long ago she was diagnosed with a probable anxiety disorder.

While there is no magic fix at this age, with the help of a psychologist we are working through her fears. I would recommend that you talk to your GP/paed about your concerns and see what they say.

#5 Tesseract

Posted 29 November 2012 - 03:35 PM

This is an interesting thread. Here is my initial reaction but I'll be watching to see others:

My DD is nearly 2 and doesn't like a lot of things. She screams screams screams if I put her in her sandles (she loves her runners). She is afraid of being in the swimming pool with me holding her, she clings to me for dear life. She is shy around new people. She cannot be in the same room as a vaccuum cleaner, blender etc. She is afraid of dogs, but not cats because we have a cat. She is petrified of the noise water makes going down the plug hole - she'll shake and scream for me to get her out of the bath NOW when the plug comes out. It's been a while since I took her to the beach but I'm betting she will be fairly nervous about going near the water there too.

I don't consider her to be abnormally anxious or anything. Quite the contrary, I consider her to be very outgoing and confident. So when it's written like that I wonder what normal is. I think maybe if you have the impression that she's anxious, then she is, rather than comparing to the list of things other kids are afraid of...does that make sense?

#6 Lagom

Posted 29 November 2012 - 03:52 PM

DD5 is somewhat anxious and it has to do with her wild imagination and her SPD.  When she was that age we thought she was petrified of grass but it was just that she hated how it felt.  She was over the top scared about earthquakes and storms, famine and numerous other unlikely scenarios.
DD sees a pyschologist now and we are working through several things.
If you have any concerns it can't hurt to check it out.  The earlier you get help if it's needed the better it will be for all of you.
Best of luck.

eta
QUOTE
My DD is nearly 2 and doesn't like a lot of things. She screams screams screams if I put her in her sandles (she loves her runners). She is afraid of being in the swimming pool with me holding her, she clings to me for dear life. She is shy around new people. She cannot be in the same room as a vaccuum cleaner, blender etc. She is afraid of dogs, but not cats because we have a cat. She is petrified of the noise water makes going down the plug hole - she'll shake and scream for me to get her out of the bath NOW when the plug comes out. It's been a while since I took her to the beach but I'm betting she will be fairly nervous about going near the water there too.


I'm not saying your daughter has sensory processing disorder but many of those things upset my DD too and are to do with how the shoes feel, the loud noises bothering her and just the confusing (to her) stimuli around in places like shopping centres, playgrounds and beaches.

Edited by amabanana, 29 November 2012 - 03:59 PM.


#7 Fossy

Posted 29 November 2012 - 03:53 PM

My DD is the same age as yours.  She's a bit quiet as she had glue ear, but improving lots.  I wouldn't say she's overly afraid of anything, she's wary of Santa at the shopping centre, she'll try to hide behind my legs.  

She likes big animals, horses, cows etc, but won't go too close, she'll ask to be picked up if she gets scared, but she's more than happy at a distance.  She'll try new things, play with new kids, she's happy to spend time away from DH and I with no dramas.  She'll wear anything, eat anything, no problems.

What you've listed (and other posters) seems like a lot for a little girl to cope with, I'd speak to your gp about it and get a referral.  Anxiety can be a debilitating thing, the sooner you find ways of helping her cope with her fears the better.

Good luck op amd Tesseract

#8 lady lady

Posted 30 November 2012 - 10:57 PM

QUOTE (Tesseract @ 29/11/2012, 01:35 PM) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>
This is an interesting thread. Here is my initial reaction but I'll be watching to see others:

My DD is nearly 2 and doesn't like a lot of things. She screams screams screams if I put her in her sandles (she loves her runners). She is afraid of being in the swimming pool with me holding her, she clings to me for dear life. She is shy around new people. She cannot be in the same room as a vaccuum cleaner, blender etc. She is afraid of dogs, but not cats because we have a cat. She is petrified of the noise water makes going down the plug hole - she'll shake and scream for me to get her out of the bath NOW when the plug comes out. It's been a while since I took her to the beach but I'm betting she will be fairly nervous about going near the water there too.

I don't consider her to be abnormally anxious or anything. Quite the contrary, I consider her to be very outgoing and confident. So when it's written like that I wonder what normal is. I think maybe if you have the impression that she's anxious, then she is, rather than comparing to the list of things other kids are afraid of...does that make sense?



This was EXACTLY my DD at around 19-23 months.  She is now 25 months and a whole new little person.  I found the growth/ change from 18 months to 24 months unbelievable!!  

It was only 12 weeks but the change in emotions, senses, language and even looks was a huge change.  Somewhere in that 12 weeks she turned into a little person who is now more aware of the world around her and her place in it ....

The shoe thing used to drive me bonkers ... Gumboots were worn with every outfit!!  But pleased to report she now wears a cute little pair of sandals with no fuss!!  
She also now laughs at the water going down the drain and says "it's a squeaky mouse" .......as well as chasing the vaccum cleaner around the house laughing and trying to pull the cord out ohmy.gif  on top of all of that she managed to cope with her little sister arriving and turning our routine upside down.
The other one that drove me mad was not getting in her carseat but wanting to go for a drive to the playground ... this too is no longer an issue wink.gif

Good luck OP and Tesseract, I'm sure the corner will turn soon but as always if you are still unsure get it checked out by your CHN/ GP

EFS

Edited by lady lady, 30 November 2012 - 11:03 PM.


#9 Tesseract

Posted 01 December 2012 - 10:01 AM

Thanks for your concern guys, and OP I'm sorry I didn't mean to take over your thread! As I said, I am actually not concerned about DD in the slightest, despite her having a few (what I consider to be normal) fears. That was kind of the point I was making, that all kids have some things that freak them out but if you (OP) feel that it is an underlying anxiety then it's worth getting it checke out.

#10 Betty_D

Posted 01 December 2012 - 10:17 AM

My DS is a bit younger than your DD, but he hates loud, surprising noises (like dogs barking / musical instruments etc) and he does not react well at all when a stranger, particularly a male, approaches him. He's fearful of elevators, escalators, and the doctor's clinic.

At this stage it's hard to know whether he's just a "sensitive little soul" as the creche lady put it, or if he has anxiety. Anxiety runs on both sides of his family so I'm particularly mindful of it. But, equally, I don't want to be looking for things that are just not there.

Best of luck, OP

#11 MrsShine

Posted 01 December 2012 - 11:33 AM

Hi guys, the little girl I used to nanny for (full time from 3 months to 2.5 yrs) and my mum cares for her and her younger brother still even now when she is 11 yrs old - was literally born anxious.

She has one of THE most outgoing, friendly, chatty and attentive mum's in the world, and her dad would do anything for her but even at 3 months she was wary of strangers and not just in a clingy baby way, when people approached her in the baby bjorn or said "isn't she cute" etc. in shops she would have a heart attack and scream blue murder! Se has always been shy with new people, and her dear parents were so perplexed by it. She has had, and still has many fears. She is petrified of people in suits (any kind) to the point where her mum decided to tell her they were actors just dressing up but they still scare her to death. She literally had a meltdown when she started school and her mum & the teacher had to spend the whole first term helping her to relax. She would just about make herself sick each morning with anxiety.

I can't remember too many more specifics but there are many - she is now at 11 yrs having a lot of trouble dealing with getting breasts and puberty and so worried about starting high school that she has had to start a journal and write down all her fears daily to talk through with her mum. She's never been able to attend dance classes or sports carnivals or anything as the not knowing what will happen is just too much. Her biggest fear right now is growing up! She never wants to leave home and be without her mum sad.gif

We all believe this has been inherited from her Gran who has been anxious and depressed nearly her whole life to a crippling point. All the family and friends make a massive effort to help her through and talk to her regularly about her fears so hopefully she can enter the adults world a bit more equipped.

She has never seen someone professionally - as she is too anxious to! But having a lot of loving and understanding people around her has always helped. So I guess my point is, some kids will grow out of their fears and some may become anxious people for life and will just need a great deal of support around them original.gif

#12 baddmammajamma

Posted 01 December 2012 - 05:23 PM

QUOTE (MrsShine @ 01/12/2012, 12:33 PM) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>
Hi guys, the little girl I used to nanny for (full time from 3 months to 2.5 yrs) and my mum cares for her and her younger brother still even now when she is 11 yrs old - was literally born anxious.

She has one of THE most outgoing, friendly, chatty and attentive mum's in the world, and her dad would do anything for her but even at 3 months she was wary of strangers and not just in a clingy baby way, when people approached her in the baby bjorn or said "isn't she cute" etc. in shops she would have a heart attack and scream blue murder! Se has always been shy with new people, and her dear parents were so perplexed by it. She has had, and still has many fears. She is petrified of people in suits (any kind) to the point where her mum decided to tell her they were actors just dressing up but they still scare her to death. She literally had a meltdown when she started school and her mum & the teacher had to spend the whole first term helping her to relax. She would just about make herself sick each morning with anxiety.

I can't remember too many more specifics but there are many - she is now at 11 yrs having a lot of trouble dealing with getting breasts and puberty and so worried about starting high school that she has had to start a journal and write down all her fears daily to talk through with her mum. She's never been able to attend dance classes or sports carnivals or anything as the not knowing what will happen is just too much. Her biggest fear right now is growing up! She never wants to leave home and be without her mum sad.gif

We all believe this has been inherited from her Gran who has been anxious and depressed nearly her whole life to a crippling point. All the family and friends make a massive effort to help her through and talk to her regularly about her fears so hopefully she can enter the adults world a bit more equipped.

She has never seen someone professionally - as she is too anxious to! But having a lot of loving and understanding people around her has always helped. So I guess my point is, some kids will grow out of their fears and some may become anxious people for life and will just need a great deal of support around them original.gif


While it is lovely that this girl has so, so many caring people around her, I am saddened to hear that she has never seen anyone professionally. It sounds as if her anxiety is truly debilitating. There *are* some very skilled professionals out there who can help children and adults who suffer from paralyzing anxiety. I can't imagine facing that level of anxiety and feeling that it was a life sentence. Poor sweet girl. I hope her parents and loved ones find a way to get her the help she deserves.




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