My little girl isn’t very affectionate, which I find strange since I lavish her with hugs and kisses as often as I can. She is very willing to hug, but she is very, very stingy with her kisses. I thought this might be a phase since she wasn’t this way when she was around One years old, but the phase is still here, and she is still stingy.
Its not like she was ever kissy, kissy with everyone, but she would give kisses. Now, when I ask her for a kiss she shakes her head back and forth, but every once in a while I will get one when we go to bed. We’ll lay down, and she’ll sit with her Dreamlites for a bit, then she’ll put it down and turn to me. She will then pull the covers up, pat me on the head, and give me a kiss goodnight. It is SO cute! But this isn’t an every night thing, its actually becoming more rare, too.
I admit it, I got worried. Why is my baby so unwilling to show affection? I googled the question, figuring I can’t be the only one worried about this. I’m not, and though that made me feel better, the responses I read to other mother’s who posed the same question DIDN’T make me feel better.
The answers weren’t bad or anything. I didn’t read anything that said that their kid was like that and he turned out to be a serial killer or anything, but some of it wasn’t very….well, it just wasn’t what I wanted to hear. Most responses stated that they had the same issue with their children, and their children grew out of it by the time they were a year old or so. Rachel is 18 months. When I looked back at the ages of the children they were months younger than Rachel when, and if, they grew out of the phase.
There were also the responses that said that this is just the type of personality their child has, that they just aren’t affectionate children. There were a few that said their children grew out of it as late as 20 months, and that after that their children were full of hugs and kisses again. I do hope that is the case with Rachel.
There was one response I REALLY didn’t like. The person asked the mother that posted the question if the child saw Mommy and Daddy show affection. I don’t remember reading a response from the mother that originally posted the question, but it struck a chord with me. It makes sense that Rachel wouldn’t understand what is going on with the hugs and kisses because she doesn’t really see me giving them to anyone else, and she doesn’t see anyone really giving them to me. Children learn by observing those around them, and she isn’t observing any sort of affection other than the occasional hug.
Does this mean that I’m going to ask her father to start giving me hugs and kisses on the cheek. Hell no, I don’t want him touching me. It makes me sad, though, because I feel that here is another way that I am failing her. I cannot give my daughter an example of love and affection because there is no one in my daily life that I can give it to other than her. There isn’t really anything I can do about it either, short of running out and latching on to the first guy that is willing to have me, and I am so not going to do that.
If I ever find a man that I am willing to spend my life with, he will be subjected to a full background check, and I will watch him very carefully with Rachel. One wrong move and he’s gone. I am not so desperate to give Rachel a permanent father figure that I’m going to let her see me be mistreated in any way, or even worse, let her be mistreated in any way.
I just don’t want to screw her up, and with her withholding hugs and kisses I can’t help but wonder if I am already screwing her up. I do hope its just a phase and she goes back to giving me kisses, but here is something else that I read, and I’m going to have to remember it and maybe it will get me through this. I don’t remember it verbatim, but basically it said that it is the parent’s job to lavish their children with love and affection, but it is not the child’s job to return the gestures. This is their time, not ours. So I will continue to lavish my baby girl with all the love and attention that I can give her, all the hugs and kisses that I have time for, and all the tickles and laughter that we can squeeze in to each day, and hope that she turns out ok.