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Guilting kids into kisses... - Page 2

post #21 of 29
Quote:
Originally Posted by sewchris2642 View Post

I'm sorry for the confusion.  This was when Erica was 1 year old to about 3 years.  Touching, physical acts of affection and love are necessary for everyone but especially for infants and young children.  Erica quit nursing around 9 months.  She had always nursed at arms length and could only stand being cuddled for about 5 minutes from a very young age.  Like almost at birth.  Hated co-sleeping; didn't take to being carried until she could sit in the Gerry backpack around 6 months.  So by a year, I realized that the only touch she got was all impersonal--diaper changing, baths, changing clothes, basic care giving.  No cuddles, no hugs, no sitting in the lap for stories, etc.  No closeness at all.  A lot of it is her personality; we joke that she has a personal space that is 6' in diameter.  But, in retrospect, I'm glad we did have the hugging rule as she was later in her twenties diagnosed with bipolar, OCD, and social anxiety.  Giving and receiving hugs is something that most kids do naturally; Erica had to be taught.

 

This blog sums up what I learned years ago when raising Erica.  http://parentingtheatriskchild.blogspot.com/2006/10/importance-of-physical-and-verbal.html


I understand completely.

post #22 of 29


 

Quote:
Originally Posted by dakotablue View Post



Quote:
Originally Posted by sewchris2642 View Post

I'm sorry for the confusion.  This was when Erica was 1 year old to about 3 years.  Touching, physical acts of affection and love are necessary for everyone but especially for infants and young children.  Erica quit nursing around 9 months.  She had always nursed at arms length and could only stand being cuddled for about 5 minutes from a very young age.  Like almost at birth.  Hated co-sleeping; didn't take to being carried until she could sit in the Gerry backpack around 6 months.  So by a year, I realized that the only touch she got was all impersonal--diaper changing, baths, changing clothes, basic care giving.  No cuddles, no hugs, no sitting in the lap for stories, etc.  No closeness at all.  A lot of it is her personality; we joke that she has a personal space that is 6' in diameter.  But, in retrospect, I'm glad we did have the hugging rule as she was later in her twenties diagnosed with bipolar, OCD, and social anxiety.  Giving and receiving hugs is something that most kids do naturally; Erica had to be taught.

 

This blog sums up what I learned years ago when raising Erica.  http://parentingtheatriskchild.blogspot.com/2006/10/importance-of-physical-and-verbal.html


I understand completely.

me to. my son hated to be touched, snuggled, rocked from birth on. Since he was diagnosed with autism and has been in therapy he is willing now to hug and kiss me, but very few other people.
 

post #23 of 29
Oh Chris- I hope it didn't sound like I was criticizing your implementing a healthy daily affection quota for your daughter! I sure didn't mean to imply that was in any way inappropriate! In fact it sounded like a wise solution. I was only referring to the example that I gave of my one year old son (as well as any other situation of that SAME nature).
post #24 of 29
Quote:
Originally Posted by sewchris2642 View Post

Giving and receiving hugs is something that most kids do naturally; Erica had to be taught.


Yes, that's exactly how I feel it is with my DS. He doesn't resist the hugs from close family members (at least not anymore -- he did resist up 'til about age 1 and at that point we didn't force it, just gave him time) but we simply have to show him how to hug/kiss, give him a little more encouragement than normal, physically help him start the motion...  If he hated that then I guess I'd stop but he doesn't hate it -- he LOVES giving/getting hugs (kisses only to me & DH) but has trouble figuring out how to do it. It doesn't come naturally at all but that doesn't mean he is totally opposed to it.

post #25 of 29

So if your child from day one, preferred a propped bottle over the breast and cuddles, you would do it?  I'm not trying to pick a fight but that is exactly how Erica was.  If I had followed her wishes, she would have never been held or touched or hugged except for the barest impersonal touches of care giving.  And those were just tolerated.  When we saw that she was withdrawing emotionally from the family, we instituted the hugging rule.  The rule didn't last all that long and the hugs could be as short as she wanted.  And she didn't have to hug or show affection to anyone else.  Once we could see the change in her (and it was noticeable), the rule lapsed.  Erica was not "normal".  there was something different about her.  We just didn't know what it was until she was an adult.  Bipolar, to day, is very difficult to diagnosed in children.  And Erica was born in 1980.  Not only was bipolar not recognized in children then, there were no medications or therapies for children.

post #26 of 29

Choosingjoy, no apology needed.  Erica's childhood is hard to explain on a message board or even irl to people who don't know her.  The hugging rule was only for Erica, the others didn't have that rule.  In fact, if I was going to put quotas on hugs it would have been for Dylan because he was a very cuddly and huggy child.  So much so, that I got all hugged out way before he did.  You could say that I had one of both extremes.smile.gif

post #27 of 29

OP, you did a great job handling this one! I have been known to get pretty feisty when grown people try and coerce my DD into affection...it drives me NUTS! I don't even play around, I tell people "If you ask her if she'll give you a kiss goodbye and she says no, that means no and you'll just have to cool it" - sometimes certain people need reminders, but after a while even the most pushy for kisses, etc stands down and respects the space she needs. My DD sounds a lot like yours, too, she is so unapologetic it's not even funny. "NO! I don't want to! I'm not gunna!" (she's two and half, I don't know where she gets this!) She has a great sense of her own space and boundries and is never even slightly swayed by pushing and prodding for affection!

 

My son on the other hand.....like candy at a parade, the guy is throwing hugs and sloppy kisses like nothing!

post #28 of 29

oh this makes me so sad crunchy...my DH does this to our kids:(  drives me absolutely nuts, but i know he loves them and i don't want to dictate their relationship, etc.  but i will hate it if they feel the same when they are older...  i wonder if there is anything i can do about it.  **sigh**

 

Quote:
Originally Posted by crunchy_mommy View Post

 

But then on the other hand I grew up with a father who required kisses. One on each cheek. We couldn't have/do something we wanted (open a gift, for ex.) without giving X number of kisses first. And now, even though I love my dad, I really hate showing him affection.

 

post #29 of 29

There is a very very significant difference between trying to help a child who shows signs of not being comfortable with human physical interaction and trying to nurture more closeness... and allowing your children to develop their own sense of personal boundaries and a voice for speaking up and maintaining them.

 

If you have a child who doesn't show signs of an aversion to closeness, why would you ever make that child hug or kiss relatives (or anyone) who the child didn't want to hug or kiss?  And for kids who have aversions to closeness or seem to be overly averse to physical contact, yes as a parent you want to nurture that, but do you really want to do that by modeling for your child that relatives/friends who would try to guilt your child into that contact should be obeyed?  It is absolutely possible to nurture and develop in a child a greater comfort with appropriate physical closeness without teaching them that they should do things simply because it would make an adult/relative "sad" or "upset" if they didn't.

 

I don't see any way to look at someone who tries to tell your child how badly they'll feel and how sad they'll be if they don't get a hug and consider it healthy to make your child respond to that.  Not saying the relative who says that has bad intentions - it happens all the time and it's normal and common, definitely.  I have plenty of relatives who act that way, and I don't think they're mean or bad-intentioned for doing it.  But my response to them and dd is always the same: "DD needs to develop her own sense of boundaries and I let her choose when she wants to hug and when she doesn't.  So if she says no, it's no, and please don't try to guilt her into it."

 

Especially for the purposes of avoiding sexual abuse, developing this sense in a child of having body boundaries and that it's not only ok but encouraged that you only do what you're comfortable with and you speak up if you're not, that is a huge reason to be very careful how much you model for your child that adults who insist on physical contact even if the child isn't comfortable with it should still be hugged/kissed/sit on their laps.  I know most parents who do say "Oh go on, give Aunt Sally a hug!  Sit on Cousin Anna's lap!  Uncle Rob says he wants a kiss on the cheek, go kiss him!" do so in total innocence and don't think they're teaching their child something that could potentially hurt them later, but as subtle and harmless as it seems, it can be a harmful lesson.

 

Making dd hug Aunt Sally (and other adults) when dd isn't comfy with it can have negative consequences later when dd and other children are trying to find their voice about other uncomfortable situations.  I've seen several studies where child molesters were interviewed about what they looked for in potential victims, and they say again and again that if the child seems not comfy talking about things that make them uncomfortable or they've been taught that if an adult asks a child for something the child should usually do it... those are characteristics that make it more likely the child wont tell if something bad and confusing happens to them - because they won't know how to tell or feel like they don't have a right to say no.

 

Please understand: I am NOT saying that relatives who use "I'll be so sad if you don't hug me" language to try to get a child to hug them are abusers or parents who make the kid hug the relative are insuring their child will be abused later.  I'm just pointing out that developmentally it is actually VERY important for kids to learn that they do have the right to personal boundaries and they should have some say in when they hug and when they don't, and not be taught that adults who try to guilt them into things should be obeyed.  This is a whole different issue from kids who show signs of an aversion to closeness that a parent would naturally want to investigate and work on with the child.  But even that child still needs to be taught how to speak up in situations they're not comfortable in, even while being encouraged to open up a bit and find more comfort in physical closeness.

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