My 4-year-old hates cuddling: Anything I can do to change this?

Hey! Any suggestions on how to make my four-year-old son more cuddly? … since he became one year old, he absolutely hates being cuddly doesn’t like kisses or hugs …unless he got hurt … I have a two-year-old as well, and he’s a complete opposite! Loves cuddling during movies and will jump at me anytime for a hug! Just having a very hard time getting my 4-year-old to show affection for any suggestions?


I wouldn’t force it youll make it worse.

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My 6 year old is quite similar, but that’s him. I soak up the moments when he does want hugs, but otherwise let him do him.

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Stop forcing it. Maybe he just doesn’t want to be touched. Kids should be listened to when expressing themselves like that. There’s no law or rule that says kids should want to cuddle.


All kiddos r different

You might want to have him tested some kids that aren’t affectionate or don’t like cuddling may be autistic


Everyone has their own preferences. Im not cuddly at all with anyone other than my kids. Respect his bodily autonomy or else you’re gonna make him hate contact even more.

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All kids are different, dont force it if he doesn’t want it, and cherish the times he does.

I got two boys they are the total opposites of each other, I tried to fight it but now at 12 my youngest son is still not a hugger.

Neither one of mine cuddle unless they’re sick

Don’t force it. If he says he doesn’t want to be touched, you should respect that much as it bothers. My son is 4 and wants to give affection when he’s willing to. I just cherish those hugs a bit longer whenever he wants it.

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Out of 4 kids my 12 yr old has always hated cuddling. She still does. Just has never been her thing, might just not be his thing, you can’t force it. If he wants to cuddle he knows where to go

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Look into the child whisper by Carol Tuttle. Awesome stuff!

He’s 4… You can’t MAKE him cuddle. For the last 4 years he hasn’t been super cuddly and now that your other one is cuddly you want this one to be? That’s not how it works. Every kid is different. Enjoy what you do get from him and what your other kids give you

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Why would you try to change personality traits? Some people don’t like the touchy feelies and that’s perfectly fine. He’ll live a long, happy life while not cuddling.


Instead of trying to make him more cuddly, find other ways to show and share affection. Maybe spend one on one time doing something he enjoys.


It’s important to remember that it’s not our child’s responsibility to care for us emotionally. It’s our responsibility to care for them emotionally. You are looking for him to fill an emotional void you’re having and that’s not his job


My son never wanted to be cuddled from the time he was born! Luckily at around 5…he became such a cuddle bug. Dont force it…he’ll come around.

Might be a sign of a bigger problem, or he just genuinely doesn’t like being touched :woman_shrugging:t4:

I’m not a hugger. I never was cuddly, even as an infant. My mom would get me to sit by her while she read aloud. Figure out the contact he likes and go with it. Maybe its hair ruffling, maybe its fist bumps or back rubs or toe massages.

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Every child is different and they often go through stages and changes. As long as the child is developing normally, and that includes temper tantrums at the appropriate age, I’d just relax and enjoy them for the unique people they are.

Some kids are like that. 1st one was a month early. Scooted all over crib, walked at 9 months, enjoyed cuddles for 10 min then wanted out to explore. 2nd one loved to be held…thought 4 hrs wasn’t enuf.

You could force it, but do you really want to do that? Accept him for who he is and enjoy it when he does decide to give it.

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My eldest has autism, she has to come to us for a cuddle, if we initiate it she outright ignores it.

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My daughter’s almost 2 and has been like this since around 9months. Lol she only comes to cuddle when she hurts herself or if she’s tired and wants me to put her to bed.

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Don’t force it. Some kids just aren’t “cuddly” and that’s okay. Don’t make him feel obligated to touch or be touched if he doesn’t want to

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My daughter doesn’t like being touched, so she’s not cuddly. It’s just how some kids are. You just have to respect those boundries

Forcing your child to give affection will teach him that his feelings don’t matter… that he must do what grown ups want in order to please them. I read an article on this awhile ago and I’ll never do it to my kids. Sure… we will never harm our children. But we don’t know if anyone else around us can. Abuse usually happens with people who are close to the family. I’ll need to find the link of that article and post it here. I have a 16 year old who still give me hugs and kisses. My 12 year old hasn’t for a long time… maybe a hug every now and then. Sure… I miss it. But I know that when they give it… it’s not because it’s forced…

Why change the way your child is? He just may not like to cuddle. Would you really force him too? I’m not a cuddler I can’t imagine anyone wanting to force me too

Find a different way of loving him.


Children have a right to their own personal space, and whether or not to give consent. My son is not cuddly. And that’s ok. I wish he liked to snuggle but he doesn’t. He does however, know that whenever he climbs in my lap I am willing to snuggle him. I also don’t force him to give loves. I will ask for kisses, if he gives me one that’s great, if he shakes his head and says no, that’s great too. That way he knows he can tell anybody no when it comes to his body and personal space without feeling bad about it.

Don’t force him, that will just make him hate it even more, just cause he’s not a cuddle bug doesn’t mean he doesn’t love you. Find out what he does like and go with it.

Figure out his love language and do that instead.

Although your Mom, and he should want to cuddle. He should be respected. Bc it’s teaching him that people need to ask permission to touch him. Same for him touching others.

I’m sure it’s a FaZe he will grow out of :slight_smile:

My daughter loves to cuddle but my son doesn’t. He will cuddle with me when he’s upset, sick or just missed me. (He is 6 yrs old and been dealing with it since he turned one). I don’t push it but soak it in when I do get the cuddles. I wouldn’t know what kind of advice to give you. I wish you luck.

My daughter has never cuddled hugged or allowed me to kiss she has Autism. That doesn’t mean I don’t go to her and gently give her one in private and tell her I Love her. But when she starts to pull back and get upset I let go at once. She is now 19 and I ask and she bends her head towards me and allows me to kiss the top of her head. Every once in awhile I get a hug but no more. Now my Great nephew he is Autistic and his mother forced him and he is 18, 6.2 foot 225 pounds and he hugs her all the time. All you can do is Love them the way you know how.

Some people just aren’t big on hugging and that’s ok! I’m sure he shows affection in other ways.

Why would you wanna force your kid to cuddle? If he doesn’t wanna be touched, leave him alone.

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Don’t force it. It will cause some real problems in the long run.
My daughter has hated cuddles since she was around 4 months old. She hates being all balled up in someone’s arms :woman_shrugging::woman_shrugging:

No! And please don’t try to change him. I was this way. I didn’t like being touched or cuddled or kissed from a very, very little age. Now there were days and times I might be more affectionate but it just wasn’t me. My family forced it on me and I just could not stand the feeling of it. Flash forward, 31years old and I’m still the same way! I love my family, but I just can’t stand to be loved on 90% of the time. I do like to cuddle with my husband before bed or before we get up. And I do love to cuddle our daughter, when she wants! She’s now 10, but she is the same way. She wants love when she wants it and most of the time she hates being touched. The more you force, the more it’s hated.

My son stopped wanting to be cuddled when he was around one. He just wanted to run and play. Absolutely nothing wrong with that. He’s 15 now, he loves me and hugs me as much as he can. Even let’s me kiss his cheek in front of his buddies :rofl::rofl::rofl:and that’s saying a lot lol

Cant force a child to snuggle. If he does tike it, gotta deal with that. Respect the kids wishes of not wanting it. Doesnt mean he doesnt love you or anything. Both my boys aren’t big snugglers, never have been. If they are upset or hurt or sick, I get some small short cuddles, but that’s it.
Dont force it…just shows him that his feelings dont matter.

Um no :joy::joy::joy: Everyone has a love language. Find out his and run with it

Same exact issue with my two year old. I’m my opinion to my situation I believe that because my son was premature and we had very limited contact with him(holding, kissing, hugging,feeding) caused this. I wasn’t able to hold him for about a month after he was born even though I was in the nicu day and night.

Lol force cuddling… Sensory sensitivity can make touch painful and its in “normal” kids too… Let him set the pace every kids different in their body awareness and sensitivities


I had twin boys, who are now 18. My one was very affecionate, my other not so much. I didnt over think it, or try to change him. But those rare moments he offered cuddles and signs of affection were priceless and still are. He went thru something pretty traumatic this summer and he is much more affectionate now.

My daughter was exactly like that-pulled away at one, and my youngest son was like your youngest. The youngest is 9 and still super cuddly. My oldest just turned 12 and actually she has come back around and now is super huggy and cuddly.

You have to let them be who they are. If you try to get them to change or manipulate them, most likely, they will do the opposite of what you want. Except them for who they are. It’s ok, he still loves you.

They are all different and they turn to be the oppositive when they grow older. Enjoy them the way they are now and later. You cant make them change

Sensory issues? Usually once they’re past toddlerhood, they’re less cuddly. Don’t force it though.

There is no way to make them more cuddly. Just respect his boundaries and move on.


Ask him for hugs and leave him be. He’ll come around :heart:

You have to let em come to you i know its hard my grandson is 4 n has been like this since 2 he hugs a little more but also dont if u understand

My 13 yr old has never been a hugger, he gives a one armed side hug lol. He does surprise us and give normal hugs and kisses once in a while.

Respect his boundaries.

He may grow out of it. You can’t force him.

Some kids like to cuddle and others don’t. It’s normal. Don’t try to force it.