Most parents would complain that the more their children grow up, the less they want to spend time with them. It is especially true when those kids become teenagers and prefer hanging out with friends.

But this mom was actually concerned that her 11-year-old daughter was still wanting to cuddle with her and told the girl to stop when she hopped on her mom’s lap as usual. The rejection hurt the daughter’s little heart and she closed off, which is now a new worry the mom has.

More info: Reddit

There’s something comforting in hugging your parent even as an adult, but this woman rejected her 11-year-old daughter

Image credits: Mizuno K (not the actual photo)

As mentioned, the Original Poster’s (OP) daughter is 11 years old, but she is very small, so people think she is younger and treat her like a smaller child. We can assume that the mom mentioned it because she worries her daughter might not be developing according to her age.

The mom worried that allowing her daughter to keep sitting in her lap was somehow hurting her. So she told the girl that she was too old for that when she tried to hop into her lap as usual.

Such a sudden change in affection must have been shocking to the girl and we can only imagine what she might have thought about this rejection, especially because she immediately ran to her room and didn’t speak to her mom unless she was asked something.

The mom tried hugging her daughter goodbye but didn’t get a hug back, so she understands that she hurt her daughter’s feelings, but at the same time, she was convinced that it isn’t normal for an 11-year-old to be so affectionate to their parents.

When the parents settle down on the couch or the chair, their 11-year-old daughter likes to sit in their lap and cuddle them

Image credits: u/Abject_Ad_4249

The comments section couldn’t disagree more. Moms were saying that they would give anything for their teenagers to come and snuggle with them, while adult children were saying that they still cuddle their parents and find it very comforting.

Readers were pretty confused why the OP would think that it is inappropriate for her daughter to show affection and explained to the mom that she made her daughter feel like she did something wrong, she made her feel rejected and the girl might think her mom doesn’t love her anymore.

The mom finds it concerning that she still does it at her age, implying that she is not growing up as she is supposed to be

Image credits: u/Abject_Ad_4249

There are numerous resources online that confirm the benefits of cuddling. Parenting For Brain mentions a few of them, which include brain and physical development. They also can keep children healthy because physical touch releases oxytocin, the happiness hormone, that can “strengthen our immune response by lowering the plasma levels of thyroid hormones and decreasing inflammation,” which leads to wounds healing quicker.

Not only do hugs help with physical health, but emotional health as well; they help children to self-regulate and decrease the chances of a tantrum. Not to mention that it builds relationships between parents and children.

To add, children are not the only ones benefiting from hugs and cuddles. Robert Giesler who works as a nurse in the Steven & Alexandra Cohen Foundation Newborn and Infant Critical Care Unit lists numerous health benefits they can provide. Among those benefits are improving pulmonary and immune functions, lowering anxiety and stress and strengthening digestive, circulatory and gastrointestinal systems.

So the mom told her daughter to get off when she tried to make herself comfortable as usual, which hurt her feelings and the girl closed off

Image credits: u/Abject_Ad_4249

Image credits: Monstera (not the actual photo)

Dr. Laura Markham who is a trained clinical psychologist and the founder of Aha! Parenting believes that preteen children wanting to cuddle with their parents is nothing to worry about. Also, more often than not, children will cut off cuddles and hugs with their parents by themselves.

Although, the mom’s worries aren’t unfounded. If children are overly touchy, that might be a sign of Sensory Processing Disorder (SPD), according to Belly Belly. However, it usually comes with a set of symptoms such as being overly sensitive to stimulation, moving constantly, being easily distracted and having difficulty making friends or reading.

It could also become problematic if the child can’t go on with their day without cuddles and feels anxious or can’t sleep without snuggling with their parents for a while.

The mom feels guilty about it, but at the same time, having an 11-year-old sit in her lap is weird

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Some readers suspected that the OP herself doesn’t like to cuddle or feels that her daughter is too big to sit in her lap, so they suggested teaching the 11-year-old consent and boundaries, but stressed to watch her wording to not make the girl feel like a burden.

The mom was pretty active in the comments and admitted her mistake after people explained that cuddling is important at any age, after they shared their own experiences to give the mom the perspective of the child. The OP promised to apologize to her daughter and allow her to cuddle with her, because she actually enjoys it, and now her belief that 11 years is too old to be sitting in mom’s lap seems silly.

Image credits: kitzstocker (not the actual photo)

Do you think there is an age limit of when it is inappropriate to show affection between children and parents? Would you be concerned if your children kept wanting to cuddle you when they weren’t small children anymore? Let us know your thoughts and opinions in the comments.

People in the comments shared their perspective explaining how terrible such rejection might have felt for a child, which made the mom realize she was wrong