Child’s development can be a touchy subject
Q. When is it OK for a child not to want to be touched by anyone, including his parents? My 10-year-old grandson doesn’t want to hug anyone, nor does he like people putting their hands on his back, shoulder or head. Should this just be accepted?
Should we use behavior modification so he will let us be affectionate, or are we just supposed to respect his wishes on this? If I put my arm on his shoulder, he will move away. If my wife pats him on the arm, he flinches. When he tells his parents that he doesn’t like being touched, they either laugh or get angry. What do you say? – Miffed
A. Please do not try to force a child to be physically affectionate if he does not wish to be touched. There could be many reasons for this. Is this a recent development? Has the child been touched inappropriately by anyone? Is the child autistic? Is his skin sensitive and the touching too painful or irritating? And some children that age become extremely embarrassed by any public displays of affection, especially from family members.
The parents should neither laugh nor get angry. They should speak to the child’s pediatrician and ask for guidance. There could be a serious reason (earlier molestation) or something as simple as needing to be tolerant and respectful of this stage of his development. As we hope you will be.
Q. A friend is getting married soon and the invitation states that it is going to be a potluck reception. I have never heard of such a thing for a wedding. Is this new? I have always believed that the bride and groom should have the wedding they can afford and not ask the guests to bring food to the reception. Also, I found out that she is having the bridesmaids help set up and clean after.
I understand the bride and groom don’t have a lot of money, but come on! She also had put a lot of pricey items on her bridal registry and when I spoke to her later, she told me she was upset that she only received half the stuff she wanted and they were mostly the less-expensive items.
What is your take on all this? Should someone say something to her about her being so cheap? She already knows that most of her family doesn’t like the man she is marrying. – Friend’s Wedding
A. In some cultures and areas of the country, potluck weddings are perfectly fine. In those places, the entire community comes together to prepare the wedding celebration. It isn’t a demand on an invitation. It is simply how things are done. Unfortunately, this doesn’t sound like the case with your friend.
Some folks won’t mind the request and will be happy to show off their cooking skills. And we are certain that some guests will prepare and bring a lovely dish and consider it their wedding gift. Your obligation is simply to respond “yes” or “no” to the invitation.”
Email questions to firstname.lastname@example.org, or write to: Annie’s Mailbox, c/o Creators Syndicate, 737 3rd Street, Hermosa Beach, CA 90254. You can also find Annie on Facebook at Facebook.com/AskAnnies.