My 5 year old hugs boys

by Snjezana
(Miami, FL)

Question: I have a daughter (5) who is very caring towards other children and animals. Sometimes she surprises me with the details of other baby she saw and how she/he is cute.

Other friend of mine told me that my daughter hugs her son who is older a bit, too much and that I have to keep an eye on her. Later that day I asked her why does she hug other boys? and she said that she loves them.

For instance there is one in the preschool and there is another one (5) in the church, but there is another boy older (10) that she likes very much too. They are all quiet boys. I did not pay attention to it till today when we went to a museum with my friend who has two boys 5 and almost 2.

She wanted to hold his (5) hand at all times. She played with him and when was time to go home I asked her to say "Bye" she sad: "Bye and I love you". Later on in the car she told me that he is her best friend and if she could have sleep over with him!

This was too much for me and I think that I have to have a talk with her. Do not know how to approach as she is 5 and very innocent. Do you have any suggestions? and why this is happening??

I am home with them as my other daughter is 3 and looking after her. I have noticed that sometimes
the older one is jealous of the younger one and tried to give hugs equally. My husband works a lot and she does not see him that much. I did ask my husband to spend more time with her when he is off.


Answer: I think this type of behavior can be very normal for a 5 year old girl. In my opinion it shows how loved she feels by her parents because she is so generous with her own love for others. She doesn't understand what it means to have a sleep over with a boy.

She may also simply be imitating the affection she witnesses between you and your husband, which is perfectly normal. It is good that she sees you are affectionate with each other because it will make her feel secure in her family.

It is important to talk to her about what is appropriate and not appropriate, but only to make sure she does not get herself into a bad situation, not because she is necessarily doing anything "wrong."

I would simply say you love that she is so caring towards others, but boys and girls don't usually have sleep overs and that some boys don't like to be hugged all the time. As for the other things, as long as she doesn't inappropriately touch certain body parts, I wouldn't be too worried.

When she is older and understanding more, such as during puberty, then you may want to talk to her more about this.

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