The mother asked if she was wrong for rejecting her kid's cuddles and many agree that there is no age for affection and love.
As children grow up, parents often experience different emotions, from pride and joy to sadness and nostalgia. On one hand, parents are proud to see their children develop into independent individuals with their own interests, goals, and personalities. On the other hand, parents may feel a sense of loss as their children become less dependent on them and begin to forge their own paths in life. A mother sought advice on Reddit after her 11-year-old daughter became upset when she rejected physical affection. She is trying to figure out how she wants to treat her daughter as she is growing up.
She wrote, "My daughter is very small for her age and as a result gets treated like a younger child sometimes. She loves to hop in my or my husband's lap and cuddle with us on the couch or in a chair." The mother adds, "I have been thinking that she may be too old for that sort of thing and maybe I'm hurting her by letting her continue. Yesterday she tried to hop in my lap and cuddle and I told her she was too old for that and to get off me. She got really upset, got off me and went to her room and slammed the door." She's now coping with the fallout from rejecting her daughter's adoration, and she's reconsidering her position that her child's lap-sitting days are over.
She writes in the conclusion, "She hasnt tried to get in my lap since then and things are tense between us. She doesn't talk to me unless she has to and when I hugged her goodnight last night she didn't hug me back. I feel really guilty because I obviously hurt her feelings but I feel like she might be too old for sitting on my lap." Readers in the comments were unified in their belief that the mother was in the wrong here. Not only that, but she was pushing away affection, which is sure to fade over the frequently turbulent adolescent years.
Reddit user u/imothro commented, "She's not going to want to cuddle you much longer. You maybe have a year left. And you're throwing that time away instead of cherishing it." Another person u/217EBroadwayApt4E said, "Why does she think an 11-year-old child wanting to be cuddled or hugged by a parent is inappropriate? Does she expect her child to just be touched and starved until she starts dating? I don’t understand the logic, and I find the whole thing alarming."
Another user u/leslieandco said, "I didn't realize there is an age limit for parental affection. When I'm too big for my mom's lap, I'll start holding her. My 16 yo still curls up for snuggles." u/herdingcats2020 commented, "Handled that terribly. You made her feel like she'd done something wrong. People sit on their parents' laps at all ages. I've seen full-grown adults do it. She's a child. No wonder she's upset with you."
Physical affection between mothers and daughters can be appropriate at any age and there's no reason why it shouldn't be. Even if sitting on a lap becomes physically uncomfortable, there are still many other ways to express affection and cuddle with your child. No one should be devoid of affection and love irrespective of age.