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DrRussMD, Board Certified MD
Category: Medical
Satisfied Customers: 65671
Experience:  Board certified Internal medicine and Integrative medicine. Many years of experience all areas.
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Dear Colleague My name is XXXXX XXXXX I am a Consultant Spinal

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Dear Colleague
My name is XXXXX XXXXX I am a Consultant Spinal Surgeon. I would greatly appreciate your help and advice on this matter: I have a 18 month-old girl who is very shy and kind, but likes socializing. She hasn't been to the nursery yet though.
I am very much worried as every time she approaches other kids to play with them, they usually take all the toys from her, and although she frustrated she is very hesitant to ''claim'' or ask for her toys back. She doesn't cry most of the times but I can into her little face that she feels very sad that she cannot retrieve her toys or just to grab them and get them back. She is kind and fragile I am very much worried about her, as I can she her disappointment and this is keep happening almost regularly.
I used to be shy and feeling the same way as a child and I don't want her to experience that bad feeling of not having control at all
Is there anything I can do about it please?
Kind regards

I see nothing abnormal here
What is your question
Customer: replied 3 years ago.

The ''abnormal'' is that she is very hesitant to get involved and to make any attempt to claim her own toys back. I wouldn't mind if she didn't look that sad afterwards, like not being able to do anything to change things

The question is how can I help this child on this matter?

She is 18 months.
This is normal behavior

Does she appear distressed or upset?
Customer: replied 3 years ago.

She definitely appears upset.

I am not saying this is abnormal, but most of the children in her age demonstrate a different, more ''aggressive'' behavior. I am questioning about how could I possible reverse or eliminate this behavior

Has it occurred to you that her behavior is more "normal" than that of the more aggressive children?
Customer: replied 3 years ago.

I am not sure I understand the question

First of all this is , what, day care? Preschool? Casual environments..neighbors, etc?

IT sounds like her reaction is completely valid and normal, I am not sure why you want to change it
Customer: replied 3 years ago.

Because she appears sad and upset when this is happening

Which is normal for 18 months.

I still need a better idea of where this happens, in what situations and under what conditions?
Customer: replied 3 years ago.

Particularly in play areas, or when we meet with friends and their kids

I would be very wary of trying to change an 18 month old who is displaying normal behavior.

The fact is that if older kids or even the same age kids are being overly aggressive, then that is a situation for the adults to remedy, not the kids. Presenting an atmosphere of cooperation and fair play is what should occur on the part of adults from pre school through high school.

In her case, keeping the environment secure, allowing her to develop, perhaps limiting the number of children at first and going gradually would be enough, or more than enough, of an intervention, assuming no one else is out of line.

Frankly, a more shy, less aggressive personality is normal, and trying to change this into a more agressive less shy personality because of what we perceive is potentially invasive and even harmful.

Unless her doctor is picking up a problem on exam, or she has not met other developmental milestones, I would do nothing more than provide a safe, normal and fair environment.
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Customer: replied 3 years ago.

We are both doctors and we both know that this a normal behavior. I will obviously not attempt to change a normal behavior, the question was mainly within the psychology boundaries and not the medical apparently, and the advice seeking was about ways of enhancing interaction- I thought that was clear


As I said, in my view that is about setting a safe and fair environment, without interfering with the children....but, intervening if someone is overly agressive, or if sharing and consideration [albeit on the level of this age group] is not occurring.

This sets the done for cooperative interaction, rather than interaction based on who can take something because of a more aggressive stance.

That projection has to come from the adults at this point, not the children.

Of course, making sure she is confident with family , particularly mom and dad, about asking for what she needs, as well as about expressing herself, IS something that can be provided at home, and will establish a secure foundation for peer interaction.

As far as proper personality and even neuro development, putting very definite restrictions on TV, internet, and application oriented electronic devices is key. Use of such before age 2 to any great degree is something we know is damaging and interferes with development. Just as an aside.

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