Overly Friendly Children


My five-year-old daughter tends to be overly friendly with people she meets. She’ll hug strangers and climb on laps of people she barely knows. My husband and I have talked to her about this several times, but she continues to do it. Can anyone tell me how to deal with this? I’m so afraid she will be friendly with the wrong person.


Mine were like this, and I think it’s a good thing in many ways – so many kids today are SO antisocial and so scared of everything – when I saw this in other kids, I swore I’d make it ok for my kids to be friendly and still be safe; our rule is this: You can talk to strangers; many, in fact, most of them are really nice people!! BUT, you can only do this if you are with me or daddy. (or designated “safe adult”) – and I mean “WITH” – not “near” – WITH. I would also suggest the video “on the safe side” by John Walsh and the lady from the baby mozart videos – it’s very easy for little ones to understand and teaches some GREAT lessons. We’ve actually had one “suppose” situation happen in real life, and my 6yr old at the time did the EXACT right thing from the show…


Technically speaking Stranger Danger doesn’t really exist. Most children are abducted by people they know-- friends of the family, acquaintances, or family members themselves.

I also heard of a case, and this is an exception but that it happened is rather bad, where a lost boy scout kept away from search parties because they were strangers and his parents had told him not to talk to strangers.

I am of course not advocating letting your child hang out with everyone and anyone they meet. I second the opinion of talking to strangers when you are with them and only then. As a child I talked to everyone, but I made sure to ask if I was allowed to. But the idea that strangers pose a dangerous threat is akin to the idea that sharks will eat you at the beach. You hear about it, but only because it’s so rare.


sad to say your daughter is the normal one, it is society that is warped. the natural and normal thing is for any child to feel safe and secure with any adult, and to feel welcome there, sure of acceptance and affection, and perfectly free to hug and be close with any adult in their circle. It is only the heightened perception and fear of abuse that makes this natural behavior now loom dangerously to justly protective parents. it is a slow learning process, goes along with learning to control impulses in general. try to teach it in the context of respecting the personal space of others, and setting boundaries, so that she in turn feels free to set her own boundaries.


My six-year old is VERY much like this. She will talk to and hug just about anyone. We have tried to come at it from a personal-space issue. She calls herself the “huggie-monster” and will over hug her school friends. Sometimes I have to pull her off.

I will have to try the talking to strangers, only WITH us. Good idea, instead of no one.


Very wise, as usual puzzleannie:D

I will try to remember this if and when Lily decides that she likes people, lol. For now I think she sees them (and us as her parents) as obstacles in the way of everything that is interesting in the world that needs to be touched and tasted and explored:shrug:. She has a look that says ‘people are boring… now that rock on the other hand warrants further investigation’:p**


I agree with the other posters that being socialble is a good trait! You can get much farther in life by having “people skills” than by being a misanthrope. That said, I’m with my five year old all of the time, except for the few hours a day that she is in kindergarten. I know who she is with, I surpervise her playdates and I accompany her to her dance class and Daisy troop meetings. Just be with your child and know who she is hanging out with, that is the only advise I can give you.


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