Over affectionate 6 yo DD - scaring others - Mothering Forums
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#1 of 3 Old 07-16-2014, 08:02 AM - Thread Starter
 
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Over affectionate 6 yo DD - scaring others

Need some advice! My six year old is very intense and very affectionate. She loves to hug little kids, climb on adults and kiss people. I think this is just her way of expressing herself but I am starting to notice that she is frightening other kids. They say no and that just makes her do it more. She is also very strong so her hugs are not exactly gentle. I am trying to teach her about gentle hugs but am realizing I need to start teaching her about respecting other people's space. What is the best way to do this? I don't want to send a message that affection is bad in any way (unless unwanted of course). Any advice? What words do I use? That is the hard part!
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#2 of 3 Old 07-16-2014, 10:32 AM
 
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I would try to gently redirect her impulses. One of the best (to my opinion) outlets for passion is to give it to god in whatever way you identify. Nature (shinto) is a very good outlet because it will teach her restraint as well as culturing the quality of her expression. People like your daughter who are passionate will seek challenges and can experience intense pleasure and satisfaction in life. This is a gift. Art would be another excellent outlet for her feelings. I would help her to know that her appreciation for others can sometimes make them feel embarrassed due to their modesty because people are restrained with one another, but to celebrate the qualities that she enjoys in them (stateliness, approachability, beauty, humor, generosity, etc) in nature or color/form would honor not only them but that universal quality in all people that delights her, and would be a lasting tribute to them while enhancing her special appreciation and bond with all living things who have these beautiful attributes.
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#3 of 3 Old 07-16-2014, 06:52 PM
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Be gentle and consistent, but also be direct. Don't expect her to understand if you talk around the subject. Give her guidelines such as: please ask someone if you can hug them goodbye/hello/etc
if they say no, that means no--but that doesn't mean they don't like you
little kids do better with soft hugs (demonstrate--bear hugs (hard), and kitten? hugs (soft))

Also, by letting the parents know that you are working on it, they can help the child receiving the attention. We had a "strong" hugger in our friend group. I knew the parents were working on taming that. I spoke with my children about ways to help. The strong hugger is still a close friend of ours and she has learned to moderate her affection. Truthfully though, it is still hard for her. My girls have chosen to embrace it and they have become willing recipients of her bear hugs.

Good luck!

Amy
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