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Daughter does not like to give hugs and kisses

My daughter is 6. As an infant & toddler she was always giving hugs and kisses. The last 2 years, she has refused to give hugs or kisses to anyone. Her father and I get an occasional kiss from her and we do get a hug out of her everyday. She always says that she doesn't like germs and that is why she won't give kisses. Well, she just spent the weekend with my mother in law who she does not see very often. It's been quite a few months since she saw her last. Well my mil brought her home and told me she was very upset with her and started crying. She finally told me that the reason she was upset was because my daughter refused to give her a hug. She went on to tell me that in the 6 years that she has never gotten a hug from her and that she is a spoiled little brat who always gets what she wants. This is so not true! I am so upset right now and I really don't know what to do. First off, should I be concerned about my daughter?

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Asked by Anonymous at 2:41 PM on Dec. 13, 2009 in School-Age Kids (5-8)

Answers (6)
  • My youngest brother spent his entire childhood refusing hugs and kisses; he just didn't like being touched. He has been slowly getting more comfortable with it over the past few years- he is 19 now. Your daughter is not spoiled, she is likely going through a phase where she doesn't like being touched. I wouldn't worry unless she starts showing other compulsive behaviors, like washing her hands excessively or wanting things cleaned repeatedly. Then you might look into ocd. I had a college roommate who had ocd, and I remember that one day she mopped everything in the room and told me and my then bf "don't go over there, there's germs" Unless she reaches that level, I really wouldn't be horribly concerned.

    Answer by preacherskid at 2:52 PM on Dec. 13, 2009

  • If you force her to be affectionate now I think you'll regret it later. Why shoud she have to hug and kiss if she doesn't want to?

    Answer by Shyma at 2:55 PM on Dec. 13, 2009

  • Ditto what preacherskid said. Some people just aren't comfortable with giving lots of hugs and kisses. There's nothing wrong with that. Once you have time to calm down, you may want to explain to your MIL that your daughter doesn't hug and kiss ANYONE a lot, so she understands it is not a slight against her personally. If she isn't around your daughter much, she may not realize that that is just the way your daughter is.

    Answer by jessradtke at 3:00 PM on Dec. 13, 2009

  • ditto with preacherskid PLUS i'd talk to MIL. or have dh talk to her... even if she was more open to hugs why would she want to give someone she barely knows hugs PLUS MIL is making it about her and not the child PLUS what happened to respecting peoples bodies and boundaries.
    Your DD is who she is as long as she is being polite she does not have to kiss or hug anyone/ nor at anytime she does not want to or feel comfortable doing so...
    I'd ask MIL if she really wants to DD to be the kind of girl who won't say no b/c she's afraid of hurting someones feelings???

    Manners and hugging are not the same thing. I do expect my children to say polite and kisses are what is "app" in our culture (hispanic) but if they don't want to I expect them to hug and/or shake hands or in some other way express thank you and good bye but NOT make them... ugh

    Answer by MamiJaAyla at 4:16 PM on Dec. 13, 2009

  • Don't force her to be affectionate. It will only make it worse.

    Answer by tyfry7496 at 10:55 PM on Dec. 13, 2009

  • Explain to your MIL that your daughter doesn't like to give hugs or kisses to ANYONE, and that has NOTHING to do with manners or being spoiled. Not to mention you MIL is acting like a child about it. My son went through a phase like that, where he didn't want ANYONE to touch him. He's a big snuggler again now (he's 8), but he had to work through it himself. Your daughter is fine. It's your MIL that has the issue.

    Answer by debra_benge at 10:41 AM on Dec. 14, 2009

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