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to ask people not to touch toddlers not related to them?

(536 Posts)
evalyn Sat 22-Nov-14 09:14:16

Out yesterday with DGC. DGC walking, within grabbing distance, but not holding hands. Middle aged woman, 'Aah, gorgeous!', gently ruffles DGC's hair, smiles broadly at me. DGC shrinks away. I say to this woman, 'Yes, but you shouldn't touch, please.' Woman sniffs, nose in air, walks off in huff.

AIBU to think that even 2-year-olds have the right not to be touched at all, however affectionately, by strangers? And to be really annoyed that this woman thinks she has the right to ruffle my DGC's hair like that?

Nomama Sat 22-Nov-14 09:15:54


How sterile will you keep their world?

SavoyCabbage Sat 22-Nov-14 09:17:30

It's not like she punched him in the face.

Actually I got a lot of pleasure over people cooing over my babies. I like people.

iliketea Sat 22-Nov-14 09:17:56

I think YABU - she was being nice.. The correct answer is "thank you, I think so too" and then you guide your toddler away to wherever you were headed. That way you don't make someone feel like shite for doing a nice thing.

She ruffled his hair, and said he was gorgeous, and you're offended?!

makeminea6x Sat 22-Nov-14 09:18:03

I agree that if your DC don't want to be touched they shouldn't be, unless it's necessary, at any age.
I disagree that they shouldn't be touched. Humans communicate with touch, most people are benevolent and it's part of being in the world.

Only1scoop Sat 22-Nov-14 09:18:04

Yabu ....

Pop a sign round him in future...."do not touch"

insancerre Sat 22-Nov-14 09:19:01

You are entitled to think whatever you want. Doesn't mean you are right
Personally I'm more concerned about your grubby little toddler touching me. Just imagine where those hands have been

WorraLiberty Sat 22-Nov-14 09:19:09

It's difficult to function on a daily basis and please everyone around you.

This has annoyed you, but most people I know would see it as a friendly gesture.

The world is unfriendly enough as it is, without having to worry about smiling and ruffling a toddlers hair.

On a different note, I wouldn't walk down the road with a 2 year old and not hold their hand, but that's just me.

catgirl1976 Sat 22-Nov-14 09:19:49


The poor woman shock

Azquilith Sat 22-Nov-14 09:19:56

It's not like she ran off with him. I mean, I'd be a bit hmm if someone ruffled the hair of a teenager but I think a toddler is ok.

professornangnang Sat 22-Nov-14 09:20:10

YABU. She's an elderly lady ruffling a small child's hair. You're being very precious IMHO.

LittleBearPad Sat 22-Nov-14 09:20:29

You're being absurd.

Sunna Sat 22-Nov-14 09:20:37


WooWooOwl Sat 22-Nov-14 09:21:48

I know where you're coming from as I have a child who has sensory issues and doesn't really like being touched by anyone, let alone strangers, but the world would be a sad place if it was completely unacceptable to ever have physical contact even with people we don't know.

It's not worth offending someone over, especially someone that was trying to be nice. It's these sorts of attitudes that stop people being kind and helpful to strangers because they're worried they will get an earful for it, and that's not a good thing.

Arlagirl Sat 22-Nov-14 09:22:14

Elderly? Middle aged?

Thehedgehogsong Sat 22-Nov-14 09:22:41

I don't think YABU, I don't see why anyone has the right to touch someone else and make them feel uncomfortable as your DGC felt. Regardless of age. I sometimes think people see children as little fountains of enjoyment they can tap at will, and control, and boss about, and hit. If an adult was subjected to the same it would be called abuse.

GoodKingQuintless Sat 22-Nov-14 09:24:33

Yanbu at all. I totally agree.

We need to teach children from an early age that they dont have to allow people to touch their hair/bodies, and that their boundaries should be respected.

WorraLiberty Sat 22-Nov-14 09:25:51

And then in another breath, you'll hear people wailing that Britain in not child friendly, compared to those lovely Italian/Spanish people etc...

I wonder why? hmm

confusedalways Sat 22-Nov-14 09:27:41

Gosh I'm a nanny does that mean I'm not allowed to touch the kids I mind as I'm not related?

SecretNutellaFix Sat 22-Nov-14 09:28:55

Would that still apply if your toddler was running out of a shop onto a main road and you didn't notice that they were doing so? Would it be ok for someone close to the exit to actually catch your child and return them to you? Or would you still say "no touching" and prefer them to be hit by traffic?

NakedFamilyFightClub Sat 22-Nov-14 09:30:20

Maybe you could use oven gloves confused <helpful> grin

GobblersKnob Sat 22-Nov-14 09:30:56

I think it's good to not be afraid of touching another person, obviously the person (child or adult) should be able to opt out if not comfortable, but humans generally crave touch and the world would be a happier place if we were a lot less closed off.

Nunyabiz Sat 22-Nov-14 09:31:05

It's annoying at worst but your reaction was a little ott. She reacted because she (a grown woman) was reprimanded in quite a direct way. Whether it was right or wrong most people will get defensive when confusedcorrected in the way you did.

youbethemummylion Sat 22-Nov-14 09:31:08

I strongly suggest you never take a small child to Turkey you wouldn't be able to step outside your room!!!

mygrandchildrenrock Sat 22-Nov-14 09:31:44

If an adult was subjected to the same it would be called abuse. I have been known to say to strange adults 'nice coat/dress/top' as I walk past. They have always smiled and said thank you. I think that's the same as ruffling a toddler's hair (also something I am guilty of!) but more age appropriate.

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