How much physical affection do you have with your older (5-9 yr. old) children? - Mothering Forums
View Poll Results: Are you as physically loving with your older child as you used to be?
I am just as physical and cuddly as I was when my child was a toddler, and I only have one child. 10 100.00%
I am just as physical and cuddly as when my child was a toddler, and I have more than one child. 34 100.00%
I am less physical due to my having/had to focus so much physical attention on younger siblings. 13 100.00%
I am less physical; it seems to just have happened naturally as my child got older. 30 100.00%
Multiple Choice Poll. Voters: 4. You may not vote on this poll

The Childhood Years > How much physical affection do you have with your older (5-9 yr. old) children?
kel's Avatar kel 12:27 AM 07-20-2002
My oldest is almost 7 yrs. old now, and he has two younger siblings - ages 19 months and 3 yrs. For 4 yrs. before his little sister was born it was just him - he had all the love and attention to himself. Then baby came along, then another baby came along. I often worried that he wasn't getting as much attention and physical cuddling/love as he would have without younger siblings. Now that his little brother and sister's infancies are past I've been trying to get in more regular cuddle time again, but we're just not as physically close now as we were back when he was 4, and it makes me a little sad.

So I was wondering, have other moms with multiple kids gone through this as well? And whether you have more than one child or not, is there an age where you found you weren't as physically close with your child anymore? I know you probably don't keep exact track, but how many kisses, hugs, and cuddles do you share a day, a week, or whatever?

xo - Kelly

ekblad9's Avatar ekblad9 12:40 AM 07-20-2002
You're making the effort and that 's so great! In my family (growiong up) there was little to no physical attention. I vowed to not be that way with my kids. While I obviously don't hold my older children as much as babies/toddlers, we do alot of hugging, sitting close, or they sit on my lap. That seems to work well with us.
Irishmommy's Avatar Irishmommy 12:57 AM 07-20-2002
If I discount nursing time for dd2, then I probably snuggle with dd1 (almost 8) more. Dd2 is just too busy to snuggle without a good reason. Dd1 certainly doesn't lose out on snuggle time, and she is currently the eldest of 5.
khrisday's Avatar khrisday 02:53 AM 07-20-2002
I chose the last answer, it has just happened naturally over time, however, he still spends more time in physical contact with me than any other kids his age that I know- it just happens to be less than it used to be.
glad2bemama's Avatar glad2bemama 03:08 AM 07-20-2002
My oldest is loves snuggling just as much as when he was small, but then again he is only turning 5 next week.

It's funny though, because my two are both affectionate with dh and I and also with each other, but in very different ways. For example, ds#1 looooves to snuggle early in the morning, at storytime and at night. I mean, he is cuddly other times, but he especially loves to snuggle at those times.

My youngest, however, loves to be held and will just jump into my arms often throughout the day for hugs and kisses. But, he jumps out of bed in the am after a long nurse-- no dillydallying for him.

Anyway, I was like ekblad, ther was little or no affection in my family growing up. Oh, maybe when we were younger, but certainly not as we grew.

I agree that it is wonderful that you are aware and making the effort to be close with your children. I remember knowing a few families that just seemed so comfortable and ease with each other. I hope and wish for this with my family and hopefully it will continue on and on and on...

I will bet that you are doing a great job Kel!
And that you and your kids are all very connected. You are probably just at a busy time right now with the little one being a toddler and all.
umiak's Avatar umiak 04:23 AM 07-20-2002
I wonder if another good question might be, Do you and your children feel like you have enough cuddling and contact? Less may be appropriate as they grow, or not, depending on the individuals. Keep in mind also as the siblings grow and share their parents' attention, they are gaining very valuable interpersonal skills, lessons that sometimes only children with siblings learn.
mom2four's Avatar mom2four 03:09 PM 07-20-2002
I think that as kids get older they just naturally become less physically affectionate. As my own four grew up we just tried to let them know that they were loved and that physical affection was welcomed by both myself and their dad whenever they felt the need. What we ended up with was four very loving, affectionate adults who feel comfortable kissing, hugging and expressing their love for both of us. Even the boys, who are now bigger than their dad.
sleepies's Avatar sleepies 04:24 PM 07-22-2002
my 9 year old refuses to be held or kissed. he will let me hug him sometimes, but not very often

he thinks he is an adult :-/

he is very independant and always has been pretty independant.
Mom2Three's Avatar Mom2Three 06:36 PM 07-22-2002
My oldest is almost 6 and I am just as cuddly with him as I've always been. He'll climb up for a snuggle when the need arises. Some days I do notice he'll not be as cuddly as the day before but chalk it up to his growing independence. The day will come when he doesn't want to be loved on so much so I'm getting in as many hugs as I can now!
Ms. Mom's Avatar Ms. Mom 12:26 AM 07-23-2002
My oldest is 7. He's my little love. We cuddle, kiss, rubb backs and constantly say "I love you"!! It's the highlight of my day

DD is 4 and she's also very physical. We're just a huggy, lovey, touchy, feely kinda family.

My father stopped hugging us as soon as we developed breasts. It really hurt me because I had a strong need for physical affection. I feel that I'm just as affectionate now as I was when ds as a baby. The only big change is that now they initiate it
lisamarie's Avatar lisamarie 12:51 PM 07-24-2002
My ds is 6 yo and he is still my cuddle bunny. Every morning when he wakes up, he climbs on my lap for some morning hugs and cuddles. At night, we still cuddle in bed together and we constantly say "I love you". He still LOVES to be carried too. Some people have even went as far: as calling him a "mommy's boy" because he still loves to be carried (not all the time mind you) and cuddled. I HATE that term, but that's another subject.

My 1st dh's family did not do this~no "I love you's" or hugs. When my ds was about 3-4 mo. old, my 1st dh told me I was "smothering" him with hugs & kisses. That didn't go off very well. The next morning Dr. Sears was on t.v. and he had to hear it from him that you can never hug or kiss your child enough. I just sat there w/a big grin on my face. In my family, we have always been affectionate and are still.


merpk's Avatar merpk 05:15 AM 01-22-2003
Seems like DS#1 (5) has less need for it now. And when I drop him off at his school, he asks me to kiss him outside the classroom ... guess I'm embarassing him already :

Though he still wants to cuddle to sleep (not easy since I'm nursing the other two ...) and occasionally insists on a hug ... and sometimes I think he insists because just in the daily routine of caring for baby &toddler&preschooler I forget to just stop & hug him.

- Amy
kiwiliz's Avatar kiwiliz 05:29 AM 01-22-2003
i think it has a lot to do with temperament as well as age. our 13 yr old has always needed to be warmed up for cuddles, but loves our family massage sessions on the living room floor. i think both the physical contact and the talking time.

9 yr old is our real snuggler, loves to be cuddled to sleep still, though it doesn't often happen for long any more, needs lots of cuddles when hurt or upset and finds massage too tickly though he loves to give them.

2 and a half yr old is ,well 2 and a half, nurses often etc etc, but understands the power of the cuddle. offers cuddles to his brothers when they are hurt or upset, will even stop nursing and tell me someone needs a cuddle. will tell other parents of crying babies that the baby needs a cuddle!!!

its certainly busy with more kids and i don't feel i meet my 9 yr olds cuddle quota much of the time but he loudly demands his needs and we do the balance as best we can. its the 13 yr old i'm more concerned about as i think his needs are just as there, he's just not so verbal about it

TreeLove's Avatar TreeLove 11:49 AM 01-23-2003
I chose the last answer, but that's because it's what THEY want. They tell me all the time to leave them alone and quit trying to kiss them. One of my 5 yo likes me to watch TV with him but no touching! He jsut wants me near but not snuggling, so as hard as it is, I try to honor it. They also told me I have to stop putting them on the bus now. I have to stay 10 feet back from the bus

oh, they grow up so fast!
Kirsten's Avatar Kirsten 07:02 PM 01-23-2003
I tried to vote but it wouldn't let me... I have more than one child and am just as physically affectionate with the oldest one as I've always been.
I think there are two factors to this. One is how you were raised/what you are comfortable with. We grew up a very physically affectionate family (hugged goodbye and hello, sat together on the couch to watch tv even if it was just two of us in the room, etc.) as kids and as older. I am still a very touchy person but try to notice when others are not so into that. A lot depends on how you grew up.
Other factor may be gender of your kids. I think many times (not always) girls "let" you get closer to them, hug them more when they are older, etc. whereas many boys (again not all!) start to get a little uncomfortable as they get older. There seems to be some kind of double standard - OK for girls to sit on mom's lap, hug or kiss her (or dad) goodbye, etc. but if a boy does it (say the kids are 8 or 10), it is somehow more "babyish" or teasable. Don't ask me why or to explain the fairness of that.
I don't think whether the child is an only or the oldest of many makes a difference (at least IMO). More gender of child and how parents were raised.
guest^'s Avatar guest^ 05:17 AM 01-26-2003
I chose just as cuddly and affectionate,dd(6) and ds(18mos) with having younger sib.

She is pretty good at asking for hugs if I get busy and/or she just needs some...

Several kisses and I love yous throughout the day...

journeymom's Avatar journeymom 01:46 AM 01-28-2003
I voted just as much with more than one child.

Dd is 8 yo, ds is 3 1/2 yo.

Though after #2 was born, #1 definitly got less physical affection than she was used to. It dropped off precipitously (always wanted to use that word). But soon enough, maybe within a few months, I was back to hugging and kissing dd as much as before.

I absent mindedly stroke and play with her thick hair when she stands next to me, too. I have her hug me around my middle while I brush her hair. That way she can squeeze the living day lights out of me when I brush through a knot! It works for us.
3boys4us's Avatar 3boys4us 09:35 PM 01-28-2003
Ds#1 is 8 1/2 and although he was a clingy baby and toddler, he is beginning to be hands-off lately. I still kiss and hug him around the house but definately not in front of his friends.

OTH he loves to sleep with us and touch us while he's sleeping. Sometimes as a special treat we will have him sleep with us and the other two in another bed.

I love to touch the kids and love co-sleeping for this reason. Sometimes, it's the best time because we're all quiet and relaxed.
alexa07's Avatar alexa07 12:18 PM 04-27-2003
As one of the posters said, gender is a major factor in all of this. Most 7-10 y.o. girls are still willing to let their moms hug them in front of their freinds. Even most teenage girls [if they are not in one of their frequent parent hating phases] are willing for their mom to hug and kiss them in front of others. Most boys often starting as young as age 7 just are not. As adults society will probl consider "normal" more physical contact between moms and daughter than moms and sons.
guestmama9924's Avatar guestmama9924 10:46 PM 04-27-2003
Oh this topic makes my mama guilt come right to the front. I remember that the DAY my youngest was born, I just did not feel the same need to physically touch and love on my first born

She is 7, and I make a DAILY concerted effort to physically love on her : rub her back, her head, kiss her, hug her , etc. I just don't seem to give it completely spontaneously anymore. It seems I have to think about it ( and I do). I am so aware of that ! Maybe because she does not demand it so much anymore like the toddler does. But I am determined to keep some kind of physical connection with both of them.
Brandonsmama's Avatar Brandonsmama 11:55 PM 04-27-2003
My ds is 7 and a real cuddler. He is my only child and we have always been really close. He hasn't expressed any embarrassment yet if I hug him or hold his hand in front of his friends.
Funkeemonkey's Avatar Funkeemonkey 07:35 AM 04-28-2003
My five year old is still affectionate in public, even at school. But he stopped liking "kisses" about 5 months ago. Just out of the blue. It broke my heart a little but I respect his wishes and only give him a kiss when he wants one. My 4yo has always been super affectionate and has these wonderful chubby little arms that still reach around my nect so easily. *sigh* Lucky me. Long may it last.
futbol mom's Avatar futbol mom 01:25 AM 04-29-2003
I love Mothering . It never fails. When I'm feeling out of sorts in some fashion I can always go to mothering and find just what I'm looking for. I was up all last night with mommy guilt wondering if I'm spending enough "quality" time with my children. I have three, ds is 6, dd#1 is 4 and dd#2 is 22 mo. Ds has recently said he doens't want to be kissed anymore at school when I drop him off but he will give me a hug (this broke my heart, but I respected his choice). This is hard, because we have always been close until recently...well, maybe over the last year. I know that's my fault, because when I would sit with one child, another would come over, but then they would fight over who would sit where on me or next to me, or she's/he's touching got to the point where it was so stressful that I would just leave. (sleep depervation played a big role in that, neither dd #1 or #2 slept at all!!!, and I was a bit on the impatient side). So now I wonder if I'm sitting with them enough, hugging them enough, playing with them enough...I feel like I have less and less in common with my son. I coach him in soccer and work in his class once a week, but I still feel like we are not as close. DH seems to think it just "growing pains", that ds is just spreading his wings... I don't know, but It's nice to see other mom's with the same concerns. I guess we can't keep them babies forever .
Funkeemonkey's Avatar Funkeemonkey 11:28 PM 05-03-2003 a magazine yesterday about a mom with an 11 year old daughter. The long and the short is their pet guinea pig died in a horrible way and they took it to the vet. The vet told the daughter and mom that the pet would need to be put down...the daughter was very upset about this and this is what the mom wrote...
Antionette burst into tears, and I rushed to comfort her. Her body was stiff, and she pulled away from me, flinching. My initial reaction was embarrassment. (Did anyone see her do that?) but later, as we dug Freckles grave together, I tried to question her gently about her extreme reaction. Was she upset? Was it the way Freckles died? Why didn't she want me to touch her? Her answer was simplicity itself. "I'm not used to it" WHAT???!!! My only daugher is not used to me touching her?
...the mom sat down and thought about how she had slowly but surely got out of the habit of touching, in nice ways, her daughter. She couldn't remember the last loving physical contact she had.

This letter bought home to me my own upbringing. I can remember the last time my mom hugged me, I was five. I don't want my children to ever have to think about the last time they were lovingly hugged. They are going to be great big fathers themselves and I am still going to be hugging them every chance I can get.
futbol mom's Avatar futbol mom 01:38 AM 05-04-2003
Thank you so much for the post Funkeemonky! Perfect timing.
Bug's Avatar Bug 12:31 PM 05-20-2003
My ds will be 6 in July, and I have a dd who is 3. I know I'm not as physically affectionate with ds as I was when he was a baby who was held a lot, but we are still very affectionate. Lots of hug, kisses, and I love yous. I hold his hand in public, and he's always welcome to sit in my lap.
It seems that in my area parents are not as comfortable being very affectionate with their sons. Especially as the boys get older. I try not to be that way.

GoodWillHunter's Avatar GoodWillHunter 08:01 PM 05-25-2003
Well, DS1 was an only child for 5 years...Now, he's 8 and constantly on the go, but he gets tons of hugs and kisses and head pats and hair playing from Mom. Since I don't see him for about 1/2 of the week (I have joint custody), I have to get in what I can! He's a love bug, tho!