Pinching children's cheeks - why do people do this?!

#1 Feb 26th, 2011, 11:19
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  • ellienai is offline
#1
hi
this one is just a musing rather than request for advice. My son had been in India nearly 3 years (arrived age 2), and gets his cheeks pinched - by strangers and people who know him - all the time. This never happened back home in Europe. He's pretty much used to it but sometimes it hurts and he ends up crying - he's even been bruised and a lady's sharp nails once drew blood.

So I want to know - if you're a cheek pincher - do you know why people do this? is it all children or ones with particularly juicy looking cheeks!? would you be offended if the child in question shrieked and ran off or just see that as part of the fun?

could think where else to put this other than 'annoyances' but its not really that annoying. Just weird (to us).
#2 Feb 26th, 2011, 14:48
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  • mridula is offline
#2
Hmm I thought it was a way of showing affection if done lightly and not the blood drawing variety. Got my cheeks pinched all the time as a kid and I am none the worse for it I guess.
#3 Feb 26th, 2011, 15:45
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Hi - we travelled with both our daughters through SE Asia (mainly Thailand, Malaysia) when they were toddlers and they were constantly having their cheeks pinched. Nobody ever drew blood (WTF?) but I know that eventually they came to hate it and would cover their faces when people came rushing towards them. Is your son very fair? My two were both blonds and that seemed to attract people like magnets! I think it's meant to be affectionate but I guess when you're the fortieth person to do it that day, it gets really intrusive for a young child.
#4 Feb 26th, 2011, 17:19
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#4
A cute baby always draws attention and people shows their affection this way.No other reason behind this.I myself love babies very much and often pinch their cheeks obviously in a manner that do not hurt them.
#5 Feb 27th, 2011, 14:29
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#5
I think all children who have had their cheeks pinched should be allowed one good, hard kick at the pincher.
#6 Feb 27th, 2011, 19:52
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#6
I don't know why people seem to think infants don't deserve any personal space, and proceed to pinch their cheeks without the permission of the parents (which wouldn't have been forthcoming in this case!). Often w/ dirty hands at that. Ugh. I used to get quite annoyed when people did this when I visited India with my kids. Thankfully no one drew blood or I'd have punched them for sure. Even so, I was sorely tempted.
#7 Feb 27th, 2011, 20:24
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I don't know why people seem to think infants don't deserve any personal space...
Exactly --- and it's not only infants. Some of these aunties (and even uncles) would even include teenagers, given half a chance.
#8 Mar 2nd, 2011, 19:34
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In India, it's common for strangers to pinch a child's cheek, try to pick it up, pat a kid's head or try to lift the kid up. Mind you, most of us come from big families with lots of children running around and nobody has any bad intentions. (I have heard of cases where people from other countries got paranoid and mistook such displays of affection as being sexual in nature!!)

Many people are getting educated about the need for bubble space for people from other countries, and how they don't appreciate their children being touched but the naive ones might still try to do all the things I mentioned above.

I think the blood-drawing variety might be jealous of you or your baby. Just ask such people to keep off and give them a good yelling at! Otherwise, it's pretty harmless and many people gloat over the idea of having a cute pinchable baby out here!
#9 Mar 2nd, 2011, 19:46
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#9
Its a way of showing affection...Actually I used to dislike that when I was child ..I can remember my childhood days till now ...but honestly speaking now whenever I see a cute baby I just touch cheek softly for showing affection.But nobody should hurt a child.
#10 Mar 11th, 2011, 00:57
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Quote:
Originally Posted by scottyheather View Post Hi - we travelled with both our daughters through SE Asia (mainly Thailand, Malaysia) when they were toddlers and they were constantly having their cheeks pinched. Nobody ever drew blood (WTF?) but I know that eventually they came to hate it and would cover their faces when people came rushing towards them. Is your son very fair? My two were both blonds and that seemed to attract people like magnets! I think it's meant to be affectionate but I guess when you're the fortieth person to do it that day, it gets really intrusive for a young child.
My wife is a german and i am indian. All our kids are fair and were chubby cheeked. they all hated getting pinched.

I think stopping them is virtually impossible unless you are prepared to be misunderstood and offend people.

sad to say there it is!!
#11 Mar 11th, 2011, 04:22
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#11
My daughter (1/2 Indian, 1/2 American) has been bothered one way or another since she was born. There was always someone trying to take her photo or even videos of her, people coming over and trying to pick her up - including taking her from our arms, and plenty of people touching her head and face. The worst was a woman in a temple complex bent over to her in her stroller and pinched her cheek so hard that she had a huge red mark for over an hour. It happened so fast and we didn't even know it until my daughter started crying and the mark appeared. (The woman disappeared quickly in the crowd. Lucky for her because no doubt I would have smacked her in the face if I caught up to her.) All of it totally unacceptable in my book. The thought of the germs...yuck. At least adults have some defense.
#12 Mar 11th, 2011, 04:26
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#12
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Originally Posted by happyarun View Post I think stopping them is virtually impossible unless you are prepared to be misunderstood and offend people.
I really wouldn't care about being misunderstood if I was protecting my child.
#13 Mar 11th, 2011, 09:26
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#13

Question

Quote:
Originally Posted by mridula View Post Hmm I thought it was a way of showing affection if done lightly and not the blood drawing variety. Got my cheeks pinched all the time as a kid and I am none the worse for it I guess.
My kids have had their cheeks pinched too and hated it, they would instinctively cover their cheeks with they little palms.. Would love to know how to stop it as a parent without being rude.
#14 Mar 11th, 2011, 09:37
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#14
The same thing happens to my son, he often get picked up or guys come and kiss him. Its so unexpected, I don"t react until they are gone. Its been this way from day one, the good thing about India is they seem to love and enjoy children around.

I have only received the strange or glares from foreign travelers as if my child has no right to eat in a restaurant. So although it might be annoying, I still think he gets treated so much better here then if he was in Europe or North America, where children are tolerated and often parents get a look of disdain.

So Thank You INDIA for being child friendly!!!
#15 Mar 11th, 2011, 10:01
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#15
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Originally Posted by Saulteaux_woman View Post The same thing happens to my son, he often get picked up or guys come and kiss him. Its so unexpected, I don"t react until they are gone. Its been this way from day one, the good thing about India is they seem to love and enjoy children around.

I have only received the strange or glares from foreign travelers as if my child has no right to eat in a restaurant. So although it might be annoying, I still think he gets treated so much better here then if he was in Europe or North America, where children are tolerated and often parents get a look of disdain.

So Thank You INDIA for being child friendly!!!
The problem is so many children are NOT disciplined. I find it annoying to be in a restaurant at 10-11 at night trying to have a nice dinner with kids screaming and running around. Of course, they do that in other places, but generally kids are in bed by that time! Babies and kids (crying and/or beind disruptive) in movie theaters (with inappropriate movies for children playing) is another pet peeve. It's what children are taught. At 19 months old people were surprised at how well behaved my daughter was in restaurants and someone was even shocked that she knew not to throw her "garbage" in the street.

My daughter spent the first 11 months of her life in India. We just returned when she was 19 months old. The whole experience was a nightmare. No facilites such as high chairs in almost all places (except Western fast food places or 5 star hotels), no place to change diapers when you're out, sidewalks and streets not fit for strollers, had to constantly watch what she touched and where she walked (more than the "usual"), not to mention the pollution. So yes, while Indians may love children, I do not find India itself to be child-friendly.

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