I have a parenting situation where I'm unsure of the right behavior.
My 18 month old child is usually shy and doesn't mingle with people easily, but if someone spends time with him and goes a little slow, he becomes friendly and responds.
Few days back we went to a 3 year old's birthday party. There were many children of different ages, mostly between 1 to 4 years.
My kid wanted to play, but as there were many unknown faces he roamed around holding my finger (I tried many times but he was not ready to let go of my finger while walking around.) He danced to his favorite songs and played, but all the while with me or his mother nearby.
Suddenly he mistook my friend for me, and holding his finger started to dance and play. Everyone in the party knew he had made a mistake and all were amused.
Soon he saw me in front and realized that he was holding someone else's hand. Everyone burst into laughter (including me), but he started crying. I didn't like that. Was I wrong to laugh?
A similar incident happened at a store where the light was dim and he mistook a lady for his mother, and when he realized his mistake, he started crying again. I really felt bad when he cried and I told him, "It's OK", and tried changing the mood.
What are some of the ways I can best respond to him when such a situation arises? How can I teach him not to cry, or to believe that he has done nothing wrong when something like this happens?