My twins who are preschool age are learning to keep their hands to themselves — why can’t you? I’ve already given this message to my children, and here it is:
Hands to yourself! Don’t touch something that does not belong to you or someone without permission!
It’s really that simple.
I know, I know, you just couldn’t help yourself! I guess I can sort of understand the urge to touch a cutie patootie kid. You saw my kiddos, thought one of them was cute (they are!), and without thinking, reached out, and pinched his or her cheek. I’m begging you to think about the following things before you have this urge again:
Would you like it?
How would you feel if I came up to you and pinched your cheek? What about if I did this to your mother or another family member of yours? I’m sure you would be pretty taken aback. My children (and I) feel the same way. They are individuals who have rights, too. They are human beings in this world who deserve as much respect as anyone else; please give them that.
My job is to protect my kids. This includes having a say in their environment and what they are exposed to. When you touch my child, you disregard all of those wishes, and disrespect me as a parent. Please at least ask, “May I?” It’s the polite thing to do. If I say no, don’t in turn feel disrespected; realize that it’s not about you. It is and will always be about my kids.
Honestly, I don’t know you. I have no way of knowing if you have been sick recently, been in contact with someone sick, or if you currently are sick. Although your interaction with my child has lasted a few seconds, the repercussions on my family could last a month.
You see, if my child picks something up from you, they automatically give it to their twin (twin rule #5). Soon after, my partner and I are bound to get it. This means my life comes to a standstill: my kids are now out of school, I have to stay home from work, and I feel like crap (and still have to take care of everyone else). Not cool!
What Stranger Danger?
Like many parents, I teach my kids about stranger danger (I’ve seen too many Dateline specials not to). With that, my kids need to know what is acceptable behavior and what is out-of-bounds behavior with someone they don’t know. Regardless of your intention, when you (a stranger) touch my child, you say to my child that it is ok for strangers to touch them, contradicting the basis of my stranger danger teaching, and that is simply not ok.
Here’s the silver lining, I think many parents feel the same way I do because our first instinct is to protect our children, especially if the child is a baby or still in the womb. Some of you may be thinking, “Well, no one says anything to me!”
The truth is that some parents just don’t feel comfortable confronting others about this or anything else for that matter. This is exactly why I am writing this letter to you. All I’m asking for here is some respectful boundaries like smiling, waving, or saying hello, just no touching. Thanks for listening.
Normal Parent Doing His Best