Please Don’t Touch My Children

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don't touch my children

 

I know this post will be read by the people who aren’t the problem, but I have to say something.

When I had my first child, Caroline, I took her to the store when she was about two weeks old. I was standing at the deli counter figuring out which meat I wanted to get (you know, now that I wasn’t pregnant and could eat all the deli meat I wanted). Suddenly, I turned back towards my cart to see the deli lady talking to Caroline. I thought it was super sweet that she noticed her and of course I was happy that someone else thought she was the cutest thing in the whole entire world.

Then it happened… the deli lady…grabbed Caroline’s hand! She just kept saying “oh hold my finger, hold my finger!” Being super hormonal, my mama bear kicked in and it took everything in me to not scream “WHY IS THE MEAT LADY TOUCHING MY CHILD?!?” She hadn’t even had her shots yet and I was so paranoid about her getting sick (I was a new mom!)

Today, while at the store, I was cornered by a woman. She had sweat dripping down her face and her hair and clothes were slightly disheveled. She asked me for my son’s name and then grabbed his hand. She insisted on him giving her a hug and wouldn’t move out of my way until she got one. I politely declined several times and then just kept walking.

Here’s the deal.

My children are incredibly affectionate. They love to hug people that they love. They do not love to hug or touch strangers. I try to understand the desire for strangers to love on my kids. I know they’re super cute – I think so too. I know they’re super hug-able – I think so too. I know that it feels awesome when children show affection to you because it’s so genuine – but really that’s only when it’s unsolicited.

I will never MAKE my child hug you. And after you have touched my child’s hands with your germ-ridden hands and walk away, my child will put that hand in his mouth or grab his snack with his hand and shove that in his mouth. Then if any illness befalls our family I will forever blame you for passing your germs on to my child and affecting our whole world.

I know this sounds extreme, but I’m a mom. My children are mine. I devote more hours of my life to them than anything I’ve ever done. They are precious to me and what it comes down to is that you shouldn’t touch something or someone that doesn’t belong to you.

I know my kids are cute. I know that my kids are friendly. I can’t hardly go two minutes with out kissing and hugging them. So I totally understand why you would want to hug and kiss them… but don’t. If you wouldn’t hug me, don’t hug my kids. Feel free to stop us and tell me how cute they are. Feel free to talk to them and me and let them show you how old they are or their latest party trick. But please, if we don’t know you, don’t touch!!

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Hi OKC! I'm Carrie! My husband, Steven, and I met in college but never dated. Many years later, we reconnected and fell in love. After a whirlwind romance and gorgeous wedding I gave up my Texan status and moved to Oklahoma (he was worth it!) He spends his days on the road travelling all over the state of Oklahoma. We are the proud parents of our adorable 2 year old, Caroline and precious baby Benjamin. There is very little sleeping going on at our house. I am a music lover and a wannabe crafter. I am very good at following directions but not so great at creating my own masterpieces. I was a math teacher for 6 years before becoming a stay-at-home mom. Before being a teacher, I worked in the actuarial field, which is what I am doing part-time now. As a family we work hard to live a simple life, create great memories, and love the Lord with all our heart. I am so excited to be sharing my family with all of you and connecting with other local moms!

6 COMMENTS

  1. Yes! YES! I am new to the OK area, but just last week two complete strangers were trying to touch my one year old while he was in my Ergo. They were elderly, so I don’t know if that was part of the problem, but my neither of my kids (one was in the shopping cart) appreciated someone trying to touch them on the face. I try to get them away without being rude, but I think next time I am just going to have to say, “Don’t touch my child.” Any other ways you’ve used to deflect touchers? I guess I am more indirect as a person, but directness in this case is desired.

  2. I’m a firm believer that no means no. Even to people who my children love. If they don’t feel like hugging or kissing, it’s ok. They don’t have to. I always want them to feel like it’s their body, their decision. No matter the age.

  3. I don’t think there’s anything extreme about this!

    It amazes me how adults think that just because an individual is a child, they are entitled to touch them or interact with them in a specific way. I only have one and he’s a shy nine month old. I’ve had people corner us and even follow us around trying to get him to smile or worse putting their arms out trying to get him to “come to them.” I wear him if it’s an extended shopping trip, but often just put him in the cart seat if it’s a quick trip after work. When wearing him, I will literally turn away when they go to touch us and say, “He doesn’t like being touched by strangers.” When someone has been pushy, I’ve said “it wouldn’t be appropriate for me to touch your _____, so it isn’t appropriate for you to touch his____” If someone is being inappropriate when he’s in the cart, I will stand in between them and my son. I don’t think any of that is crazy or over the top.

    It’s really important to me that my kids learn body autonomy. That starts with this sort of thing. That also means that he won’t be forced to give hugs and kisses to anyone (even if they’re family)

    • So true Stephanie!! I was so shocked and felt weirdly threatened! I told her I had to get something else and then walked to the corner furthest away. I felt kind of like I was being rude but it was so weird and uncomfortable!!

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