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post #61 of 108
This is such an american attitude..

I have no problem with people being affectionate with one another.. Especially kids.. It is a very American attitude..

Warm Squishies..

DYan
post #62 of 108
Quote:
Better that it be done kindly by a stranger than not at all.
Oh, most definitely. But the OP did nothing wrong. She did not respond negatively to the child; she responded to the mother. While it would have been nice if she'd had an appropriate response ready and waiting, she was caught off guard.

Quote:
Not to sound ornery but frankly if it had been my son who rushed up to some child yelling 'friend, friend" and gave the child a big hug and then dashed off I really don't think I would interpret the mother looking at me and frowning...:
First, the child didn't run up yelling "friend, friend" and rush off after a simple hug. He grabbed the baby, none too gently, and kissed her. Health concerns aside, that's scary to a little one. And based on the mother's casual explanation when she saw the frown, she understood that it was caused by her son's actions.

Quote:
And chances are if I did I would remember what my son did, not what the mother did. Frankly, a stranger does not have that kind of impact on my life.
But it's not, or shouldn't be, the impact a stranger has on your life. In this situation, it should be a realization of the impact your child could have had on a stranger's life. We don't live in an insular world; our actions affect each other and we need to be aware of that. And so yes, most definitely, a life lesson could have come out of that incident. A simple, "Oh, honey! I know you love babies, but she doesn't know you! You should just say Hi!" and maybe explain later that kind of enthusiasm could be scary. Or, reverse the health issue--"That baby could have been sick!" Kids absorb so much in a matter of seconds. If their actions aren't safe or appropriate, we need to take the time to talk with them. It would have been a great opportunity to teach or model respect for others.

Missy
post #63 of 108
Well, I hate it when people touch my daughter without asking, though I'm usually too shy/chicken to do anything about it. I'm fine with friends, relatives, folks in playgroups being social with her, but when strangers come up to her and grab her hands, it bugs me. Germs are a concern, as are food allergies (what if the kid/person just ate peanut butter?) as well as personal space.

I do think it's really cute when kids show joy and affection, and I'd hate to stifle that, but I do think some restraint is in order. What about teaching kids to ask if they can kiss the baby? Or asking "would baby like a kiss?" That way they can be joyfull and show affection, while communicating and respecting other people.

Lots of adults have personal space issues. If random strangers, men and women of different ages, came up to us in stores and hugged us, patted us on the behind, or gave us a kiss, I don't think the reaction would be 100% positive. Why don't babies and kids deserve the same respect adults expect from people?
post #64 of 108
Well, I am SO not going to get into the main debate here :LOL

But I just wanted to quietly point out that assuming you have a generally healthy child, one good way to help ensure her immune system is strong is by not being overvigilant about germs. Our muscles get strong by being used, and our immune systems aren't any different
post #65 of 108
Quote:
What doesn't everybody get about it not being ok to touch people unless you know they want to be touched?!?

I guess I'll go and spread the love by hugging and kissing the next stranger I see. Heck, maybe I'll throw a groping in for good measure
Oh, come on. I think everyone here understands the need to respect personal space. But for freak's sake, we're talking about a little kid here! You and I are adults. We understand that you don't just walk up to everyone you see and give them hugs and kisses. A small child doesn't. Why are we trying to place adult expectations on small children? Doesn't that go against AP?

The OP's feelings are her feelings, and she has a right to feel them. But I really just don't think it's such a big deal. My DD just learned how to give hugs and kisses within the last few months, and when we go out, she likes to give kisses and hugs to other little kids. When we go to the playground, a lot of the bigger kids also like to touch her or give her hugs. It doesn't freak me out, it's just kids doing what kids do. We live in a world where so many kids are abused, there's so much violence and anger and hostility, so why are we lashing out against kids showing affection for each other?

And honestly, it's pretty hard to avoid germs. If you're really that worried about it, it's probably better that you not go out at all.
post #66 of 108
Ok, it's a kid doing it....so when do other folk's rights kick in? Or do they loose their rights because a kid wants a hug.
I would have been put off to say the least...and my nephew, who is two, would have probably decked the kid...he does not like hugs and kisses from ANYONE,except mom and dad, and I think he has the righ to have his feelings respected and not shoved off because someone else wants to hug or kiss him. ( I think adults have the right to tell a kid, "no" also when it comes to hugs and kisses)
I don't think the OP was over reacting at all. People's bodies are their own and only they have the right to set boundries not every randome person that comes along, be it child or adult.
post #67 of 108
The one thing you didn't mention, Star, is how your daughter reacted....Did she like the hugs and kisses or not? Just wondering...

I've been on both sides of this issue (and then some!). My oldest was like the little boy in the story, she would hug and kiss anyone she could get her little lips on and her chubby arms around! She would squeal with delight any time she saw a baby and be all over it like white on rice. Most people were amused, some people annoyed. By the time she was three or four I started to teach her about personal space, about not touching someone without their permission, about only talking to babies, not loving all over them without an okay from the mom or dad. She is still an extremely affectionate child. At eleven she is quick with a hug or a kiss if one of her younger siblings gets a boo-boo, she loves to cuddle up on the couch and read to her brother, and she is still willing to hold hands with her mommy. But she also understands personal boundries, and hasn't "groped" anyone at school or kissed any boys, or done anything like that. Luckily for me, you can teach a child when it is okay and when it's not okay to show affection to other people. And luckily for me, with her, I can have it both ways - that wonderful affection when it is appropriate, and the discernment to know when it is not.

My boy (he's six) would have freaked out if he was on the receiving end of those hugs and kisses in the OP's story. He would have screamed his head off and probably thrown a punch. He has *never* wanted other people to hug or kiss him, and even now he doesn't like kisses from anybody but his mommy. He will give kisses to his baby sister, but will wipe off kisses from his big sister and his grandparents. He always says "Your kisses are yucky, I only like Mom's kisses." But he is quick to climb up in my lap for a "hug fest" and is a very affectionate boy - but only on his terms. And you know what? That's okay too! I have no doubt that when he is older he will be perfectly willing to hug and kiss his wife and kids. There is no doubt in my mind that he is loving and kind, and that is what matters more than anything.

And my little lady is now 19 months old. She loves, Loves, LOVES babies, and I have no doubt that if she had the chance, she would kiss a baby from now until Christmas. But, since it is that nasty germy time of the year, I have taught her to blow kisses to people instead. It is absolutely adorable to see her sitting in the cart riding through Wal-Mart blowing kisses to random strangers, and the people on the receiving end of those kisses all seem thrilled. From small children to little old ladies, from businessmen to the biker she made friends with the other day, I've never seen anything but joy from those she has deemed worthy of one of her kisses. It seems to be a perfect compromise, she is free to "throw love" (that's what her big brother calls it) but I don't have to worry about it offending anyone else.

I do agree that it is sad that our world has become less affectionate. I am a very affectionate person, and I could kiss on my kids all day. And a random stranger groping me at the grocery store? If he's cute, I say bring it on! Oh sorry...I've been separated for 15 months now....kekeke

Please just remember that a child of five or six means no harm when he wants to kiss your baby. He is just showing love and affection, and even though I can totally see why you may not want him to kiss your baby, he sees no harm in it and would probably be devestated to know that you feel so strongly against it.
post #68 of 108
Quote:
Originally Posted by littleaugustbaby
But for freak's sake, we're talking about a little kid here! You and I are adults. We understand that you don't just walk up to everyone you see and give them hugs and kisses. A small child doesn't. Why are we trying to place adult expectations on small children? Doesn't that go against AP?.
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?
post #69 of 108
Quote:
Originally Posted by zipperump-a-zoomum
Are you freaking kidding me?
Nope, not kidding. Too many kids aren't parented well and are therefore lacking in empathy, thoughtfulness, and social graces. I know lots of kids who would never think to hug and kiss others because they are too concerned about getting their fair share to spare some kindness on others, and I attribute that attitude to their parents' lack of good parenting.

Namaste!
post #70 of 108
Quote:
Originally Posted by dharmamama
. I know lots of kids who would never think to hug and kiss others because they are too concerned about getting their fair share to spare some kindness on others, and I attribute that attitude to their parents' lack of good parenting.

Namaste!

I think I am done with this thread.
post #71 of 108
Ok, I'm not sure why you're so horrified with my perception. I see lots of threads here where people congratulate themselves on how "nice" (for lack of a better word) their kids are and then attribute that to the work they have put into AP parenting. If you give your kid what your kid needs, your kid is more likely to be emotionally healthy.

I do know a lot of parents who put themselves first most of the time and leave their kids emotionally lacking. Those kids are more likely to be self-absorbed and more concerned about getting their needs met than kids who feel secure and don't have to worry about whether their parents are going to be there for them.

I don't really see why you think this analysis is so strange.

Namaste!
post #72 of 108
Quote:
Originally Posted by dharmamama
Ok, I'm not sure why you're so horrified with my perception.
Because the assumptions are huge...and the conclusions are offensive.

Every child is different. Some children aren't touchy-feely--even AP'd kids! Some get really scared or upset when they are grabbed by other kids. My child, for instance.

My child is hugely empathetic. She is very concerned with the feelings of others. She is often very generous (will *give* her toys to her best friend...to keep!). Does she always share well? No, but she is learning. And she is generous in her own way.

She loves babies--and she touches them with the tips of her fingers. Not because of my instruction--she has never done more! She coos at them, professes her love in words, and remarks on their beauty, but she just isn't touch-feely.

And she *is* often physically affectionate with friends. But these hugs must be offered to her, or she offers them. Grabbing scares her. She has a friend (a 4 yo boy) who gets really excited and grabs her (wraps her up in a hug--very sweet!) when she goes to his house, and she gets anxious even the day before the visit. Will he grab me, Mommy? What do I do? I tell her that he is just excited to see her, and that she can come sit on my lap and I will explain that she prefers not to hug. But, believe me, it is a very real source of anxiety for her.

This is just the way she is.

The assumption that she is not emotionally healthy because she doesn't like hugs and kisses as much as some other children is offensive. As is the conclusion that she is that way because she was not parented well.
post #73 of 108
I see both sides but I Have to ask...how do you know the little boy was really 4 and not just a big 2 yr old??? My nephew has always been very big for his age (at 2 looked more like a 4 or 5 yr old but acted like a 2 yr old) Nothing is worse then being out in public and having people expect him to act older then he is (he is 7 now and looks more like a 9 or 10 yr old) Also how do you know he didn't have special needs? It doesn't sound like he was being rough to hurt the baby more b/c he didn't understand HOW to be gentle (could be lack of parenting but it also could be that he is too young to understand) Oh and let me tell you...I HAVE a 4 yr old now and he doesn't always understand and respect other people...HE'S 4!!! He is still learning...do I talk to him about what is appropriate and what isn't...yes...would I get upset and scold him for doing the same thing...no and you can bet I wouldn't say anything if I got a dirty look from a parent for his actions...I'd probably give one back!

ETA - I do understand the issue with allergies...I have severe life threatening penut allergies myself
post #74 of 108
Quote:
Originally Posted by sunnmama
The assumption that she is not emotionally healthy because she doesn't like hugs and kisses as much as some other children is offensive. As is the conclusion that she is that way because she was not parented well.
Where did I ever say that your child (or any child) is not emotionally healthy because she's not touchy-feely? I never said or even implied that.

Namaste!
post #75 of 108
Quote:
Originally Posted by dharmamama
IAnd don't be rude to parents who have nice kids. Too many parents have mean kids.

Namaste!
I love that!!
post #76 of 108
Quote:
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

Kaly
post #77 of 108
Quote:
Originally Posted by zipperump-a-zoomum
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

Kaly
OMG! I have the same memory! Except it was Zach and Brian (yes, 2 boys chasing me at once--for the first and last time :LOL), and when I ran to the lunch lady for help, she said "I think they're kind of cute!". First grade, and I remember it like it was yesterday. Zach and I were actually friends in high school, and I've seen him since, and he remembers this incident, too!

Dharmamama--
Thanksgiving has come and gone, and I am filled with good food and good feelings and no longer upset about this thread. But, as explanation, this was the quote that I inferred to be critical of children who aren't "touchy-feely" (do not like hugs and kisses from random children):

"I know lots of kids who would never think to hug and kiss others because they are too concerned about getting their fair share to spare some kindness on others, and I attribute that attitude to their parents' lack of good parenting."

combined with this:

"If you give your kid what your kid needs, your kid is more likely to be emotionally healthy."

From my pov, I was interpretting: Kids who don't want to hug and kiss others have not had their needs met, and so are emotionally unhealthy.

If I misinterpreted, I am sorry.
post #78 of 108
Quote:
We need to teach appropriate behavior, no? How is that against AP? How is it an adult expectation to respect other people's bodies?
How, exactly, is freaking out over something that a child did with good intentions, AP? If a young child's actions are met with dirty looks and disgust, what does the child get from that, other than shame and embarrassment? Teaching children lessons about respect isn't necessarily AP. Doing it politely is. You can just as easily smile and politely explain to a child that baby doesn't like to be hugged/kissed/touched.
post #79 of 108
Quote:
Originally Posted by littleaugustbaby
How, exactly, is freaking out over something that a child did with good intentions, AP? If a young child's actions are met with dirty looks and disgust, what does the child get from that, other than shame and embarrassment? Teaching children lessons about respect isn't necessarily AP. Doing it politely is. You can just as easily smile and politely explain to a child that baby doesn't like to be hugged/kissed/touched.
Gosh, this thread is all over the map. I think we need to start giving each other (as good, gentle, AP mamas) the benefit of the doubt....and I'll be the first to admit that I denied Dharmamama that benefit. Dharmamama--I apologize!

Of course dirty looks are bad. No one is advocating that. Sometimes they just happen (reactionary thing), but definitely undesirable.

I *totally get* that children who like to hug and kiss other kids have good, loving, sweet intentions. And I understand that their parents think it is sweet, and don't want to discourage them from being affectionate.

And, of course I can explain that my child does not like to be kissed/touched/hugged--but only if the affection is offered instead of grabbed. If a small child (with the best intentions) just runs up and grabs dd (it has happened), she is already very upset. I was not able to adequately "protect" her. And she grows more anxious about social situations.

There is a middle ground here--I swear there must be. The *must* be a way to honor the affectionate, loving nature of your child while also honoring the cautious, reserved nature of my child.
post #80 of 108
Quote:
Originally Posted by mama ganoush
can anyone else just not WAIT until this mama has a 4 or 5 year old child????
I was just thinking the same thing!

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