Why Your Toddler Rejects Your Affection
Find out why you don’t have to feel bad when your toddler rejects your affection sometimes
Just like the weather, your lovable toddler could also run hot and cold without warning. Your child might have been happily peppering you with kisses just a second ago but is now shrugging your hand off. Like most parents, you’ll feel really confused when this type of mood shift happens. When your toddler rejects your affection, observe from a distance. There are many reasons why your child does this and some of them aren’t really because of hate or resentment.
Your child may be sick
When a toddler rejects your affection in a weak or painful manner, check your child’s temperature. Ask if any pain or discomfort is felt. Some children may try to withstand any pain that they’re feeling and suffer in silence before telling their parents anything. If you feel that your child is acting strange and is maybe sick, consult a doctor immediately.
Your child may be upset
Oftentimes when your child is upset, no physical affection is encouraged or initiated. If your toddler rejects your affection and doesn’t say anything, it could be because of unexpressed feelings of hurt and unhappiness. Before you try to hug or touch your child again, you should say soothing words first.
Your child may want to be ‘independent’
Some children go through several phases when growing up and at some point, they’ll go through the “I am independent” phase. At this stage, the chances of your toddler rejecting your affection are high. Don’t take it personally though because your child just wants to feel that things can be done without needing your help. Continue to show physical affection albeit at selected times.
Your child wants Daddy (or Mummy) more
One of the reasons why your toddler rejects your affection is parent preference. This usually happens when your child likes your partner more than you, even if it is just for the day. When this happens, reflect on your parenting styles. Is one of you spoiling your child? Is favouritism rampant in your household? Changes in parenting attitude may prevent rejection of affection.
Your child is recovering from a scolding. Usually, your toddler rejects your affection after recovering from a scolding. This may be because your child’s feelings are hurt and they just want to be left alone. Respect your toddler’s wishes and just approach them when you observe a shift in the mood.
Your child is tired from a tantrum
Typically, your toddler rejects your affection after throwing a huge tantrum. After all the screaming and wild gestures, your child is exhausted and may even be a bit upset, so a hug from you may not be what’s needed.