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Can Anyone Help Me With An Over Affectionate Child?


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Hi there !! I am new to this site and this is my first posting so bear with me !!! I have been childminding for 4 months and have no formal child care experience (apart from my two little girls that is) , have completed my icp course and passed so lets just say I am finding my feet !! Since I started I have been looking after a 3 year old girl who has always been extremely tactile and affectionate toward me and any other adult that she meets, to the point where it can be a bit uncomfortable . This isn't inappropriate touching, just lots of hugging, hand grabbing, sitting on knees, climbing all over you kind of thing ! Other people I have been with have commented on this , and I just wonderd has anybody any ideas on what could be causing this ?

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Hi charliewarl...nothing intelligent to add at this stage, just wanted to welcome you to the forum! :o

Thanks Wolfie ! Its a bit hard to be intelligent at this time of night so no worries !!!!

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Hi Charliewarl and welcome.

 

No ideas really except have you tried telling this little girl "no". Perhaps she just needs the boundaries defined for her. Some families have different parameters and it may be that she behaves like this with her parents, who are pleased by this affection as they do not see her during the day so she needs to know not to do this with you? Are you the only other adult she sees perhaps?

 

Have you talked to the parents?

 

Good luck.

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have u talked to mum, is she like this at home?

 

Hi Fizzy , Haven't spoken to her mum but have seen her behave like this and in front of her, and mum seems to think its ok. I do get the distinct impression that this little girl does not get any 'down time' with parents. They are both full time teachers and until last week when she was not with me, or at playschool, she was at a nursery. She is now no longer going to nursery but coming to me instead . She does three evening activities a week also !! Maybe its an attention thing, and she is always very very tired (not surprisingly) ! I need to speak to her Mum about this I know, but not sure how to broach subject professionally .... thanks for any advice :)

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Some children just love cuddles dont they. Try returning the cuddle but then moving her firmly away, distracting her with a 'look at this' type thing. She needs to know she can have a cuddle but there are times which are maybe more suitable, like before a nap, during a story.

She's probably feeling a bit lost if she's just left a nursery she's used to, did she go there for long? If so she will have built up relationships with people and now has to start again. :o

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Some children just love cuddles dont they. Try returning the cuddle but then moving her firmly away, distracting her with a 'look at this' type thing. She needs to know she can have a cuddle but there are times which are maybe more suitable, like before a nap, during a story.

She's probably feeling a bit lost if she's just left a nursery she's used to, did she go there for long? If so she will have built up relationships with people and now has to start again. xD

Hi Rea, thanks for the reply.... she started nursery at the same time as she started with me, four months ago (she was full time at a childminder before that who has retired)... she was not at all happy at nursery so they have moved her to be with me full time instead . Bless her, she is a lovely little girl, and its nice for her to be so loving but she does need an acceptable boundary ! Your advice to distract her will be definitely worth a go . Thank you :o

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Hi charliewarl

 

Can I ask you why this makes you feel uncomfortable? Is it just that this family are overly tactile with one another and this is outside your experiences within your family dynamic? Or do you have a worry that there is a more deep seated problem? Is the child's need for lots of physical contact causing a problem within your 'minded' family?

 

I have known children who seem to need much more physical reassurance than others, and one springs to mind who seemed to be bordering on the obsessive. Information began to emerge about home life which made us understand a little bit about why the child reacted in this way: often very tactile with complete strangers (well strange to her, but not to us, obviously!) which set off alarm bells with regard to safeguarding.

 

We obviously never shunned hugs or cuddles from this child, but when she climbed up on our laps we moved her to sit next to the adult as soon as possible after the hug was returned, and then engaged her in an activity as suggested earlier in the thread.

 

Let us know how things progress!

 

Maz

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Hi and welcome. :o We had a little chap last year who was extremely affectionate. He was full of energy and very outgoing and at times he would literally throw himself at you. As he was quite big for his age we sometimes got hurt and smaller children would go flying. We found that he was amazingly empathetic and sensitive so he would react strongly if he felt others needed a little extra loving or if he was feeling a little insecure himself (such as his mum working longer hours). Just remember that at this age children find it difficult to deal with strong emotions and sometimes they need to find an outlet for it! xD

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Hi and welcome to the forum.

It sounds like this little girl has been through a whole series of changes - maybe she uses the hugs and cuddles as a way of getting some reassurance. I think we sometimes overestimate a child's ability to adapt as it all depends on their individual personality.

As others have said, maybe the family are simply very tactile and to her it is perfectly normal. We had a girl last year who was always hugging, kissing and cuddling the other children, especially the younger ones - sometimes so hard that she actually knocked them off their feet. She didn't tend to do it with the adults, only the children. She was an only child and it turned out that she told her mum that she just wanted a brother or sister to look after.

 

Sally

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I had a similar experience when childminding 10 years ago or so, and to be honest it did wear off after a while, my little girl was in a similar situation to your child and had to undergo many changes in a short period of time, i believe she needed me to help her through it and I basically stuck with it, it did get a little uncomfortable when she didnt want to leave when her parents came to collect her, but she is a wonderful well-balanced 13 year old now who still has a wonderful relationship with me, I don't childmind anymore but she sometimes rides her bike to visit me, makes it all worth it! - I feel I was one of her 'significant adults' when she needed it.

 

Oh and a very warm welcome to you. :oxD:(:(

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Thanks to everyone for their responses, I think that I will definitely try the distraction, in fact I have done a little with her today and it has worked.... not sure why this has made me uncomfortable, our family are pretty tactile, lots of hugging etc. I guess I found this a lttle odd as is only directed at adults ...but as I said its not inapropriate touching, just so much of it !!!! I htink I will need to focus on giving her some good quality interaction and consistent boundaries, bless her she is such a busy girl and has had an awful lot to get to grips with over the last few months. thanks for your input :)

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