“Is it shyness or bad manners?” 12 Ways to handle your child’s stranger anxiety | Podcast Episode 254

HEADS UP: At the top of the show, we say we’re going to tell you if we go into PG-13 territory. In the second half of this episode, I share about being sexually abused at age 7. You may want to listen away from your littles, or with headphones.

“Is it shyness or bad manners?” When a member of our private coaching community asked this question during a live members-only call recently, I knew I needed to get you a show about handling stranger anxiety.

We’ve got 12 ways for you to handle your child’s stranger anxiety… and we talk about how stranger anxiety isn’t necessarily a bad thing.

I hope this is a helpful episode as you head into the holiday season, and your young child is meeting lots of new people!

Temper Tantrums and Potty Training:

During today’s break I share about two wonderful free guides I offer.
While the podcast is long-form – your opportunity to look into the mind of a child development expert – the free guides are quick-and-effective.

You can watch the video, read the checklist, and immediately handle the temper tantrums or get started with potty training (depending on which guide you choose : )

  • Click here for the FREE video and checklist to handle every temper tantrum
  • Click here for the FREE video and checklist to successfully potty train your child

Go to weturnedoutokay.com/254 for:

  • A cheat sheet on the 12 ways to handle stranger anxiety
  • Links to the articles I quote from today
  • The link to the WTOO Facebook page where Wednesday 12/12 I’m doing a Facebook live Ask Me Anything to kick off the launch of my latest book, 10 Secrets Happy Parents Know, officially out today!!
  • The video of the week: “My child is anxious around new people”

And thank you so much for listening!

Video of the Week:


Cheat sheet on the 12 ways to handle stranger anxiety

1) Give kids time to warm up.

2) Know your child watches YOU for cues.

3) Hold hands for your child’s security.

4) Bring, or give, your child a comfort item.

5) Ask these “friends not yet met” to give your child time.

6) Take it slow.

7) Say: “[Child’s name] is learning how to be around new people.”

8) Do Not Say: “[Child’s name] is anxious/shy.”

9) Don’t dismiss your child’s feelings, or ignore them.

10) Don’t worry about the Friend Not Yet Met’s feelings; worry about your child’s feelings.

11) Model how to meet new people for your child.

12) Take cues not from the outside world; instead, take your cues from your child.


Key Links

My latest book, 10 Secrets Happy Parents Know, is officially out today!!
Click here to read more!

I’m celebrating with a Facebook live Ask Me Anything on Wednesday 12/12 at 2 PM EST!
Click here for the Facebook page!!

Click here for episode 237, my conversation with KJ Dell’Antonia about her book, How to Be a Happier Parent (and, as always with KJ, so much else : )

Click here for RaisingChildren.net.au article about stranger anxiety.

Click here for the WebMD article about stranger anxiety.

In my first book, Positive Discipline Ninja Tactics, I share my experience being sexually abused as a seven-year-old child (and how my parents, who had no idea what was going on, helped; it’s in the chapter about “what to do when something is very wrong.”)
Go to weturnedoutokay.com/books to read more about the book; or, click here to see the book in Amazon.


In the WTOO Universe

Join the private WTOO Facebook group… Click here!
The Facebook group is where I do our Magic Words for Parents Facebook live every Monday πŸ™‚


Mind-blowing (if not free) resources for you:


Potty training little kids is never easy. That’s why I created a complete course, Successful Potty Training Under Pressure, to help!
This course gets you ready for potty training with:

  • Gear recommendations, both essential and nice-to-have
  • Scripts so you know exactly what to say when your child has accidents or other struggles
  • Fixes for common problems – like if your child doesn’t care about sitting in a wet or poopy situation, or if you’re struggling to work well with your child’s school or caregiver

I created this course to give you everything you need to successfully potty train your child.
Click the link below to check it out!


“I am feeling able to handle this! I truly cannot thank you enough.”
– NPC Member & Mom of 3YO Boy

What’s frustrating you right now in your parenting?

Kids cut us in so many ways. But change is possible! Learn to truly enjoy family time by joining the Ninja Parenting Community!

Membership in our exclusive parent coaching community helps you through:

  • Live, members-only calls where you get solutions to your toughest parenting challenges
  • Courses on everything from stopping sibling rivalry to what to do instead of spanking, including the complete Successful Potty Training Under Pressure course

With all that and more, we have got you covered!

Join the Ninja Parenting Community today and make the time you spend with your young children your favorite time!
Get Help in our Private Coaching Community Today


Awesome FREE Resources…

If potty training is getting you down, let me send you – completely free – the first lesson of my course on how to potty train successfully, even under pressure!
Click here to receive Lesson 1: How to Make This Take the Shortest Amount of Time Possible.

Click here for the free 5-part podcast series on how to get good weeknights with kids.

Click here for the We Turned Out Okay Facebook page.

Click here for the Karen Lock Kolp page in YouTube, where you’ll find helpful videos (like this one on what to do when your child is jumping on the couch for your attention, at the worst possible time.)