Every mother wants to protect their children from the obvious pit falls of childhood and from the not so obvious ones. Some children are so well protected from everything that some mothers are running out of things to shield their precious little ones from.
For example, small children at play. They crawl and bumble around, the put things in their mouths, they bang play objects together, the want to touch everything they come in contact with including other children. I’ve witness little kids attempting to play with one another but one or both mothers keep getting in the middle.
I noticed the kids getting very agitated by the intrusion but the mother’s never seemed to get it. It’s like they think this other nine-month-old is going to viciously attack their baby. So every time one baby goes to explore what the other one’s hair feels like or face feels like they are pounced on by the play-referees!
Babies learn by touch (and tastes, and other senses, but in an effort not to digress I’ll stick to the matter at hand), some babies may be a little more aggressive than others which I’m guessing is the “fear” of one or both moms, but shouldn’t they learn how to “touch” instead of being stopped from engaging in human contact?
When my daughter Dionne has play dates, and the other baby touches her face or points too closely to her eye, I acknowledge her playmate’s interest and help guide the touch if I feel he or she may accidentally poke her eye.
There are those moments when you have cause for swift intervention like when my friend’s 3-year-old saddles my 10-month-old daughter, putting her knees in her back pinning her to the ground. However, I typically never react to innocent curiosity in a negative way because the whole point of this play date thing is for my child to learn social skills.
Unless people began to realize just how socially awkward they are themselves, they will continue to hinder their children’s social skills.
In a place like NYC where we come into contact with millions of people, social skills are crucial, yet many people are plagued with a fear of socializing (unless fearlessly tweeting under 140 characters constitutes honed social skills).
I dare to go so far as to say that pathology plays a major part; we inadvertently pass on our fears and or bad habits to our children.
It makes sense to me now when people are either confused or amazed when I can walk up to a complete stranger, extend my hand and say hi, my name is….
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