Now that our older son has mood swings on whether or not he will give out kisses, I feel rather glad that I did steal kisses from him when he was younger.
I tell them it can’t be helped and they’re just too adorable and I love them too much to not want to hug and kiss them. I honestly don’t know how a parent can help kissing and hugging their kids–and now I understand why my mom used to ask me for hugs and kisses when I was younger. My mom is infinitely more affectionate than I am but with my own kids, I discovered I actually do like the cuddle time. And so do my kids. At least one of them appreciates it. The other one is still too young to let me know his thoughts.
There’s a fine line to be drawn here, though, and I honestly have no idea where the line is drawn between affection and the need for consent. Actually, I am a little horrified that we even need to think of consent at this early a stage.
That said, we’ve gone there. I’ve been teaching Llew that no one should touch him if he’s not comfortable with it. It’s okay to say no, whether verbally or through a physical expression like moving away or pushing the person away. I will not reprimand him for, say, smacking someone’s hand away if he felt invaded by the touch.
Still, he is more permissive than I ever was at his age. Just yesterday, we were at the grocery and this woman started playing with him and tickling him because she said he reminded her of her grandson. Truth be told I would have told that woman off if Llew hadn’t played along. And then when he started blowing raspberries at the woman, I took it as the cue to take him away from the situation.
That’s the Filipino culture for you, I suppose. We are a touchy-feely bunch. Well, most of us are. I value my personal space immensely and few are allowed to invade it without my direct consent.
Funny how these things so often give pause, eh? What a world we live in now that we need to consider these things. Well, here’s to a generation where civilities such as keeping personal boundaries recognised is the norm, if not outright respect.