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Am I too snuggly with my 2 ½-year-old son?
Q: Is it possible to be too snuggly? My 2½-year-old son has always been a snuggler, so we hug a lot as he sits on my lap when we read or watch TV, and as he gets ready to be put to bed.
A: I wouldn’t worry about it at his age. In fact, I would take advantage of it. All too soon he will act the “big boy,” keeping his distance and not wanting to admit his need to be physically close to you. The desire for body contact is a basic human need, and we never totally grow out of it. It is a very affirming and comforting experience. When you see a friend or loved one after a separation, what is the first thing you usually do? You hug one another. Somehow that helps re-establish the relationship. It is the same with young children. Although they differ in the amount of body contact they want, they all need a certain amount of it. Your son’s snuggling with you provides a sense of emotional as well as physical security. When you allow him to sit close or on your lap, you are providing a big dose of what he needs.