Kids grow up way too fast. While the days can be long, the years can fly by, and before you know it, your tiny baby has transformed into their own person who is borrowing your sweaters without asking first. And sometimes it can be difficult to know when to hold on and when to let go.
One mom is is really grappling with how to treat her growing daughter when it comes to physical affection. She turned to Reddit’s “Am I The A—hole?” forum to get a public opinion after her daughter got upset with her rejection.
The long and short of it? This mom thinks her 11-year-old daughter is officially too old to cuddle.
“My daughter is very small for her age and as a result gets treated like a younger child sometimes,” she begins. “She loves to hop in my or my husbands lap and cuddle with us on the couch or in a chair.”
Sounds pretty normal. But mom isn’t so sure.
“I have been thinking that she may be too old for that sort of thing and maybe I’m hurting her by letting her continue,” she writes. “Yesterday she tried to hop in my lap and cuddle and I told her she was too old for that and to get off me. She got really upset, got off me and went to her room and slammed the door.”
Now she’s dealing with the consequences of deflecting her daughter’s affection, and she’s second-guessing her stance that her child’s lap-sitting days are over.
“She hasnt tried to get in my lap since then and things are tense between us. She doesnt talk to me unless she has to and when I hugged her goodnight last night she didnt hug me back,” she concludes. “I feel really guilty because I obviously hurt her feelings but I feel like she might be too old for sitting on my lap.”
Down in the comments, readers were unanimous in their feelings that the mom was in the wrong here. Not only that, but that she was pushing away affection that’s bound to disappear in the often tumultuous teenaged years.
“She’s not going to want to cuddle you much longer. You maybe have a year left. And you’re throwing that time away instead of cherishing it,” one person, who seems like they definitely have teens, wrote.
“I wish my kid would have kept doing that to 11. This woman is lucky AF and doesn’t want to be,” offered another.
Other readers shared that there should be no expiration date on lap cuddles between parents and kids.
“I have a picture of me sitting in my mom’s lap when I was in my 20s. She was the best mom and my best friend too,” one person shared.
“I kneel on the floor and put my head on my mum’s lap so she can stroke my head. It’s a good compromise since I am too heavy to sit on her knee and her chair is too small for both of us to sit on,” another added.
One commenter noted how important it is to normalize loving touch.
“It’s so important to teach our kids that as teens and adults human touch and affection does not have to only come from sex or anger,” they wrote. “The world would be a much better place if people hugged more (without ulterior motives).”
It almost seems like physical affection between moms and daughters can exist appropriately at any age — and why not? And if lap sitting is too physically uncomfortable, there are nice ways of letting your kid know that you can still find other ways to cuddle.
As one adult son said in the comments, “I’m too big to sit on my mum’s lap. So I pick her up instead.”