Tuesday, October 5, 2010

Cruella d'Ville of Kindergarten

Pixie loves to give hugs. She gives hugs whenever she feels the spirit move her- which is almost any time. She gives hugs when she feels she hasn't seen her teachers in awhile- first thing in the morning, after lunch, music, or PE, or, after we're out of her eye sight for more than 5 minutes.

"Oh! Mrs. Lipstick!" she cheers, and throws her arms around me, even though I was just with her two minutes ago in another place in the room. It is almost as though she forgot I existed and was so excited when she remembered me that she needed to hug me to be sure I was real.

Over and over again.

We're working on good times to hug- which means Pixie throws herself around me and I stand there roboticly repeating "this is not time to hug" over and over until she lets go.
Sometimes I have to remove her hands from around me myself.

She looks up at me and smiles while I stare down at her repeating "We don't hug right now". I must look like I hate all children, not even hugging her back. I feel evil standing there, but it must be done.

One year I had a little girl who had to be taught to ask before she hugged someone. She self-appointed herself as our class greeter. Before she learned to ask permission she'd throw herself at whoever came in the door, stranger or not, and grope them. After she learned to ask a stranger would entire the room she'd run at them and then stop before she fully launched the hug. "Can I touch you?" she'd ask the stranger, who would take a step backwards and look at me like they'd rather not be in our class.  I never could get them to understand to appreciate the fact she'd asked before she touched.

Perhaps Pixie will need similar lessons on asking to permission to throw her body around someone else's...


magpie said...

Suddenly they're there with their face in your crotch.
Awkward if your not used to it and mildly reassuring when it's your first time in the classroom but a tough call after that. Especially when you've just turned around in the playground.
As a male I find this dilemma is not easily solved. Small steps is the best but boy it takes a loooong time with some.

Anonymous said...

Is it a control issue? Is she anxious and needing assurance that she controls the situation, you and everyone else she comes in contact with?