Originally Posted by sunnmama
We need to teach appropriate behavior, no? How is that against AP? How is it an adult expectation to respect other people's bodies?
If my dd were super affectionate with others (she is not), that would be sweet. I would not try to stop her from expressing her love. But I would gently teach her that babies must be touched gently (not grabbed) or they can get scared or hurt. And that we offer hugs to others--not grab them.
About the "American thing"....
are there not children outside of America who dislike being touched by strangers? (even strange children?) Or is it just uncommon to respect the wish not to be touched? Doesn't *that* go against AP?
I so agree with all of your posts, sunnmama. My children are not down with being touched by strangers, either.
I go out of my way to not physically coerce them into doing anything they don't want to- I don't wash their hair if they say no, they don't get hair cuts if they don't want them, they don't have to kiss or hug relatives if they choose not to. Why would I not want other people to extend them that same courtesy? I know this was just a kid, but I believe his parent should have used the moment to teach the kid that not all people like hugs and kisses.
To the other issues that have been raised: We can't know that the child wasn't 2, we can't know that he doesn't have a developmental delay that makes this a difficult boundary for him, so I've been going on the assumption that this was a 4-5 year old in the normal spectrum of development.
I don't think anyone is advocating "scolding" anyone. Just that it might be cool to model some more appropriate way to interact with total strangers, "Cute baby! Can I kiss him/her?" or even finger waving/face making whatever before a full on hug/kiss.
I think I've figured out why this bugs me so much.
One of my most visceral memories of first grade is being chased around the playground by Dan G. who wanted to kiss me. I remember the teachers on duty and recess monitors and bigger kids all watching and laughing. I ran for my life because I didn't want to be kissed, and not one of the adult people told this kid that it was not ok. Now, it was 1st grade, and we must have both been around 6 right? That is not so far away from this kids age. I remember it as a very humiliating, violating experience. And truly, I am not a big freak