How do I handle a friend of my son's who can't keep her hands off him? My 18-month-old has an almost 3-year-old friend who is always touching him. He doesn't mind all the time, but she always has her hand in his hair or arms wrapped about his neck. What do I do?
Although you sound worried, this really isn't a big deal. There's no malice in the older child's behavior. She just hasn't learned appropriate social boundaries yet when it comes to expressing her friendship. Give her one or two very simple rules to follow when you feel her behavior is going too far ("We don't grab hair." "We don't grab people by the neck"). Other than that, your best bet is to distract the two of them with something more interesting to do when she gets "touchy." This behavior will go away once she learns more sophisticated social and verbal skills