Let’s get this out of the way: My dad is a great guy. He doesn’t meet strangers. He has one of those laughs you can hear even in a roomful of laughing people.
Naturally, my 15-month-old son is terrified of him. On our last trip to visit my parents--unlike all the other times they'd met--my now15-month-old son shrieked every time Granddad drew near.
Admittedly, my little guy looked warily at everyone. He has only met them a few times in person. But he saved his loudest yelps for the 6’2” mustachioed man who I look a lot alike. Dad took it in stride, but I was at a loss. For the briefest moment I considered covering my father in my son's favorite food (strawberries) to see if that would break the ice.
But I’ve studied up and discovered that I’m not alone. Here are some things I’m going to try:
Hopefully the next time we see my folks, my little guy will warm up to Granddad’s embrace. But I'll have some strawberries with me. Just in case.
What relative did your little one fear? How did you help him or her overcome it?
Going to baseball games
Riding bike rides in the nice weather
Playing outside after work/school
Going for walks outside