This right here is my least affectionate kid. He doesn't love the hugs and kisses as much as the other kids, but we still get a bunch in every single day when he's feeling soft and squishy inside.
So, let me tell you a story for a minute. I know this great lady. She's got it all together and runs her household with grace - totally someone I admire and respect. But one day she did something that completely shocked me. Her little boy, who was 3 or 4 at the time, reached up, wrapped his sweet little arms around her neck and tried to kiss her. He got in trouble for it! I guess it's a rule in their family that the boys can't kiss mommy on the lips. I was so surprised!
I just couldn't wrap my brain around what that rejection might feel like to a little one. Especially, maybe, because it was based solely on gender. I mean, is that better or is that worse? All I know is I saw this boy working really hard to get his mom's affection, and it just wasn't working.
I, obviously, have limited experience. I haven't studied it out extensively or anything, but I would just imagine that a boy who can't get healthy affection from him mom might just end up looking for inappropriate affection from others.
Of course, I completely see that different people have different comfort levels with this stuff in general. For instance, my families' culture growing up wasn't super cuddly, and we didn't have a whole lot of verbal "I love yous", but that was our normal. And as time passed and we as children influenced the family culture more and more, some of those things gradually changed. Some people are just not as touchy-feely. I totally get that.
I gotta tell you, though, that kids, and in my experience, boys in particular, need lots of love. Lots of positive and gentle touch. I think they often have these rough and tumble, fast-paced, imaginary and intense lives, and little back rubs, bear hugs, tickles, muggas, and kisses help balance all that out a bit. I do know that my boys, all 4 of them, soak up the eye contact, the kisses, all that good stuff. They love every second of it.
This is what I hope is true - that if I shower on them all this good stuff that when some aggressive or needy girl out there tries to get into my boy's heart, that he won't be fooled and give in to the attention. That he'll happily hold out until some wonderful, happy, confident, and kind girl comes along.
I guess I'll just have to wait and see.