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Compromise between personal space and friends that want to hug my DD??

My daughter is very loving and has an amazing heart. But she's got these friends that want to hug her the minute she walks in the door and she doesn't like it.

While we want to respect that she has her personal space, what is the compromise so we can explain to her that you also don't want to hurt your friends feelings?


Asked by lynnard at 1:21 PM on Nov. 2, 2010 in School-Age Kids (5-8)

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This question is closed.
Answers (5)
  • My response, personally, would be to not compromise. I would help her find words to tell her friends nicely that she doesn't want to be hugged. I would, if it was my role to speak with the group, teach them to ask before hugging (this is the routine at my son's school).

    Some things I might say to help my daughter: Give her ideas for negotiating with her friends, like offering a high-five or blowing kisses instead of hugging; give her a model for how to talk to her friends about hugging ("I need some space;" "Can you give me some space?;" "Thank you but I don't feel like hugging right now;" etc).

    I also might talk to my daughter about the possibility of re-scheduling the hug (that sounds so funny!) - maybe she would be OK with higs if she had a chance to settle down first? I would talk to her and find out if that is the case, and then work on helping her communicate that to her friends as well.

    I hope this helps!

    Answer by FelipesMom at 1:26 PM on Nov. 2, 2010

  • tell her she needs to tell them she isnt a hugger

    Answer by AprylnAtticus at 1:22 PM on Nov. 2, 2010

  • Tell her those hugs are full of love that she does not want and that her friends don't mean harm by it, they are just happy to see her, and this is how they express it, and turning them down would be mean.

    Answer by older at 1:24 PM on Nov. 2, 2010

  • my dd has friends that do that too. she is 8....she doesn't really like it either unless it's one of her best friends. but, she feels like she would hurt their feelings if she didn't hug them back. I told my DD to stick her hand high up FIRST, like she is giving a high five, before she can lean in to hug her. That way she'll be more likely to high-five her than to hug her. She said it has worked a few times.

    Answer by samurai_chica at 1:26 PM on Nov. 2, 2010

  • I think it's important to let her set her own boundaries on this one. What you can do is teach her a response to try not to hurt other's feelings without telling her she has to give out hugs. I know it's a big leap to inappropriate behavior from hugging friends, but I think you always want the message to be that you can say no to hugs from anyone if you don't feel like hugging at that time and that you will be supported in that. For the obvious reason that if she ever is approached inappropriately you want her to feel confidant enough to refuse. Anyway, perhaps she could tell people to shake hands, high five, or fist bump instead. Or you can tell people that she isn't ready to hug but maybe once she warms up to the situation she'll feel better about it. Maybe just saying I'm not ready for a hug yet would be enough. Some kids just need more space than others and some are more touchy feely. Good luck!

    Answer by MaryMW at 1:28 PM on Nov. 2, 2010