CG has always been very affectionate. Since day one she has loved cuddling, hugs, kisses, etc. And I love that about her. She thinks nothing about grabbing someone’s arm to plant a kiss in the palm of their hand, or hugging a teacher. However, sometimes I know she makes people feel uncomfortable in her freely dispensed kisses and hugs because they aren’t used to it.
I’ve tried to exercise caution in how I handle this – on one hand, I love that she’s so open and loving, but on the other hand I know that in the future it may get her into trouble in how it manifests. I would hate for her to close herself off from people because I lecture her one too many times on not showing too much affection, or because someone takes advantage of her openess.
Also, because she has a brother, she treats boys differently than other girls do. She’s used to seeing her brother naked (and he her) and they don’t think anything of it. She doesn’t have any of that “what’s THAT?” horror at seeing her brother naked. If I’m helping CootieBoy get dressed in the morning, if anything she’ll laugh and scream “I SEE YOUR BUTT!” before running out of the room with one last cackle.
And because she has a brother, she may not know what is acceptable playtime activity and what is not. My kids think nothing of crashing to the ground in a pile of arms and legs and wrestling each other for a few minutes (until someone gets poked in the eye or their hair pulled, that is). My kids don’t think twice about changing clothes in front of one another to put on costumes for some imaginary play. They don’t think of themselves as different from one another. But that freedom from preconceived notions can cause problems.
Case in point – we received a note from CG’s after-school care last night. Apparently she pinned a boy on the ground and attempted to pull down his pants in order to see his underwear.
She claims that another girl actually wanted to see the boy’s underwear and she was only “helping.” I am not sure I believe that’s true, but either way, I told her that behavior was unacceptable and that she shouldn’t be attempting to pull down ANYone’s pants at school for ANY reason. I said, “You wouldn’t want anyone pushing YOU to the ground and pulling down YOUR pants, so you shouldn’t do it to other kids.”
So before bed last night I asked Denis to read her a book we have about “bad touch/good touch” and how it not only goes for people touching her, but how she touches people as well. I’m hoping she’ll realize that the freedom she enjoys playing with her brother is not the same kind of freedom she has at school. I’m hoping that today she’ll come home with a good report from after-school care and that it’ll click in her head that she can be affectionate and touchy-feely, but that there are acceptable levels of affection and touchy-feeliness that she needs to abide by.
And people want me to have a THIRD kid? Are you CRAZY?
If you liked that post, read on...
My Pre-K Girl and Potty-Training Boy on August 22nd, 2007
But What About CootieGirl.... on September 18th, 2007
School Supply List on July 21st, 2008
The New Definition of "Honeymoon" on February 14th, 2009