Posted by: icmadoptionnetwork | April 30, 2013

Stranger Anxiety

Yesterday on our ICM Adoptions Facebook page, one of our wonderful adoptive mothers asked a great question about stranger anxiety with her two year old daughter. It was such a great question, and one that so many adoptive parents face, that I thought I would write about it in today’s blog. When it comes to stranger anxiety, many young adopted children (1-5 years old) fall into one of two extremes.

The first is that they are afraid/anxious of anyone that they do not know. When they go into a room with people that they do not know, they cling to mommy and daddy for dear life. They go into a state of hysteria if they are ever left with a babysitter (even a relative) or are left in the church nursery.

The second extreme is that they have absolutely no stranger anxiety, and will approach anyone they meet. Children that struggle with this extreme typically also have poor personal space boundaries. If they are faced with a situation where they enter a room full of strangers, they would go up to each person and hug them.

Both of these extremes can be stressful on both the child and the adoptive parents. Parents are faced with the task of teaching their children independence and trust, while still teaching them safety with strangers.

One great resource for parents is a resource organization known as The Safe Side. This resource tool was created by John Walsh and Baby Einstein creator Julie Clark. The link to the website is: There are great resources, including DVDS, activities for children, and curriculum. It is a great resource tool for every child… not only adopted children.

If you are not a part of our ICM Adoption Facebook group, you can join by going to the following link and requesting to join the group:


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