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Mom tells 11-year-old daughter she's 'too old' to snuggle, daughter stops talking to her.

Mom tells 11-year-old daughter she's 'too old' to snuggle, daughter stops talking to her.


Watching your kids grow up can be hard. And it can be even harder to help push them along in their growth process where you see fit.

One of the most difficult balancing acts as a parent is finding the space between savoring their childhood, and helping them grow into the next phase of personhood. Inevitably, there will be mistakes along the way.

In a popular post on the AITA subreddit, a mom asked if she's wrong for telling her daughter she's too old to sit on her lap.

She wrote:

AITAH for telling my daughter she's too old to be sitting on my lap? I (37f) am married to my husband (38m) and we have a daughter together (11f). My daughter is very small for her age and as a result gets treated like a younger child sometimes.

She loves to hop in my or my husband's lap and cuddle with us on the couch or in a chair. 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.

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.

She hasn't tried to get in my lap since then and things are tense between us. She doesn't talk to me unless she has to and when I hugged her goodnight last night she didn't hug me back. I feel really guilty because I obviously hurt her feelings but I feel like she might be too old for sitting on my lap. AITAH?

People jumped on the thread with their thoughts.

imothro wrote:

YTA. 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.

leslieandco wrote:

I didn't realize there is an age limit for parental affection. When I'm too big for my mom's lap, I'll start holding her. My 16 yo still curls up for snuggles.

herdingcats2020 wrote:

YTA. And handled that terribly. You made her feel like she'd done something wrong. People sit in their parents' laps at all ages. I've seen full-grown adults do it. She's a child. No wonder she's upset with you.

Meemaws_BearCheese wrote:

INFO: How did you tell her? Did you literally say 'You're too old! Get off me!'? Or did you say something like

'I enjoy snuggling with you, but you're no longer small enough to fit comfortably on my lap. Why don't you sit next to me and we can snuggle up that way?'

There's nothing wrong with directing a child towards more age-appropriate behaviors or expressing that something is no longer comfortable for you. That's part of helping a child grow up.

But you do need to redirect them to a behavior that is appropriate (because they need to be taught, they don't automatically know) and reinforce that while your relationship with them is changing, your love for them is consistent.

If you literally told her to 'Get off' with no warning, it's no wonder why she perceived that as rejection and is now completely confused as to what sort of physical affection is ok or will get her snapped at.

rabbitfluff345 wrote:

What the heck, YTA. You just told your kid not to show you affection and now you are sad she isn’t showing you affection? I know 30-year-old women with their own kids who still sit on their mom’s lap to hug them.

You’re the only one making it weird. Apologize to your daughter.

Clearly, no one is picking up what OP is putting down. Hopefully, she's able to smooth it over with her daughter.

Sources: Reddit
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