Thursday, April 18, 2013

Repost: Hitting is bad -- except when it's not

I've contributed to the Orlando Sentinel's Moms at Work blog since 2010. The blog is changing content management systems and my old posts will no longer be available to the public, so I'm reposting them here, in the order that they were originally posted.

April 13, 2011

In theory, I should be upset at the news that my sweet girl smacked another child.

I'm not. Let me explain.

For several weeks now, as my husband or I have walked the apple of our eyes into daycare in the mornings, another slightly older child appears, hugs our daughter and pulls her toward toys or the playground. Although it seemed a bit strange to us, our little one, whose vocabulary is expanding but not extensive, has never seemed to have much of an opinion about this daily happening.

That's over now, I think. As my husband said goodbye to our daughter at school recently, the older girl came up the way she always does, gave our daughter a bear hug and tried to take her hand to drag her toward the playground.

That's when things got interesting.

Our  munchkin pulled her hand back from the other girl, swatted at her and clearly and firmly said, "NO!"

Although we don't actually condone hitting -- my quick-thinking hubby immediately grabbed our daughter himself and made it clear that her behavior wasn't appropriate -- I was actually delighted to hear that she expressed herself in this instance. My feeling about the matter was confirmed when another adult (not the teacher) who is familiar with the class confirmed that the older girl has indeed been just a touch too aggressively affectionate.

My daughter, who can be quite reserved outside our home, now seems to understand that she has a role to play in her social interactions. The older girl now seems to understand that sometimes it's best to temper her expressions of affection a bit.

Those are good lessons for both of them.

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