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  1. #1
    jec
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    Not taking any social cues

    I have to a 22 month old who doesn't take any social cues of someone not wanting him in their space. Most toddlers don't know personal space but this little one is right in their face. When they push him away and or turn away he follows them turns his face right into theirs. I never thought much about it but as my crew has grown, it seems that most of them tend to not play with him .....
    Now this is where I think it's different- he is constantly needing to be touching skin. I am constantly telling him not to put his hand down my top- both front and back so instead he rubs my arms. If I'm wearing long pants ( yoga of course as it's my uniform ) he will put his hand and arm up my pant leg to touch my skin- when I tell him not to, he then touches my feet. i think this is another reason the kids get annoyed with him as he is doing the same to them.
    Now he also bangs into walls while running around, shakes his head and carries on- could it just be high energy as he is go go go go go and even when he is sick, it doesn't slow him down.

    So...my question is, how do I help him learn that the constant physical touching isn't acceptable as he is so young. i don't want to discourage him from loving hugs but what could I say that isnt' negative. What I am saying now is _____ I don't like you putting your hands down my top please- and then he just swings his head around and puts his face into mine....sits beside me and will find another body part to touch. I have to get him a toy to change his interest.

    I've just never had a little on in my care so physical and I'm a huggy person but I'm not noticing that the other kids his age are starting to get really annoyed by it too

  2. #2
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    I have a 13month old who is currently breast fed at home, and I find that whenever I am holding him, he shoots his hand down my top! Noooooo!!! lol Not sure if him being breast fed has anything to do with that or not, but I always remove hin and place it down by his side when he does it.
    I also have a 27 month old, who, since day one has always been a "leaner". He never stands with his two feet alone, always leaning on a table, a couch, a wall. Just a weird stance I suppose. Also he is ALWAYS slouching in his booster, he sits to the side, him bum half way down the seat. I am constantly telling his to 'sit straight'. A little annoying to look at and I always want to correct him, but probably just the way he is.
    I don't know if I can help you, I bet there isn't much you could say to break this kid of his constant need for skin contact. Who knows, it could be more of a psychological issue for all we know.
    Have you asked the parents about this, is he like this at home too?

  3. #3
    Euphoric !
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    Wow, a toucher like that would get on my nerves. I like to snuggle the little ones then put them down again, but I guess I need my space too. I certainly wouldn't like to have my body touched all day like that, eeek! I don't know what to say except keep telling him with a stern voice that it isn't nice.

    So many times I see parents telling their children with a normal sweet voice - no don't touch or don't do that. But if you use a stern voice they can actually tell the difference between something they should not do as opposed to when it's ok.

  4. #4
    Euphoric ! kidlove's Avatar
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    i have a child like that in my care, when he started he was just 2 and is now 5. Not sure what to tell you re: getting him to stop, but the one thing i do know is (if he is like this little guy I have) that is his love language, touch. My little guy is the same way, seems he has "no boundaries" his comfort zone is much different than mine or the other childrens. His touch was never too much though, sometimes when i would read them a story he would make sure he laid on the floor right under my feet some he could touch my foot or walk his hand on my ankle. This to me was his expression of love, however...his hand never went down my shirt.
    one time he did poke my boob and say, my moms are squishier than yours. I laughed, wow, nice observation. I think he will def be a toucher in future relationships.
    as far as the kids go, yes he would just walk up to them and stick his face right in theirs, bothered them alot, but they would just tell him to go away!!! He has a strong personality so luckily it never deterred him from following them to continue to play. i guess your biggest issue is teaching him proper touch as opposed to improper. The parents should help with this too, maybe the mother allows him to rub her like that.? the one thing I have found about kids like that is, they are the first to rub a friends back if they get hurt, or offer a hug in times of trouble. he just loves the sensation of touch.

  5. #5
    jec
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    His Mom was breast feeding him...and still might be at night and I thought at first it was that. I would take his hand out and tell him that I don't like his hand down my top....then he just started touching skin everywhere. It's not that it bothers me to where I get the heebeegeebees~ he's young and I agree that it's more of his love touch. He is very tender hearted, thought ful and I adore him. Just my concern is helping him understand proper touch opposed to improper.

    I just hate to see other kids getting annoyed by him and he's not picking up on that.....
    I've just never had anyone in my care like this little one. He plays hard and runs into walls- never slows down or turns and his Mom says he is the same at home. They did tell me that a friend who has a little one the same age had told the little guy I'm talking about to back away as her son needed space I can see why as he is very much into other's personal space....I just hate to see that nothing is being done to correct the behavior and it's already starting to affect him by this person and her son.
    I just don't think I can say anything about it to the parents, as it's not a bad behavior and they are first time and don't see anything wrong with it

  6. #6
    Euphoric !
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    I have a little guy who is almost three and he is a toucher too! It doesn't bother me if he is just touching my arm or leg, but he often tries to put his hand on my back under my shirt and I always remove it and ask him not to as I think this is going too far (if it were my own child it would be fine). He sometimes tries to do the same thing with the other kids and if they aren't in the mood, they tell him and if he doesn't stop I tell him "so and so has said 'no' and that he means he doesn't like it, you have to stop"....he is learning...it takes time and reinforcement. As someone else said, this is his way of showing affection.

  7. #7
    Euphoric ! kidlove's Avatar
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    if I were you I would just start it on a loose conversation with the parents, or mother. Just ask her if he does it at home with her because he has been doing it with you. I dont think it would be that big of a deal to address with the mom, and that way hopefully she will be perceptive enough to respond by saying something like, "oh, i guess I never thought about him doing it to others, maybe its something we could work on at home as well". just let her know you are a little concerned over his social interaction with the other kids. gently let her know some of the kids tend to avoid him because he invades their space a little too much. I do know through experience, it sure makes things easier on everyone if parents work on little issues at home as well as you working on things at your house.

  8. #8
    jec
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    I had chatted with Mom about his hand down the top and that he's very physical and apparenlty Dad is the same..doesn't give anyone personal space *sigh*
    Looks like there isn't much I can do to help curb the behavior if dad is the same...
    i've just never come across a little one who needs so much skin contact before. Seems you ladies have so seems normal .....just nothing I've come across but, will be letting him know hugs only for me and the other kids. Keep it positive *fingers crossed*

  9. #9
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    Quote Originally Posted by jec View Post
    I had chatted with Mom about his hand down the top and that he's very physical and apparenlty Dad is the same..doesn't give anyone personal space *sigh*
    Looks like there isn't much I can do to help curb the behavior if dad is the same...
    i've just never come across a little one who needs so much skin contact before. Seems you ladies have so seems normal .....just nothing I've come across but, will be letting him know hugs only for me and the other kids. Keep it positive *fingers crossed*
    The parent is giving you an answer that means "it can't be helped" "it's in him genetically" "he's just like his Dad" so that they don't have to deal with it. It's a VERY common parental response. If they convince you that it is beyond their control and perfectly natural part of this child's genetic makeup then it's the same as saying "you deal with it... we are who we are".

    I would stop ALL physical contact with him that wasn't generated by me. When he puts his hands on you take them hand... lift it up in the air away from you and say "leave it". Turn him away from you and have him walk away the opposite direction of you. When he turns around he will see your back walking away.

    Now you can still love him up whenever you want but YOU initiate it all. All on your terms... not his. You are perceiving his "in your face" style as a personal space issue and it most likely is a CONTROL issue. It's him dominating the moment with you and the kids. He's testing you guys all out to see if he can dominate and getting mixed reviews so he keeps on doing it.

    It's not a boundary issue... a comfort range... or affection. It LOOKS like affection but you know that little thing inside of you that goes off when he does it to you and the kids... that gnaw in your stomach... THAT'S correct. Trust your gut. Simple as this: If you don't like it then it's wrong. If it makes you feel uncomfortable... it's wrong. If it bothers you for the other kids... it's wrong.

    So pick a clear response to shun it and turn away from it each and every time he does it. It will take a few weeks for him to GET that he doesn't have to dominate... "that way". He doesn't have to seize control by getting all up in everyones taco salad. He can get the attention he wants and the interaction he needs by being a good player... being creative... being gentle and kind. He can't DEMAND it by being inappropriate with his body by touching or getting into everyone elses space.
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  10. #10
    Euphoric ! kidlove's Avatar
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    Good Luck!!

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