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Grandson Behavior

Question:

My 4 year old grandson has been developing some strange behaviors. He clings to his mother when he arrives at places, doesn’t interact with other kids or adults, is a loner, but a smart little fellow who can recite some of the TV shows he watches, word for word, sometimes. He knows his numbers, colors and the usual things kids should know. He does speak clearly when he talks and his development seems normal. He was slow at potty training. He even seems to have a distant attachment to his dad (my son)and. all in all, he is just so clingy to his mother and seems to be very close to older brother. I will give you an example of what I mean. They will come to our house, and, they come from out of town, so we see them once a month. They will come to the door and he wants his mother to pick him up and when she does he will hide his face or hide behind her leg. So, we try to ignore him and he sort of warms up but this goes a long time. When he is in a public place at a family function he is the same. He is almost overwhelmed and his mother always has to hold him. I know they are really embarrassed because it is quite obvious this is not normal behavior at this age. He does go to a preschool and my daughter-in law-says he is ok but I have never seen what he is like in that environment. Please give me some guidance, he is really a sweet boy.

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Answer:

Dear Grandma,

I understand that you are a loving and caring Grandma and that is wonderful.

My guidance to you is to stop worrying about your sweet grandson. He is only four years old and is shy. There is nothing abnormal about his being shy at this age and I do not know why you seem to think otherwise. His parents are probably embarassed because they are aware of you sensitivity towards his shyness.

It is good to read that he is doing well in pre school. If there were a real problem, his parents would be made aware of this by the teachers.

He may outgrow his shyness or he just may be one of those shy people. Shy people learn to live with it and it is not a tragedy. Shyness is no one’s fault and is just a personality trait.

Enjoy your grandchild. Spoil him with lots of toys, candy and all the things his parents would never do. That is the role of a grandparent: to spoil the grand kids and to have fun. Do not make a big deal about his being shy when he visits, just smile, say Hi to him and enjoy his presence. He will warm up.

Best of Luck

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