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Anne Cawood


Posted by: Sonelle | 2009-08-31


When is the hug too much?

My daughter is turning 6 in November. Her best friend at school is a boy - they are inseparable. Teacher however started complaining that they are constantly touching (holding hands, her head on his shoulder) and we need to address the behaviour. I'm not sure what my approach should be as I don't want to suggest physical contact is bad. Can you please help? They are going to the same school next year.

Expert's Reply


Anne Cawood Anne Cawood
- 2013-03-18

One certainly would not want to give a 6 year old the impression that it is bad to show affection - especially if her friend does not seem to mind the attention.

I think that it is simple matter of the teacher (or you) just gently "nudging" them towards appropriate behaviour. For instance, that there is a time and place for hugging and a time for doing school work and paying attention to what the teacher is saying.

The teacher could just very gently say "When we are doing our drawing/reading/art work we do not sit with our heads on our friend's shoulder". This should not be harsh or punitive, but just appropriate boundary setting. The teacher should be skilled enough to set her own limits. They will probably grow out of this soon. Very often boys begin to gravitate towards their own friends ie other boys once they go to Grade 1.


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