What is the first thing that come to your mind, when a 3 year old girl doesn't understand appropriate boundaries with strangers?
My FD is constantly approaching strangers and asking their name, grabbing their hand and asking to sit on their lap. Scary and disturbing for me :(
What could be the reason she does this?
Attachment issues. Maybe being passed around? My fs has so many strangers picking him up taking care of him he has no issues with it. So sad. My adopted son on the other hand would have nothing to do with strangers..
My daughter. Same story, BTDT. She's older now, but at three did the same things into age 5. This was all through foster care and TPR process. She was so insecure and so many ugly things had happened, her safety net was to get everyone and anyone close to her and to get lots of attention. In this way she would always feel safe, not necessarily be safe KWIM? I think it's officially labeled something like superficially pleasing.
Now that she's older and adopted she has better boundaries, but still scary sometimes. We had to work a lot especially in kindergarten on appropriate affection with teachers etc... So why did she do this? I think, she was left with random birth family members and put between way too many family members, thus sorta forming attachments but not really. She would try to wow whomever she would be with next, also at times so she didn't get physically abused. She was an angel the first month after she came home.
I would say be aware though, once anyone put a wrench in my girls efforts and tried to parent, teach or properly put boundaries in place with her, hello ODD.
She makes me nuts (off topic and rough week) but boy do I love on her. I have had to fight hard to move this kid towards healing though.
Best of luck therapeutic parenting to ya!
Our twins did this when they first came to us (they are 3.5) I think it was attachment issues and/or they never had been taught boundaries. When they first came they would walk up to anyone, sit on anyones laps, etc... Everytime they did it we told them that they couldnt talk, sit, etc... with people we didnt know. I dont think they really understood what we were saying but we were so consistent with it that they finally learned. I think it also helped that they started to really form attachments and bonds to us and our families which has helped them understand appropriate relationships.
Our twins (now four) did this up until a few weeks ago. They had been passed around so often that they didn't understand that every stranger wasn't there for them.
I cared for a little boy whose mother passed him around from sitter to sitter (he had been through 12 that year and it was only like may when I got him) and she moved from boyfriend to boyfriend. Technically, her son was being cared for, she was just a crappy parent. He would consistently walk up to strangers and do the same thing. Just keep teaching her about strangers and keep bonding with her and she will eventually stop.
@Adoptivemama I don't think it necessarily means RAD. Lots of kids who have attachment disorders DONT have RAD. I had some serious abandonment/attachment issues as an adopted kid but didn't have RAD.
My sister-in-law is much older now, but is a former foster child. She (and her four siblings) were removed from their bio-parents for extreme neglect. She was only two at removal, but bounced from home to home until she was put with DH's family. In public, she'd bark and growl at strangers. When she wasn't doing that, she'd mosey up to strangers and try to talk to them. Worse still, every woman she saw, including me the first time I met her, was greeted with "You are mommy?"
It does sound like attachment issues. My in-laws fixed this by telling her going up to strangers isn't allowed and talking to them isn't okay either if they didn't know them/tell her it's okay. It sort of backfired when she was four. At a graduation party, we were walking with her and the other child on our way to the car. People were telling us (specifically her, lol) "goodbye!" we nudged her to tell these people goodbye to be polite and she said, "But I don't know them! They're strangers." Lol :)
My DS was in a medically fragile group home. He had lots of different caregivers.
When he moved in with us, he would reach out for any random person to hold him, if they smiled at him. At the store, etc... It was a little embarrassing! ;)
So for the first few months, DH and I made sure we were the only ones meeting his needs. No one else could feed, change, comfort when hurt, etc... Obviously they could hold and play with him, but we were "his people". It didn't take long, and he knew we were it. He is still very social, talking to everyone we pass at the store, but he won't reach out to them, and is attached to us as mom and dad.
She is probably having trouble attaching, but with time it will come!
My fs is the same way. Talks to everyone that crosses his path, would easily jump into someone's lap, would go with anyone, etc. He also calls every woman he comes across, mom. Bm is very young and has inadequate housing which is why he's in care (along with domestic abuse). So I'm thinking he probably stayed at many different homes. I've tried to rock him to sleep when I can and show him individual attention hoping he will bond with us and not every stranger that passes him.
If you think about it, foster kids have no way to really develop proper boundaries around strangers.
How do you teach them that the nice looking lady at the grocery store is a stranger and you should not take her hand and go with her, but the nice looking lady that transports for DHS is someone that can just pick you up from daycare and lead you away?
At least for my kids Strangers are how you see mommy. The stranger that works for DHS picks them up and takes them to see mommy.
There is a really fantastic article about teaching kids about Tricky People instead of teaching them about strangers.
[url=]Tricky People Are the New Strangers[/url]