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Affection isn’t earned

January 2, 2015

The Hubster and I are demonstratively affectionate with our 3 year old. We have been since he was born. But the kid just doesn’t want to kiss or hug…unless it’s on his terms. He rarely snuggles or cuddles. We have huggle time before nap and nighttime bedtime, but it usually involves me laying on the bed and him jumping around or wiggling and so on. Occasionally he wants to lay on me; I have taught him to spoon, but those times are the exceptions. He’s no cuddlebug. Although he is cuddlicious.

All baby hugs are special.

We’ve become a bit crazy about it and if he ever deigns to bestow affection upon us without us pushing for it, we are somewhat shocked and quite thrilled. Of course, it’s probably easiest for me, the mama, to give smooshes without getting the hand, but I do often get shoved away.

It was fascinating, then, for us to see him interact with other family members on a recent trip we took to visit my parents. This kid is stingy and selective with his hugs and kisses and he WILL NOT give them under duress.

It’s not behavioral (as in some type of problem or fear). It’s mostly that he’s too busy playing and doing and experiencing. And, of course, when he’s sad, I can scoop him right up and mush. Until he’s ok and on to the next thing.

So it makes me wonder. Is being affectionate learned behavior or something that’s innate?

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