DD2 is almost 9. She does not like physical contact including hugs or high fives, with adults. The only occasional exceptions are me and H, and she still doesn't frequently want physical contact with us. She states she's very uncomfortable with this. I get it. I've been in education for 18 years and see kids like this often. This isn't a new thing either. However it's put us in some awkward positions in the last several months. She won't hug grandparents. They get it. She won't high live or elbow bump my friends, our neighbors or her teachers. A few seem baffled, if not put off, by this. I want to honor DD's comfort level, while dealing with the weird message this sends. I've said things to the nature of, "she's not one for physical contact," before. I'm hoping people get she's a kid and it's not personal. However, I think some adults take it this way. Perhaps her offering air fives as an alternative would send a more polite message... Any other ideas?
Let her just wave at them. If anyone reacts weirdly, I always liked Dear Abby’s suggestion of a “polite lie” like “I just got over a cold and am being extra cautious” or “I’m really prone to getting colds, so I try to avoid physical contact.” Or you could just shrug and say “I think Covid made a lot of us less prone to physical contact.” Even if people are uncomfortable, it’ll be for about 2 minutes max. I know when you’re the parent it feels like people are really judging, but my experience is they really don’t think about it for long. If they do, then your daughter is probably wise for not wanting them to touch her.
I'm like that. I am a very clear, do not hug me person, except for my kids and DH. And i am very upfront about it. I will shake hands. But people get used to it. I will try to wave instead, Covid has made this somewhat more acceptable. People who know her will accept her for who she is, others it should not really matter. But I do find that if my face is friendly and I am friendly, they take it better. My face is not friendly when you touch me ans I don't like being touched.
This is my DD. She will hug me, sometimes DH, and that is it. I had to sit down with both my MIL and mom and explain that we very much so value consent and I will not be making her give hugs if she doesn’t want to. It just sets a bad precedent. They don’t love it but get it. I also talked to DD though and she agreed to fist bumps and high fives as acceptable hello/goodbyes with close friends/family. We’ve also had many conservations about how showing those you love affection isn’t bad but it’s absolutely okay to put boundaries on it.
I will say this started around age 9 and appears to have been a puberty thing. She’s 12 now and is giving us more hugs again.