The mom reminds parents that their eldest are still their babies who need to be cuddled and snuggled as much as their younger ones.
In families where parents have two or more kids, the love they have for each kid is constant. But inevitably, their expression of love differs as the older kids tend to dislike being treated like a baby while the younger ones crave kisses and cuddles. Kyli Choi (@kylichoi) posted a TikTok video addressing this difference which she recently realized through her own behavior with her kids. She conveys a powerful message to other parents asking them to express their affection to their oldest children just as they do with their youngest.
In this video, Kyli recalls an old conversation where her friend, who was a mom to 3 kids, told Kyli that she didn't like kissing, cuddling or being physically affectionate with her oldest. While Kyli could not fathom the thought back then as she had only one kid who was still a cuddly toddler, she recently realized that it was relatable. Her first thought was how this same difference in treatment was seen in her own mom who stopped kissing and cuddling her after her brother was born. When Kyli's friend said that she sees her two younger ones as babies but can't feel the same about her oldest, Kyli thought, "I would never feel that way with my oldest. Because at that time she was still a baby to me."
But things changed as Kyli's younger one came along and she didn't see her oldest as a baby anymore. "Last night, I realized that I wasn't doing those things to my oldest but I was kissing and cuddling my ten-month-old baby." She gives two reasons for this behavioral shift, "She (Kyli's oldest) got older. Also, she told me that she didn't like wet kisses." Respecting her daughter's preference and body autonomy, Kyli stopped kissing her like before. But because of that, gradually, the cuddling, tickling and physical affection stopped too. "I still tickle her. But like just being very lovey-dovey," explained the mom.
When Kyli went through the old videos of her daughter, she started missing her and felt like her time with the first kid wasn't enjoyed thoroughly. "I was like 'Oh my gosh. When is she gonna walk? When is she gonna start playing? When's her next milestone coming?'" the mom said and added that she savors her time with her son knowing that he is her last baby. Kyli regrets that as an anxious mom, she rushed her daughter to grow up and recently decided to view her as a baby again. Though she didn't randomly kiss her out of the blue, she asked her daughter if she could cuddle her. "I went in there and I just cuddled her and said 'You my little baby. Still you my baby' and nuzzled up to her." Kyli nuzzled her daughter, caressed her hair, hugged her for a while and loved the heartening moment.
Reaching out to the parents who are in that "awkward phase" where they or their older kids feel "grossed out" of cuddling and kissing, Kylie says, "Just remember that they're your baby and cuddle them. They do grow up really fast. Just cuddle and nuzzle them." While most parents relate to Kyli's situation, few mentioned that they never stopped cuddling their oldest. @virginiacala0 commented, "Mom guilt to the max!! But yes I understand and my husband and my goal this year has been to make our oldest feel loved a lot more especially." "This is so true. I’ve started being cuddly with my oldest and OMG, the change in her. I’m mad at myself for not seeing that she still needed that," wrote @stilettostone. Another user, @josieperez0825, wrote, "This is why I always tuck in my seven-year-old (firstborn), every night and give him an extra tight hug."