Gentle Touch: Discussion!

by Citrus Lane

Toddlers are enthusiastic about their world…and sometimes that enthusiasm hurts!

Since your toddler’s just learning to get control of her body, attempts at hugging, stroking, or petting can come out as hitting. This is especially challenging when your toddler is trying to interact with a pet, sibling, or young friend.

Use the phrase “gentle touch” to teach baby to slow down before touching someone else. Take her hand and help her to gently stroke a pet or your arm. If you need to, remove baby from the exciting situation until she can calm down, then try again. Before your child’s next play date or visit to the petting zoo, let her practice “gentle touch” on a doll or stuffed animal.

How do you teach your child to use “gentle touch”?

Photo credit: basykes on Flickr.

{ 2 comments… read them below or add one }

Ellie September 15, 2012 at 7:51 pm

I use stuffed animals to explain what a gentle touch it first. I’ve also let my little Elsa be in (supervised) contact with the dog and guinea pigs from day one.


Annalisa January 2, 2013 at 12:27 pm

To be honest, even after using all of the above tips and then some, my little one just wasn’t getting it. It took a couple of scratches from Boris the cat (our other kitty still won’t get more than 3 feet within the path of our toddler) to teach her that if she’s rough, it might cause aggression in others.

We’ve also learned a similar lesson about pulling other little girls’ hair recently. Let’s just say that my child is one of those kids who needs first hand evidence to get the idea. :P


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