Personal Space?

Kim - posted on 01/30/2011 ( 4 moms have responded )

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My son is 13 months. At a playdate the other day, as always, he was hugging and kissing like he always does. Sometimes it is not such a good thing as a couple of the other mothers seemed annoyed after the 3rd time and so did the other children. He does it to everyone even strangers (babies) and its not something I feel as I should discourage bc its sweet and I feel like he is an extremely social child unlike some of the others I have been around. I don't want to change that. Any suggestions how to deal with this? How do you teach babies this young about personal space?

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Cyndel - posted on 01/31/2011

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Not much you can do except distract him once he has given hugs/kisses all around, I probably would tell him thank you for all the hugs and kisses and give him a toy. Every time he went to hug/ kiss someone pull him away give him a hug/kiss tell him thank you for the hug/kiss and distract him again. Beyond that there isn't much you can do.

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Renae - posted on 02/05/2011

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My son does it too! His friends at playgroup that he sees at least a couple of times a week are used to him. The little girl he spends the most time with (because her mum and I babyswap and look after each others while we work one day a week), as soon as she could talk she could say "no Junior, I said no more cuddles!". The worst part is if the other child, which could be a stranger he has just met, doesnt reciprocate, he will grab them and shake them! I have thought a lot about what to do about it and discussed it with several people, and have decided the best thing is to remove him from the immediate situation (take him to the other side of the room) and distract him. He isn't old enough to understand why its bad, so the only other option is to teach him that showing he likes someone is wrong which I dont want to do. He starts family day care 2 days a week as of next week and I am going to have to talk to the carer about how she plans to deal with it. I'm hoping within 6 months to a year I will be able to teach him its only appropriate to hug his friends who are used to him, not strangers. Then eventually one day he will be old enough to explain he cant just hug and kiss even his friends if they dont want it - hopefully that will be before he goes to kindy! :)

Let me know if you find any other good way of dealing with it! :) :)

Danielle - posted on 01/31/2011

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That is the cutest thing.
I only wish my son would be that social. He doesn't like to be hugged and kissed by myself nevermind other children.
I think it you wanted to limit that kind of interaction maybe just start reminding him that he should only do it once, and then when he goes around for seconds kindly remind him that he's 'already given lots of love'.
At 13 months it isn't something that should have to learn not to do. I wouldn't discourage it, but if other mothers seem to have a problem with it I would start giving him little reminders (without discouraging him!).

Good luck!

Christy - posted on 01/31/2011

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haha! This is sort of funny and totally cute! Like the other mom said, distract him with a toy or another activity. He is doing it over and over because he is getting positive reinforcement as a result (the "awwwwwwws" and "how sweet" comments, etc).

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