thread: A very cautious toddler.... is this normal?

  1. #1
    BellyBelly Life Member

    Jul 2004
    House of the crazy cat ladies...

    A very cautious toddler.... is this normal?

    I'm curious to hear other experiences with their toddlers... were they adventurous as toddlers, or were they more cautious?

    I am just getting a little concerned as there seems to be glaring differences between Aidyn and the majority of other toddlers that I compare him to.

    #1. He doesn't run... he can walk perfectly fine, and has been for ages, but never really runs....... maybe he just isnt in a hurry?
    #2. He doesn't climb many things, and when he does he is extremely cautious and wants me to hold his hand or help him.
    #3. He often cries at new situations/people, and wont let me put him down... though I guess this is just part of his personality.
    #4. He is extremely cautious whereever he goes, and whilst other toddler will run and climb (eg. on play equipment), he will only go really slowly, and will freeze up often and reach for my hand...

    I think what I am worried about is that I have passed these traits on to him somehow. As when I was a child I was EXTREMELY cautious, and was frightened of many physical activities (such as climbing), and hence I never became as confident and self assured physically as my schoolmates around me.
    Do you think I could somehow be passing my cautios nature onto my son, or would it be more likely to be just his nature?
    Or is it possible that I have been 'helping' him too much, and he is used to me being around to help him? Should I leave him be to work it out for himself, even if that means he will fall? Cause I usually only intervene if I think he is losing his balance....
    How can I encourage him to be more confident, or is that just something that comes with time?


  2. #2
    katanya Guest

    I understand your concerns Ambah, but I personally just think it's Aidyn's personality..he has been like this everytime I've met him, he's a gorgeous gentle, sensitive little boy..sometimes I wish Felix were a little more sensitive!
    I think he'll do all that in his own time and the fact that you support him and not push him into anything he's not ready for is the best way to parent him..nothing worse than parents who force their kids into situations they are not ready for or comfortably with..I was listening to a mum telling me one day saying she had to give up childcare because her son would throw up everytime she wasn't there..Aidyn isn't that sensitive!

    I was thinking today how different all our kids are, Matilda is just fullon and throws heself into everything without fear, Felix has a bit of caution but is very physical and active, and Aidyn is curious but cautious..I think it is amazing how their personalities and future selves shine through!

    As for parenting, I think ir's natural to want to protect and you'll know whne the time is right to step back more..please don't compare him to others or your parenting to others, each of us has gone with what our children need, and the same techniques wouldn't probably work on different children. I look at Christy with Matilda and I wonder if I could parent a child as active, as well as she does Matilda. And I think I have just learnt to be a parent to Felix and that is all I know, I'm used to all his medical stuff now and also his personality and needs..I know when I see you with Aidyn that you are exactly the parent he needs and responds to, you both a have a beatiful relationship, and he trusts and feels safe with you..
    As for the physical stuff..he's only 17 months! Some kids aren't even walking at his age! so he's well ahead of those kids already, you have a lot of girls of the same age around him don't you? Don't forget that boys are diffrent..go read Raising Boys to feel okay about that you are doing right, it even talks about how Boys need their mothers more than girls and usually are more socially immature (Felix is not typical of other boys his ages this way)

    Anyhow I know you guys are doing great!

  3. #3
    Registered User

    Mar 2005
    Bunbury, WA

    I agree with Katanya that you're doing a beautiful job, even though I havent seen you with him.. the fact that you care enough to worry says something doesnt it?

    I always think that being aware of something (this applies to so many situations.. personal bias, skills you are strong/weak with, and issues in parenting) is the important thing.. you're considering his nature, and that he seems shy and cautious.. this means you're probably helping him with it in lil ways you dont even know, and that you're definately not going to cause him any damage! (I hope this makes sense.. im pretty tired).. Basically im tryna say, in a couple of things at uni, in learning about practicing effectively (social work wise) we're taught that such awareness is a major step in working effectively, helping people.. etc.. You've seen these aspects of his nature, and im sure know to encourage him, boost his confidence etc.. im sure you'll all be great

  4. #4
    Registered User

    Nov 2004
    Giving the gift of life to a friend..

    Here's my thoughts (based on Maddy!)
    I think first children tend to be gentler, more cautious.. Due to the fact we as Mothers/parents dont really know how much we can/should let them do!
    I look at what my sister let's her 2nd child do & she is younger than Maddy, yet I dont let M addy do as much stuff, coz I wasnt really aware that she could (if that makes sense!) So we tend to have boundaries & always say "be careful etc!"
    I know with Maddy at kinder she would never snatch from another child, or climb high on monkey bars, or other various stuff like that, which other kids were doing. But I also noticed that the other kids were second & third & even fourth kids! So they tend to copy their older brothers/sisters & the parents are much busier with more than one to look after!
    Maddy would not cope if we went to a kinder birthday party & were later than a few others, if all the kids were already playing/interacting she'd sit on my lap the whole party & it really annoyed me!
    If we were first to arrive, she'd already marked territory (as such) & so felt comfortable to play!

    She is now almost 7yrs old, is extremely outgoing & confident & has a heap of friends (so many half the time I cant remember who is who!)

    I think your doing a perfect job & this is just his personality, he may just be a kind, beautiful, gentle boy!!! Nothing wrong with that I say!!! Will make a perfect hubby one day!

  5. #5
    Registered User

    Oct 2003
    Forestville NSW

    Ambah it was funny when I got home yesterday I was sitting there thinking "I wonder if there is something weird with Matilda, she just throws herself into everything & the others tend to be more cautious" lol....

    Katanya what you said was beautiful and I think its true we are the perfect parents for our children. DH & I love skating and surfing & doing adventerous things, so its great that Matilda is the same. I really wouldn't know what to do if she was shy.

    I think Aidyn is absolutely wonderful. He is such a gentle soul & I love that in him. As you know I could play with him all day long

    I guess one thing that could help build confidence is something like toddler gym? Where they have you help them learn how to climb on safe equipment :-k

  6. #6
    Add Rouge on Facebook

    Jun 2003

    I think its personality too. Paris is in between. She's definitely NOT shy, which I'm sure any of you will find out if you attend the Xmas do LOL! But she has never been much of an out doorsey kind of girl, I am actually going to start "Outside time" where each day (providing the weather permits) she will be asked to take her bike outside for X mins, to gradually get her used to it. She's fine at Kinder but really doesn't like to be in our backyard by herself. I don't necessarily believe its subject to how our children are raised, sometimes it can be but other times its pure personality. My MIL who had 5 children, will tell you they were all different in some ways and others identical. Try not to worry chook, there is absolutely NOTHING wrong with a cautious child, and I doubt very much it would ever be to his detriment. Encourage him, but don't force him, I had to go through a very sad stage with Paris and "bullying" children, and as a result she became fearful of Playcentres and certain peoples houses, but now she's fine and it hasn't affected her long term at all. And she's definitely equipped now to tell other kids how she wants to be treated, and has learnt how to deal with such children. I think you are a wonderful mother Ambah, and Aidyn will only shine as a result!


  7. #7
    Melinda Guest

    I think it's a lot to do with his personality.

    Jacob runs like a mad thing and throws himself into anything! He is always in such a hurry to do everything! If something isn't done quickly, then it's not worth doing in his opinion and he gets agro! LOL He climbs and does all of that kind of thing too - he has no fear! But I have noticed that in social situations where there are adults around that he doesn't know, he tends to be a bit on the shy side and wants to stay very close to me initially. It may take him anywhere up to say 20 minutes of being VERY cautious, but then after that, you'd generally never know that he hadn't met the person before as he starts taking them books etc! LOL He's generally ok with other children - he really enjoys watching them and playing......more so than what he once did because he generally plays independently a lot of the time - he likes to do his own thing (even when we try to play with him he will take off with his toys so he can do his own thing with them!).

    So I don't think I'd be too worried about you having passed on any negative traits Ambah (IMO, you don't have any such things!). Aidyn seems like such a lovely little boy and I don't think being cautious is ever a bad thing shows he is thinking carefully about what he is doing!!

  8. #8
    BellyBelly Life Member

    Jul 2004
    House of the crazy cat ladies...

    Thanks so much for your replies everyone... it has eased my mind a fair bit.

    From what you have all said, it seems that most of you have active/adventurous or even semi-adventurous toddlers, and thats what I had noticed IRL too, that most toddlers seemed to be like that,... except for Aidyn... hence my posting about it, LOL

    But its good to know that you guys think its perfectly normal, and just related to his personality....

    You know when you just get worried that people might think you're not doing your parenting job properly, cause your baby doesn't do what most others do?
    I just have to keep in mind that babies/toddlers all do things at different times/stages, and just because some others are doing it, doesnt mean there's anything wrong because my boy isn't doing it yet.

    I really do love who he is, he is such a sweet natured little softie, so I will just do my best to encourage him and build his confidence. I think the latter is very important especially, as I'm all too aware of how I was as a child, and I really dont want him to have feel the same way about everything that I did... which was scared...

    Thanks again for your words of advice and encouragement everyone, I really do appreciate it.

  9. #9
    Registered User

    Nov 2004
    Giving the gift of life to a friend..

    Maddison is very petite (you can see by her pic's, she is 7 next month!)
    But a friend who's daughter is a day younger than Maddy is extremely large..
    When we are having dinner together, they pile their kids plate full of junk foods & fatty foods, I give Maddy a plate enough for her of a variety of foods, including her favourite veggies!
    The father of the large child ALWAYS yells thst she isnt eating enough & she needs to have more & he tries to chuck more food on her plate!
    I tell him to leave her until she has finished what she's been served, you can always have more after that!
    Their daughter only eats crap IMHO, she weighs over 35kg is almost 7 & would be classed as an obese child!
    Maddy is thing, short & petite. I am sure he thinks we are bad parents coz compared to his daughter Maddy looks like she is starving!!!
    But their daughter has ongoing bowel issues & I believe it's coz of her diet!

    I dont care anymore what he says,. I tell Maddy to eat what she can, coz she is different to the other child, doesnt mean I/we are wrong!!!

    This 7yr old obese girl eats a whole roast chicken & large chips from Red Rooster to herself!!! To me that's wrong, but hey they are her parents & think she is fine & healthy!!!

    You are doing a WONDERFUL job with aidyn, we have the shier ones & that's fine, once he spends time at kinder & then school, he will find himself & his own personality will really shine!

    Every teacher at Maddison's school tells me she is polite & considerate of others!!! They say she is a dream student, so I cant be doing too much wrong!?