I'm not good with kids and don't know how to behave around them. Does anyone else relate?

  1. I like babies and younger kids, probably up until they get to the tween age, though it depends. They're interested in stuff and genuine. They just want to play, learn or look at cool stuff. I think the best way to relate is to ask questions about their interests and what they like to do. I grew up around kids of all ages though. I also treat them like people (because they are), I think usually adults treat them like toys and talk down to them, which I remember hating when I was a kid.

  2. this is my take as well. the amount of kids who tell me "hey, you actually listen to me, that's cool" is too many.

  3. I’m the opposite. I find kids (most, I know some can be difficult too) more refreshing than adults. Especially because I tend to have so many youthful interests as an adult on the spectrum like cartoons

  4. Yes! And if you tell them random facts they don't get offended for no reason. And I can stim and be silly around them without feeling judged and uncomfortable.

  5. same. i communicate well with children. for whatever reason they'll often approach me random places such as the grocery or skatepark to say hi. it's almost like they know i'm cool with them, & their parents will many times scold them as if they assume i'm just another adult that doesn't wish to be bothered by children.

  6. Exactly!!! I find it bewildering that people are missing the script - so many asd people complain about having to do things according to unwritten sets of rules, but with kids, there are no rules, you can just be yourself and they'll accept it without hesitation! It's only when they get to teenagehood that they start feeling self-awareness and pressure to conform.

  7. This! I totally unmask and become my inner child. I just be totally silly and my imagination runs wild with theirs. I'm like, "what you up to?" And they're all "I'm a sea monster" and I'll be like "oh no, I'm gonna have to run away from you!" And pretend to scream and run away and just play. They love it.

  8. Yes! I absolutely love being around kids but just can't fit in or be myself around other adults. I'm 31 and my daughter is 12 and we have a blast together. I'm my total unmasked self around her and it's amazing. I love taking all her friends out and they all love me and say I'm their favorite mom of the friend group ( probably because I'm basically a 31 year old child lol)!

  9. I relate to all of this. Kids make me uncomfortable and I don't know how to talk to them. I don't find them cute either so I can't resort to compliments.

  10. They make me uncomfortable too, and it's part of the reason I don't want any kids of my own. I'm sorry if this sounds harsh and I don't mean any offence to mothers (or those who wish to be one someday, you do you!), but I don't feel any so-called maternal instinct stirring up in me when I see a mother fussing over her child. All I feel is grateful that I don't have to deal with that myself. I don't hate kids, but I don't want to have anything to do with them either.

  11. Yeah, I feel really uncomfortable with kids. I feel like I struggle to know what is appropriate, even with other adults. So with kids, the pressure is doubled because I don’t want to say the wrong thing to an impressionable young person.

  12. Yes! If I respond to an adult being playful with an off the wall joke tangent, they'll usually laugh it off even if they accept it's weird. With kids, I feel like I'm constantly at risk of bringing up something inappropriate, rude, too "adult," too scary, too in-depth, etc. It's like the stakes are doubled. I didn't fit in with kids as a kid and was watching true crime by kindergarten, so no, I don't have a scale of what's correct. 😂

  13. This is me to a T. I remember as a teenager being handed a baby, and I was trying to figure out what to do with my face and how to interact with a baby. Then the baby appropriately cried, hahaha. I rely heavily on my scripts, and with kids it all goes out the window. You can't predict what they're going to say or how they're going to act.

  14. I used to be like this, but it somehow changed in my late 20s and now I like kids more than adults, because they just show or tell you things they want instead of doing the social dance. There's no bullshit "how do you do" script, just "wanna see my dinosaurs?" or "your nose is funny" lol

  15. I’m brilliant with kids. I find it almost easier to talk to them than adults. With them I can say whatever boring comes up in my head and it’s not weird. ”Look, a bumblebee” is perfectly appropriate. An adult would expect me to have a point with that lol

  16. also helps that children love being treated as adults, when you don't "talk down" to them, even if they don't understand everything! I relate, they also tend to be a lot more direct which really helps with communication

  17. Same, until certain age (probably at least 5-6 years old) is the worst. There is no meaningful discussion possible, they are boring and typically always dirty. I try to avoid being near kids

  18. I can’t stand children. I avoid them at all cost. Most of the women at my work state they only like their own. I think a lot of people generally find them annoying, autism or not.

  19. I personally find young children easier to communicate with as they are more logical than any adult is. They don’t care if you are pretty, wear the right clothes or give them eye contact. They just like it when people pay attention to them and play with them. They only don’t like people if they twig that either the person has ill intentions or cannot be bothered to acknowledge them. More NT adults could take a leaf from this book

  20. Yep, I totally relate! I do not know how to interact with kids. My mind draws a blank and I just don't know what to do. There's been times when a friend asked me to temporarily watch their kid while they ran to the bathroom or something, and if the kid started crying I was just sitting there like oh no, what do I do now? Or the kid really wants to interact with me and I don't know if I'm doing it right!

  21. NT children are not my favorite because they perceive the hierarchy of relationships and express it in a more cruel way than adults. Small children notice that I am inferior to other adults and to them, and they blatantly make fun of me and bully me. It has been that way since I was a teenager. I try to stay away from children.

  22. I can also relate to this. Typically though, it’s NT children who are being raised by a certain type of NT parent who do this. I find that NT kids raised by emotionally mature adults may notice hierarchy and point it out, but it is primarily out of curiosity— like, “why aren’t you over there with the other adults?”

  23. I grew up around small children and easily interact with them. They are constantly committing social faux pas because they don't know any better. They're easily distracted. We have things in common lol.

  24. I’m very uncomfortable around children. I think the only time I’m comfortable with them is when they’re babies, because they’re either content or hungry/sleepy/missing their parents ooorr they may have shat themselves. Easy options. Anything older than that and I just don’t know how to speak to them… older children are also loud, unaware of their surroundings, rude sometimes.. all of which is because they’re children but they just make me so uncomfortable! I also hate this presumption that because I’m a woman I must love kids and know what to do with them, and if I don’t I must be coldhearted. I like kids just fine, they can be very cute, I hope they grow up well. But I’m going to need some sort of rule book of what to say/do around them.

  25. I never understood why kids shouldn’t just be treated like people, but then I figured out that they’re mostly psychopathic runaway id monsters rebelling against violent oppression and discipline from parents and institutions. So now I mostly try to think about ways I can encourage them to rebel and resist socialization. But the ones already reaching the point of socialization where they start cruelly disciplining their peers for any deviation from “normalcy” I write off and have nothing to do with.

  26. The way people expect women to behave around children I behave around dogs and puppies. I absolutely melt when I see a puppy but could care less about a baby.

  27. I have the same problem in reverse. I have trouble relating to adults but I can walk into a room full of children and become the life of the party.

  28. I'm not great with kids, I never know what to talk about, but I just go with the flow. My youngest cousin is 13 years younger than me, and being around them has helped me a lot. My niece is in elementary school, and this summer she spent 3 days with me. It was hard but it was fun.

  29. I pretty much treat kids just like anyone else. When I was a child I hated being talked down to. If they’re babies or toddlers, I kinda just let them chill and play with toys together. If they’re older I talk to them about what they’re interested in. Let them tell me all about Batman or dinosaurs. Kids like to talk about their interests

  30. You know what’s great? Kids don’t know The Rules™️ yet either! So you can be as weird as you want around them and they’ll probably like it. If you “fun” stim at a kid there’s a solid chance they’ll start doing it back and think you’re so much more fun than other adults lol.

  31. I’m the opposite. Kids (and animals) are super easy to get along with. They don’t have all the arbitrary social customs ingrained yet so they don’t notice or care when you’re “off” from the social script. You can rely more on logic and straight forward cues to see what they’re feeling. They generally won’t hide their opinions, manipulate you, or judge you.

  32. The worst part of having a kid is easily how much other adults think that makes me magically good with kids/like kids.

  33. ME TOOO! I'm already in overdrive trying to navigate a social function, and now I have to figure out the appropriate way to tell you I had plans that didn't include babysitting without the kid(s) being the one(s) to get the short end of the stick 🫠

  34. I feel very much the same way that you do. In fact, I feel downright uncomfortable around babies and small children...and there's nothing that I dread more than the thought of the mother of a baby asking me to hold her infant for her! Like you, I can view kids from a distance and consider them cute or adorable or whatever; but as for actually interacting with them...that's a hard no. And babysitting is out of the question.😎

  35. I'm the same, I never know what to say and then they start really boring conversations and you have to act impressed by stuff that just isn't really anything. I also find the high-pitched babyish voice really hard to listen to. I generally stick my earphones in when there are small children around in public

  36. I have my own kid now, and before her I didn't really understand how to interact with kids. She's taught me a lot, and I still feel kind of weird not knowing exactly what to say to kids I don't know but I find they mostly like being heard. I just nod and ask questions about whatever the heck they're talking about lol But most importantly after some serious therapy I figured out my issue with kids was actually trauma from being bullied growing up, and I've overcome that in therapy

  37. Some of what you may be feeling is pressure or stress to relate to children in the ways you’ve seen others relate to them. I love kids and I’m good with them but I feel pretty awkward engaging with unfamiliar children when I’m around other adults because I do it a bit different than many adults do.

  38. Kids are great because they don't notice any social skills issues, you dont even have go through the introduction rigmarole. Just be silly and goofy with them. Play with toys with them, make up a story, do yoga and invite them to crawl under you or be your earthquake by shaking you.

  39. I have the exact same thing. Sometimes I see todlers that are funny and adorable and I enjoy watching them do dumb shit but I wouldn't know how to actually interact with them. Even worse so with older children that actually voice their opinions. How do you talk to them? Like you would with an adult? Or in a special magical way where you only talk about stuff kids like/are interested in? I don't know. I like video games and most kids are into that stuff so than helps sometimes.

  40. Kids are easier to appease than you'd think. They like to talk about their favorite toy or animal and dinosaur noises are almost always a win. I don't do the baby talk thing, children can be spoken to like adults you just have to speak in a simpler way. They also appreciate being spoken to like a human rather than a puppy or baby doll.

  41. I totally get you! I've had this problem with my three year old nephew. When I saw my family playing with him, talking to him in a childish voice, in general behaving in a silly way as usually adults do around kids his age I just stood there without being able to relate.

  42. Oh kids are actually super easy to interact with when you realize that all they want is to feel special and heard, though to be fair it might be easier for me because videogames are a huge part of my life and a lot of kids like the games I enjoy, but still. Just listen, don't be condescending, and if they don't wanna talk to you they just won't.

  43. I relate a bit. I actually can't stand being around babies and toddlers for too long, mostly because they tend to make a lot of noise and they are always sticky and also they are both very resilient and also very fragile and I'm terrified of dropping them or something???? They also can't express themselves yet so they cry and I feel so helpless because I never know how to help them :( Is the baby hungry? Cold? Hot? Sleepy? Hurt? Lonely? I don't even know how I'm supposed to hold them and they always look at me and cry 😭😭

  44. Yes. I can do the cutesy voice for my cats but it just feels wrong with a small person. So I speak to them as I would an adult and they look kind of confused and I feel weird and inadequate.

  45. I relate. I have no idea how to act around children - I didn’t as a child, and I don’t now as an adult. I’m scared of them and will run and hide tbh. I’m 26 and I have never really been around a child, held one, etc. I have zero experience with them which probably adds to the anxiety but I am so disinterested in them that I have no desire to change that. I usually don’t find them cute, etc. to clarify, I don’t hate children, I am just not sure how to act around them and I don’t think it’s necessary for me to learn since I have no plans of ever caring for a child. I was once put in charge of small kids (like 5 or 7 years old) as a teenager and I treated them like my equal, listened to them, believed they knew how to handle a horse, and one nearly got hurt because of it.

  46. Before they speak they’re as easy to understand as my cats. They communicate their needs and desires and I fulfill them. Playing is easy at this stage.

  47. When I was younger I found it really difficult, but now I’m older it’s easier somehow. Even before I had a kid if my own, I found the kids at extended family gatherings easier to interact with than the adults. Somehow I find discussing the intricacies Roblox more bearable than discussing the local craft beer market or solving all the world’s political problems.

  48. I am fine with babies, but once they start talking it's hopeless until they hit middle school, then I am good again.

  49. I used to relate to this 100%. Then I started nannying a 4 year old girl who I really clicked with. I realized that I have always overthought my interactions with kids and that I could just let myself unmask and be natural. The awkwardness hasn’t gone away entirely especially with new kids but it has gotten a lot better :)

  50. I have trouble with other peoples kids but I’m so close to my own kid. We have our own secret autistic club together. I have never been closer to another human being in my entire life.

  51. I have (soon to be) 3 kids. Firstly, do not let anyone tell you that there is something wrong with you for not liking kids, or them making you uncomfortable and especially not for not wanting children of your own. Having kids is freaking hard, and unless you for sure want them, don’t have them. Kids are loud and do weird and crazy stuff. They are messy and crazy and can be very unpredictable. I’m the oldest of 7, and I have my own kids. I still get overwhelmed by them. Don’t feel like you have to do anything to interact with kids in public either. If someone has kids so that a random stranger in public can give them attention, then they have other problems. As for asking how to interact with them, most kids HATE being baby talked to or anything like that. Kids are a lot smarter than people realize, and pick up on a ton more than you would think. You don’t have to talk down to them or anything like that. Usually if they are walking and look under school age, you can say hi, or that you like their shirt or shoes or something. But even just a funny face is usually the best way to go. Older kids, can talk about pretty much anything, and honestly the way they see the world can be pretty funny or unexpected. Most kids are just as straightforward as a lot of people with ASD. (Ie things like my 3 yr old telling me that my belly is so big, or his OT that she is too big for him to push on a toy) Talking to them like you would most other people is usually what they would enjoy the most. Obviously there are certain things to stay away from, but ask about tv shows or their favorite animal or something they did that day. Ask about their shirt or if they have a toy, ask about that. One of my brothers has a rough time with kids. He tries, but he is also the first person to leave the room if they are crying or being loud. That’s perfectly okay. You do not have to enjoy children. If anyone says any different, then that is a problem that they need to figure out on their own and has nothing to do with you. I adore kids, but they can be a lot. It is perfectly reasonable to not enjoy kids. Don’t let other people make you feel like you have to

  52. I can connect with my own kid and sometimes my friends kids. Strangers not so much but I'll wave or say hi and usually leave it at that.

  53. I can do well with kids who are more relaxed. Really energetic kids can overwhelm me. But like at an event at my college some professors brought there kids and one girl was clearly lonely and sad and a little overwhelmed with how many people were at the event. I sat down with her and we played Jenga in the shade and just lined blocks up.

  54. I do struggle to relate to children but partially because kids don’t have that social filter yet, and I feel like they’ll call me out on being awkward :p. But part of it is that I just get anxious around people in general. As other commenters have mentioned, there is an expectation that women are “naturally” great with kids which puts extra pressure on us to get along with kids.

  55. I worked in a school for autistic and physically disabled children as teacher's assistant.. which just means I changed diapers, feed and watch.. I rotate classes depending which staff is absent.

  56. The thing with kids is it's natural to not know how to behave around them if you haven't spent much time around kids of that age, but with time you get used to it and then it becomes easy. I worked with kids for many years but I do remember before that not knowing how to interact with them.

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