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This started when he was around 18 months and it seemed some parents had worked hard to instruct their kids to go and hug other children, give them a kiss, whatever. My son didn't like it at all and would cry when kids would throw their arms around his neck.<br><br>
Now he's 3 and it keeps happening and I don't like and don't know how to handle it.<br><br>
Here's one example from today: go to the park. He plays with another boy who is 4 years old (we've never seen the boy before). When the boy's mom tells him it's time to go and say 'goodbye', the boy throws his arms around my son's neck and won't let go even when my son begins to cry and tries to untangle the arms around him.<br><br>
I always tell him that he never has to be hugged if he doesn't want to and I repeat this when he is upset after a child hugging him. But I think it must be confusing when I tell him that and people hug him against his will anyway.<br><br>
What can I do? I've read both of Gavin de Becker's wonderful books and am <i>very</i> concerned that my son is receiving the message that his body isn't totally his and he has physical stuff done to him that is upsetting but he can't stop it.<br><br>
Btw, my husband has told DS, 'he was just trying to hug you. He wasn't trying to hurt you.' And I hate that because I think that one should have the right to not have anyone touch, whether it hurts or not. DH hasn't read 'Protecting the Gift'.
 

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How would your husband feel if people he barely knew came up to him and gave him bear hugs all the time? They aren't trying to hurt him, you know.<br><br>
Maybe explain it that way to your dh. Just because kids are kids doesn't mean they have no rights to their own bodies.
 

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Zoey likes to kiss her friends goodbye and I've explained to her that not everyone enjoys that. I think its ok for a mom to tell her child - 'j. doesn't want to be kissed, hugged etc right now. why don' t you just wave goodbye to him'.<br>
and i think its ok for a mom to another mom 'my kids aren't into hugging goodbye, do you think you could ask your kiddo to just wave from now on'<br><br>
Zoey now ASKS 'can i kiss you goodbye?' or 'can i give you a goodbye hug'. If the child says no or acts like they'd rather not i'll say 'good asking honey, but i think A. isn't in a hugging mood right now. lets blow her a kiss instead'
 

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This happens a lot with both my kids. Neither of them likes to be hugged by people outside our family. The older one has become more easy going about it. But the little one still gets *really* upset by it.<br><br>
I usually say, <i>"Oh, Duck doesn't want a hug right now. He wants a little space. Maybe you can use your words to say goodbye to Duck, and give me a hug instead!"</i> I get tons of hugs from Duck's friends.<br><br>
I also tell Ds that he can say, "<i>Please let go of me. I don't want a hug."</i><br><br>
And if need be, I will finally ask the other mother to remove their child because it is upsetting my child. I think its important enough to risk offending other mothers. Its important to communicate to my child that I will help to protect his dignity, and his possession and control of his own body.
 

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1.I think you need to step in and say something to the hugger. DC it seems your child does not want to be hugged please stop. Or DC, my child does not like to hug to say goodbye/hi why not give a handshake instead.<br>
2.I think you need to be a little compassionate and realize these KIDS are not trying to hurt or harm your child. You need to help your son understand this.<br><br>
I am not a huggy person either but there are a few people that do it. I found ways to avoid their hugs by dropping hints outside the “hugging” situation. If you see these kids often then talk to their parent’s about it. Try to do it subtlety.<br><br>
Validate your child’s feelings. Other child hugged you and you I see you did not like it. Do you know OC was just trying to be friendly? How can we prevent her hugging you? Work on ways to prevent it. But also teach him to be receptive/put up with kindness. This does not mean he has to like it but also does not need to feel completely violated.<br><br>
I know this might seem a little off topic but ~~My mom was the parent everyone went to in the neighborhood. To make a long story short my mom took one of the neighborhood girls to the OB/GYN. She did not tell her what happens during the exam. This poor girl came out in tears. She felt so violated and that what the doctor did was sexual. My mom talked to her and got what happen in the exam and it was a completely “normal” exam. My mom helped her through this and let her know that OB/GYN exams are not always comfortable and can be down right UCKY but you they are not violating you either (and you learn what is a normal exam first). This poor girls mom made any touching down there to be sexual. My mom being ignorant did not think about this issue.<br><br>
I think these greeting hugs are in the same boat with vaginal exams. Down right ucky but sometimes you grin and put up with it. You learn the difference between the ucky OK, and definantly NOT OK.<br><br>
People make social mistakes because they are human and a little compassion on all parts should happen. We get bad/unwanted gifts and we still smile and say thank you. So teaching your child a little social grace wouldn’t hurt either. Like when it is time to go “Have him cut the hug off with an out reach hand to shake.” (Works for me and I am 30.) This might be a way to bring it up to your son. That the friends hug is a bad gift, something that will be discussed later.<br><br>
I honestly think that is what your DH was trying to get at not overreact to something that is just an act of kindness. DH just does not realize how darn violating it can feel. I would approach it to him this way: Your child does not like to hug OC and we need to work on teaching him friendly goodbyes and hello.<br><br>
My son was a hugger (drove me nuts) and it took me a long time to get him to ask first. I know this is not easy task to teach kids because they are just trying to be nice.
 

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This is a great time for you to give your child the words! Teaching young children the concept of "space" both with themselves an with others is very important.<br><br>
a very easy phrase for him to use would be " I need space." and put his hands up Before the hug happens. Then you can jump in if that doesn't work and say "Very good words, ds. I can hear you telling other child you need your space. How about a hand shake or a wave." If the other child seems hurt, if you are comfortable, you give them the hug...<br><br>
You are of course very right about him being in control of who touches his body. That is why I encorage you to give HIM the words to use. If someone threatening did try to touch him a yell of space or your not allowed to touch me draws eyes while crying may not...
 
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