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post #21 of 34
I wouldn't think a thing of it. DS is like this and will often hug kids on the playground. He used to kiss them (or try to) when he was a bit younger.
He is just over 2 and does not have special needs.

I would think it's sweet, honestly.
post #22 of 34
I've been thinking about this a bit more and I realized that I am the mom who kind of tries to avoid huggers/kissers who are strangers. My friends' kids who hug and kiss my kids, I am completely fine with but if it is a kid that I do not know, I kind of discreetly veer my child away from said kid.
I do not let strangers kiss my children, why would a little stranger be any different?
post #23 of 34
Originally Posted by laughingfox View Post
At that age?
I might get a knee-jerk reaction because of cooties, but I wouldn't be really bothered by it. Kids do that stuff sometimes.
post #24 of 34
Originally Posted by grumpybear View Post
I do not let strangers kiss my children, why would a little stranger be any different?
Really? You don't see the difference between a 40-year-old walking up and kissing your child and an 18-month-old walking up and kissing your child?
post #25 of 34
My DD1 is very affectionate. She just turned 4 and she's starting to understand that not every kid wants to hold hands, hug, or get a kiss on the cheek. I'm trying to teach her to ask first at least.

If a kid ran up and kissed one of my kids at the park I would laugh...I can think of plenty worse things for a kid to run up and do! (Though I am slightly germophobic, I will admit, I might inwardly freak out for a second. LOL.)
post #26 of 34
I also wonder if there are cultural/regional differences...

Here people can be touchy sometimes...I think the South is more polite, holding doors, making small talk, more likely to give hugs or shake hands, etc.
post #27 of 34
Originally Posted by mamazee View Post
Really? You don't see the difference between a 40-year-old walking up and kissing your child and an 18-month-old walking up and kissing your child?
I would understand that it is within normal behavior for an 18month old to walk up to and kiss random kids but I still don't want my child kissed by strangers, whether it's an 18 month old child or an 80 year old grandma.
post #28 of 34
I wouldn't be bothered by it, if it were a young child (18 months? wouldn't even think about it), as long as my child wasn't bothered by it, either.

We have some problems with ds2 in this area. He's just a couple days shy of his 5th birthday (party was today), and he's still struggling with understanding that it's not appropriate to just kiss people whenever you want to. He's a very, very affectionate chlid, and also lacks impulse controls, so...yeah...it's getting better, but he's definitely upset a couple of people.
post #29 of 34
Originally Posted by mumm View Post
I'd think the child had some sort of special needs and didn't fully understand personal body space and boundaries.
That is very offensive. Kids don't have special needs just because they hug someone, they just need to be taught that you need to know someone for a long time before you hug them. My dd was towards the end of kindergarten before she really understood that you need to know someone for a long time before you can hug them and even then she thought that her friends who didn't like hugs weren't really friends because they hated her. She had nothing wrong with her and never has had any special needs. She is just used to affection because she comes from an affectionate family, an affectionate daycare, and the friends in her life until kindergarten were all affectionate. I didn't even think about teaching her not to hug others until I say one of her friends looking uncomfortable when I was volunteering in her class because we had truly never encountered that before. It was a sad time for her and she had a very hard time making any friends until she was able to accept that some people just aren't comfortable with hugging and we need to save our hugs for family and close friends. It was hard to watch her go through that and the moms who taught their kids that something was wrong with her made it harder for her. I hope those moms have a kid who truly doesn't understand why someone wouldn't want a hug someday so they get why it isn't about having special needs, but about how the child naturally shows they care and how very hard it is to redirect that caring.
post #30 of 34
It wouldn't bother me so long as it didn't bother my child. If my child was upset by it and the other child was continuing to do it after my child said stop (and the other mom wasn't making a move to redirect her child), then I'd intervene and tell the other child to stop and explain that my child doesn't want to be touched in this way.

I have actually had to intervene a bit with my younger dd who is 5. She doesn't run up and kiss strangers (though I can't say that I'm absolutely sure it could never happen), but a couple weeks ago one of her friends who she often plays with at the park came and told me that dd was kissing her and she didn't like it.

So I told dd that you don't kiss people who don't want to be kissed. And it hasn't happened again. There was another occasion several months ago when she was trying to hold hands with and put her arm around a child who didn't want to be touched, and I just intervened and told her this little girl doesn't want to be touched. And dd stopped.

Shortly before that happened, dd had been playing with two other little girls and they were all holding hands and putting their arms around each other as they walked around ... then those little girls left and the new little girl came, and I think my dd was just trying to continue the game she had been enjoying so much.

Everyone has a different space requirement, and my little one, well, she doesn't need a whole lot of personal space and really loves to be in close physical contact with others. There's nothing wrong with that, but she just needs me to help her learn to respect the fact that not everyone wants to be touched.

I can understand that people who need a lot of space might not understand why someone else wants to be up-close and personal, and might even think there's something wrong with a child who's wired that way. By the same token, small children who like being up-close and personal don't automatically understand why some people don't like being touched.

Of course, the onus is on those of us who have sensory seeking children, to teach our children to respect everyone else's space, and not on the parents of the non sensory seeking children whose children are just minding their own business and not bothering anyone. But, still, a little compassion can go a long way!
post #31 of 34
Originally Posted by neverdoingitagain View Post
Well, if it was my child...I would be relieved. Glad to see its not just my kids that run up other children and hug or kiss them.
post #32 of 34
Originally Posted by thyra View Post
I could see that thought with an older child, but what about an 18mo? He doesn't have any respect for personal space, but I don't think he has any special needs - he's just not old enough.
Yeah no kidding.

At that age especially, they are used to having love and kisses showered on them, and think that is how they will sometimes approach other people (especially other kids, I think because they are small and just like them) because, well, that is their perception of things. Special needs? Come on.
post #33 of 34
I'd think it was adorable. I live in the south though and an affectionate, friendly child is desirable here. When my son goes up to strangers and holds his hands up to be held or hugs people he doesn't know it's considered by everyone I've seen to be an attractive personality trait.
post #34 of 34
At that age, I would think it was cute. My DS is the same age and likes to give kisses. My DD is 5, and she likes to hug and hold hands with friends (not strangers). I had to let her know a few times that she can't force people to hug or hold hands, but she understands now, and it seems like a non-issue at this point.

We had a neighbor girl who was 4 or 5 that would hug all the kids and parents, and something about it made me uncomfortable. None of us knew her well at all, and she would always come and sit in my lap and hug me and tell me, "I love you." She didn't seem to have any concept of personal boundaries, and I got an odd feeling from it.
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