How can we make our son more brave and defensive?
Q: My son is 1 and a 1/2 years old. He is active and playful, but is scared of children elder to him, especially when they shout and laugh loudly. He avoids going to them. He doesn't resist if something is snatched from him and turns towards me for help. We have tried to explain to him about how to develop resistance and courage. We have also explained that he should not get frightened and be brave. We have observed that our neighbour's children come over to play with my son's toys, but my son keeps distance and instead of our telling him to play with them, he keeps watching them with a sense of fear. We know that he is too young to understand what we say, but how can we make him brave and defensive? In the long run, if he continues with this attitude, we fear that he will be exploited. How can we help him to defend his belongings and cultivate braveness?
A:Perhaps you worry too much about the long run. Let your child grow up and decide when he wants to protect his toys from others. Each child is born with a temperament and a way of doing things. Sometimes children change totally after a certain age or experience. But it is better to let them work it out. If your son comes to you for help, you should give it of course. Perhaps he had some fearful experience when he was an infant. He will gradually get used to loud noises and boisterous friends. At the age of 18 months, children generally like to play with adults (who will be sensitive to their needs) or with children who are much older and at the age when they will look after the younger ones. It is only when they are three plus that children play with their age mates and even then under adult supervision. Give him lots of opportunities to play rough and tumble games with you. As he grows bigger and stronger, he will be OK with other children.