Is it okay for kids to hug?

Miranda - posted on 06/06/2011 ( 23 moms have responded )

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My 2 year old son loves to hug other kids. I didn't think it was to big of a deal. We went tot he park the other day and he hugged this little girl and her dad freaked and told her that if someone touched her she needs to scream. I was thinking hes 2 not an adult. If another kid came up and hugged my my son I wouldnt freak out. She was on the other end of the play ground by herself and it looked like she just started walking a few months ago. She almost fell off of it and I helped her down. Her dad was no where to be found. Im on my kid constantly because im afraid of him getting hurt or knocked down by another kid. Is it bad that my son likes to hug other kids? If so how do I get him to stop.

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Kelly - posted on 06/09/2011

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i am a mother of 2. i do not believe that hugging is a bad thing but i believe that we have to teach our kids to ask for a hug and not just do it. also have to teach them that if the other person says no it means no. i know at 2 he won't really understand but if u show him by asking him every time u want to hug him and make him ask u before he hugs u he will eventually get the idea.

Christy - posted on 06/06/2011

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It's okay for kids to hug, but it's important to teach boundaries. Even at his age you can teach him to ask for a hug rather than "glomping" as we call it. I'm betting most of the time he'll be allowed to hug the other children, but if not, you will avoid upset strangers. I personally think it's sweet.

[deleted account]

Wow! Some people just lose it don't they?

Our son is a hugger. No, check that ... he's a LOVER!

He LOVES to go up to little girls and give them a kiss and a hug. Mostly it's been okay because he's totally adorable. Thankfully no one has freaked out yet.

I don't think it's wrong for your kid to hug other kids. Parents who freak out, really are going to one end of the spectrum that they shouldn't.

They're children, not little criminals.

Kimberly - posted on 06/07/2011

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i would love it if my kid was that kind of person that just like every one and hugged. that dad is in the wrong in my personal believe you start teaching kids at that age its wrong and she needs to scream it will put mental issues on her, about everything. if every kid hugged this world would be so much better. they wouldnt hit, fight argue. just have fun, there would be less violance when they got older. i mean this is my personal opinion. but this is how i see it

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Lisa - posted on 11/26/2012

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Well I guess, the alternative to hugging may be to throw a punch or bite like most children also enjoy doing. My 18th month old girl is also a hugger and most parents are very receptive to the idea. She hugged another young toddler at the GP surgery this morning and they both came crashing on the floor (no bruises thankfully, just a very shocked look on two faces) . However this gave the rest of us something to smile about.

Katrina - posted on 06/10/2011

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I think its normal for kids to hug each other, but these days it is becoming unacceptable because of our twisted society. You can tell him not to hug ppl he doesn't know, but at 2, I'm not sure it would be very effective. Is that the only case where a parent freaked? If so, I wouldn't worry about it...sounds like that dad is the one with the problem.

Miranda - posted on 06/09/2011

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Thanks everyone. He did ask for the hug first. The little girl just stood there and didnt say anything. I guess some people are idiots. People like him are the reason that some children get killed or kidnapped. He was a bit looney. Im going to continue letting my son hug other kids. But Im going to always have him ask first.

Jane - posted on 06/09/2011

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that was one person and don't let that one experience bring doubt to your loving parenting. you never know why people react as they do. maybe that parent had abuse in their life and blankets all physcial interaction in a protective manner for his kids.
if you teach your child not to hug now, he'll be doing the exact same thing as that child's father 30 yrs from now when he's at the park w/his child.

Meaghan Van - posted on 06/09/2011

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NOT AT ALL!!! that dad was obviously being an idiot! and a negligent one at that. Who leaves their newly toddling toddler to wander an entire playground by themselves? just ignore that guy... your little boy obviously is affectionate and secure with being so, indicative of good parenting!!! keep doing what youre doing! and ignore idiots like that!

Katie - posted on 06/07/2011

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My son is two and hugs people all the time, mostly adults though. I don't see why it would be a problem at all for a child to hug another child or an adult, that's just something kids do. That dad needs to chill a bit in my opinion.

Miranda - posted on 06/07/2011

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Thanks. I didnt want to discourage him from it. I love it that he hugs. I do have to tell him to be easy because he is a brute.

Charlie - posted on 06/07/2011

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My child is big for his age and loves to hug , unfourtunately his hugs are enthusiastic , we have taught him to ask first and then gentle squeeze .

We would never discourage him from hugging , what a loving and caring trait to have !

OhJessie - posted on 06/07/2011

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That's really sad, Miranda, and you don't want to discourage his spontaneous affection. I guess you'll have to teach him to ask first if the other child is littler than he is? Just in case other psycho parents lose their shit again? I really can't imagine anyone wanting to scream if that little curly haired cherub wanted to hug them lol. Jeesh.

Melissa - posted on 06/07/2011

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Personally I love it when my son hugs people. He's always weary of strange adults, but he always loves to socialize with other kids. I've never had a parent be offended by my son hugging their child. I'm not sure I've ever heard of someone NOT being okay with it before! To me, it's a sign of kindness and friendship, I enjoy the fact that he's hugging other children as opposed to hitting, biting or throwing things like so many do during their younger years before they fully understand that it's not okay to do. I certainly wouldn't see his hugging others as a bad things what-so-ever, I guess if a parent were uncomfortable with it and it were my son I'd just pull him back and say something to the parent like "sorry about that, he just loves to give hugs". Really though, I'd feel bad for THEIR kid. I think children should be allowed to express NICE emotions freely!!

Nayuribe - posted on 06/07/2011

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i have to little huggers in my house as well, i've also had parents and other kids react badly to it, but i tell my kids it's not their fault, hugging is good, they will grow to be kind people, the world needs love and kindness!!!

[deleted account]

WOW!!!! Its sad that he reacted that way! A friend of mine was at the city pool with her kids and parents were tanning instead of watching their kids! There is something really wrong in this world.
Totally normal for kids to hug. its how they learn to love and socialize with others. My daughter is also a hugger!

Miranda - posted on 06/07/2011

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Thanks everyone. He did ask her first and she just stood there and didnt try to walk away or say anything. I told him to be easy with her because she was so small and he was very easy. When he finished hugging her he said aww Mommy she cute...lol After the dad said that I told him that he shouldnt hug her anymore and left her alone. I love the fact that he likes to hug. I think that I would have expected that reaction from him if I just went up to her and hugged her but not when a 2 year old did. He had a few kids there. Im not dowing his parenting but I would have been with the smallest one of them and if he could keep up with all of them he needs to stay home with them. She was ontop of the big jungle gym thing and big kids running everywhere. She was scared and wanted down. I was up there with my son so I looked around to see if I could find one of her parents so I could ask if it was alright to help her down. I didnt see one so I helped her down anyway. I didnt want to let her fall off of that thing. I have never let my son on that thing by himself I always go up there with him. Ive always thaught it was cute for little kids to hug too. We were in the store one time and this little girl wanted a hug from him and they hugged. I thaught it was cute.I wasnt to sure what other ppl thaught about it. That is the first kid that he has hugged and I got that kind of reaction from the one of the parents.

Bridget - posted on 06/07/2011

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My kids are huggers too they are just very friendly kids...i don't see the problem with it just so they are hugging other children and not some other random adult thats when i get worried. I think it's adorable when kids hug and i don't get why this child's father thought it was such a big deal for your little one to hug his little girl. But then again i have had the stranger talk with my children and they know not to let anyone touch them or go with anyone that they don't know..i think its all about boundries

Hailey - posted on 06/07/2011

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hugging is natural and its the grown ups that teach otherwise. Obviously just make sure he doesnt hurt them and just check with the mum, just say is she ok with that. They will normally just run off if they see whats coming anyway or give a big slap if they want them off! My little boy hugs everything! take each one as it comes. I like the idea of asking for the hug first.

Andrea - posted on 06/06/2011

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I'd personally put it down to her Dad being an idiot! When I first started reading I thought he was just overprotective, you know the kind of parent who freaks over everything, but given that he was then quite happy to walk off and leave her to potentially hurt herself I now think that he's just lazy and thinks that he can minimize the leg work by just telling her to scream.

There is nothing wrong with kids hugging, personally I think there is nothing more adorable than two littlies giving each other a hug. My DP is a bit overprotective and even he thinks it's cute. Please don't discourage your son from hugging his friends, what a beautiful innocent way of showing he cares!

Tiffany - posted on 06/06/2011

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I encourge my kids to hug everyone. But I also have tought them to ask me before they even talk to anyone they dont know. But im also from Alabama where we introduce ourselves with a hug rather than a handshake and a "come on out later for the cook out" rather than a "nice to meet you" I live in an area where everyone cares for eachother and if you hold out your hand for a hand shake you get your hand slapped and a hug so big that you cant breath. So imo yes it is perfectly normal to hug. It shows the sincerity in you and i believe you should encourge it as well. If the world had a little more hugging in it, then there wouldnt be people like the park dad as much. Dont make him stop, it shows he is a caring person and everyone needs to see a little kindness here and there :-)

Amanda - posted on 06/06/2011

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My son's 3 and a hugger too. I normally watch for the reaction of the other kids and parents and then deal with it accordingly. Some kids don't mind it others do and the same with the parents. I can normally tell which kids he is likely to want to hug (he likes blonde girls I think they remind him of his sister) so if they are only little I can sometimes distract him before he tries it. I don't have a problem with my kids hugging or being hugged by other kids and my son is now not doing it anywhere near as much as he used to, except to his sister.

I think the reaction from the dad at the park seems abit extreme.

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