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proexpert37, Educator/Life Coach
Category: Parenting
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Experience:  Teacher 20+ years, Parent, Expert Mentor
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We are elderly neighbors who have sort of taken on the roles

Customer Question

We are elderly neighbors who have sort of taken on the roles of "Defacto Grandparents" for a 20-month old baby girl next door. We love her tremendously, however each time when the parents bring her over or outside in an attempt to "bond" with her, she begins to cry. This happens mostly when the Father brings her after picking her up from Daycare. When the Mother is around, not so much. We do the baby talk bit, and try to make her laugh, but she still ends up crying. It is frustrating for the parents who I know want the baby to bond with us and like us. Are we doing something wrong? They have plenty of visitors to their home for parties, etc. and we don't believe that the problem exists with their visitors as it does with us. Could it be because we are elderly, multi-racial, or what?
Submitted: 3 years ago.
Category: Parenting
Expert:  proexpert37 replied 3 years ago.
Hello and Thank You for using Just Answer. The little girl is only manifesting separation anxiety. She is too young to have already developed negative views because of race or age. Make sure you have age appropriate toys and activities that will interest her when she comes over. If her parents stay for too long when they drop her off, it makes things worse. On the other hand, if she knows that mommy and daddy are right next door, and sees them out the window, then that will not help either. Maybe you can even have a picture of her family in your house to comfort her.
Customer: replied 3 years ago.
We were just wondering if our antics and doing goofy things to try and make her smile or accept us is maybe a bit overboard and may be contributing to her anxiety and rejection. We finally retired after living overseas in Japan for most of our lives and fell for this child before she was born. Maybe trying to make up for some lost time with our own granddaughters in their development years or early childhood. We love children, especially those at the age that our little one is, however, even when we are shopping in stores, etc. and encounter small children, their reactions are entirely positive; even the ones at that age that come around "Trick or Treating on Halloween." The parents brought her by on Halloween in a little Bumble Bee outfit and we were probably over-affectionate with her and complimentary about how cute she looked in the costume, her mother was carrying her in her arms, but when she put her down at our door for the traditional stuff, she began crying again. We have age-appropriate toys at our house, but she is very indifferent to them and always want to be held by either Mother or Father. Never have experienced this type behavior in a child this age and we are just confused and truthfully frustrated. Maybe we should just give up at this point. Thank you so much in advance for your prompt reply and previous response. All highly appreciated. Willie and Shizue
Customer: replied 3 years ago.
Sent additional info and Q's. Satisfied with original answer and just want a little more clarification as to what we need to do or whether we should just give up and move on with our lives in these our "sunset" years. Please see additional questions already transmitted. Thanks
Expert:  proexpert37 replied 3 years ago.
Hello and thank You for responding. If you really feel in your heart that this young girl adds a ray of sunshine into your life, do not give up on the relationship. If her parents want to bring her around, then continue to do so. She is still so young. Her anxiety and crying will not last forever. Being goofy and funny are perfectly fine. The parents must also reinforce to their daughter that "grandma and grandpa" are so happy to see her. Her behavior is completely normal. Do not take it personal at all. She will soon enter the terrible twos and will become even more unpredictable. Your life will be more enriched as you watch this little angel develop.

Have a great day!
proexpert37, Educator/Life Coach
Category: Parenting
Satisfied Customers: 1374
Experience: Teacher 20+ years, Parent, Expert Mentor
proexpert37 and other Parenting Specialists are ready to help you
Customer: replied 2 years ago.
I apologize. Thought I had provided feedback to you. I really appreciate your responses to our questions, especially about being patient. It has already paid off and just yesterday there was already a noticeable positive change in the child. It made our day and was a great example of how "spot on" your advisory was. We would like to thank you very much and wish you continued success. Again, thank you and God bless.
Expert:  proexpert37 replied 2 years ago.
I am so happy to hear the great news. Appreciative customers like you really make my day! Enjoy the holiday season. God bless you too!

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