Author Topic: need for touch in teen years  (Read 8623 times)

scrubbyfish

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need for touch in teen years
« on: October 12, 2016, 01:39:34 PM »
Question: If you had a sensory need for touch as a teen, or have caregiven for a teen who needed touch, how did you provide for this?

Longer Version: Kid has a strong sensory need for lots of touch. Heck, let's assume touch is his "love language" (reference Five Languages of Love book). In his dream world, he would be a lap dog.

When people are 0-8ish, this need tends to be supported and (hopefully) met. When a person is an adult, they can seek and negotiate mutual physical relationships, with awareness of risks. In my region's culture, people ages 8-18 tend to have this discouraged. For this age range, some pathologize a need for touch, and start offering equipment: weighted vest, squeeze machine.

Do you have direct experience with this need in the teen years? How have you successfully met it, in a way that seemed to you healthy, safe, and developmentally appropriate?

If you were unable to meet it, what helped you get by until you were allowed to meet it directly again?

Goldielocks

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Re: need for touch in teen years
« Reply #1 on: October 12, 2016, 01:53:23 PM »
Srubbyfish
Not quite the answer you are looking for, but my teenager (16) is "normal" for touch in this sense, and I am amazed how close / on top of one another her and her friends sit.

Like, two to a chair.  On floor hip to hip with legs sprawled.   Looking at a phone with heads touching, ...
Sitting on sofa with shoulders pressed together .  (note, she does have a boyfriend, whom she is even closer with [grr] this is just cultural, maybe because we have a lot of south asians here that are used to being on contact?)

My son is now 14 and he is very much put out by mom trying to hug him right now.   But will sit on the sofa and stretch out his legs (over me) anyway as his prefered way of sharing space.

Also, I see a lot of asian employees where I used to work, where just sitting or walking and holding hands for comfort (friendship), was normal.  I mean, during the business meeting with 20 attendees, people would sit an hold hands, or at lunch ...but my norm is to only be this close with family, and not always.


TL:DR Maybe it is normal to sit and have touch for teens , and sitting apart is the "not normal" part ?

scrubbyfish

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Re: need for touch in teen years
« Reply #2 on: October 12, 2016, 02:02:51 PM »
Maybe it is normal to sit and have touch for teens...

*I* think so, yes. I think it is a normal human need in many.

So, what happens when a teen's environments (school, etc) are discouraging physical contact "because it is inappropriate" etc? What are the ways a teen can get this need met when he lives in an anti-touch environment?

Also, you introduce an important point: Even some anti-touch cultures support girls having their touch needs met. Most boys in anti-touch cultures don't get as much as some teen girls do, I think.

Goldielocks

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Re: need for touch in teen years
« Reply #3 on: October 12, 2016, 02:12:23 PM »
IDK  - but you are right about boys not being as open as girls...

maybe..

Moms providing extra support
After school with friends.
Girlfriends
Ruby?  ??
Pets

Kitsune

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Re: need for touch in teen years
« Reply #4 on: October 12, 2016, 02:20:32 PM »
Me, and my siblings. :)

I was a prickly hedgehog if my parents tried to hug me, but I'd be curled up against my mom's side to read books if she sat on the couch and left space next to her. My brother and sister basically did the same thing.

My siblings and I basically just puppy-piled our way through movies and books... and actually still do, and I'm 32, married, and well-adjusted... *shrugs*

Socially, it's more acceptable for girls to casually touch (brush each other's hair, neck rubs, curl up on a chair, etc, etc...), so I don't know how much of the 'friends' advice is necessarily useful there - my brother had the advantage that he basically didn't give a shit if people called him gay (um, being 6'4 and a football player who comes from a progressive family with a queer sister will TOTALLY help with not giving a shit, but I highly encourage teaching kids that emotional vulnerability is not unmanly and that being gay is not a problem and that touching is not inherently gay, as a starting point). Um... emphasizing that not all cross-gender contact is inherently sexual (goes hand-in-hand with nice discussions on consent, yay parenting) and not making a big deal of cross-gender friendships would probably be a good idea - if the kid thinks that a need to be touched is inherently sexual, that seems like a good way to get into sexual activity that isn't necessarily what they want/are ready for, so helping to de-tangle that is key. (Also not pathologizing consensual/safe/happy sex if the participant is under 18 and everyone is happy about it...)

scrubbyfish

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Re: need for touch in teen years
« Reply #5 on: October 12, 2016, 02:32:08 PM »
I guess I need to add: only child :)    No option for sibling pile-ups!

Kid knows touch is normal, healthy, etc, but I don't know that he's going to quickly convince his surrounding culture that it is.

Kitsune

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Re: need for touch in teen years
« Reply #6 on: October 12, 2016, 02:44:12 PM »
... Really cuddly golden retriever? :)

madgeylou

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Re: need for touch in teen years
« Reply #7 on: October 12, 2016, 02:44:44 PM »
Scrubby, is he at all interested in theater? I found that there was a lot of non-sexual touching amongst me and my theater pals -- hugging, massages, dancing together.

scrubbyfish

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Re: need for touch in teen years
« Reply #8 on: October 12, 2016, 02:56:57 PM »
You guys are, as always, ROCKING this!! Heaps of thanks!!

Full contact sport!
Personal dog!
Theatre folks!
Friends (male or female) who likewise seek nonsexual physical relationship!

Also, I could pay for him to have massage. Why not? Or even cheap (school) hair/esthetic services, like the scalp massage they do for $10.

I wonder if horse-riding helps a person who needs more touch? Because he could use some of his autism funding for that.

JLee

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Re: need for touch in teen years
« Reply #9 on: October 12, 2016, 03:03:44 PM »
+1 for dance.  I'm well past my teen years but I love touch. Dance is a great avenue.

Also, cats. Cats are wonderful.

K-ice

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Re: need for touch in teen years
« Reply #10 on: October 12, 2016, 03:18:44 PM »
I can't answer specifically for a male teen but I came from a relatively cold cultural family (mainly British) but my mom was always warm and we would often cuddle on the couch watching TV.

I also agree with the posts encouraging animals, dogs, cats or horses.


MBot

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Re: need for touch in teen years
« Reply #11 on: October 12, 2016, 04:05:16 PM »
For me as a teen

Concerts where you're pressed up against a ton of other bodies.
Animals
Massage therapy
Rugby

Not for me but for others
Helping with little kids and carrying them around

Bracken_Joy

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Re: need for touch in teen years
« Reply #12 on: October 12, 2016, 04:15:01 PM »
Even when I didn't want any touch as a teen, I would still let me mom rub my scalp and do my hair. Even one of my brothers (buzz cut) would let her give him head and neck rubs.

Dogs definitely helped.

For my brothers, when they were teens, one was very involved in team sports and there was a lot of touch there- a decent amount of the dumb teen boy shoving, but also a fair amount of piling up for movies and the like. One of the other brothers was in theatre, and there seemed to be a ton of touch there. (A lot of it sexual, ahem, but also plenty of platonic... it just seemed a very touch oriented culture).

For me, I had a yoga class I went to for years, and at the end of the class in shavasana, the teacher would come around with warm scented oil on her hands and give everyone a little neck rub as she guided us through a meditation. Weirdly enough, I will still sometimes have dreams where I can smell lavender, and hear her voice, and feel her touch. Literally can't remember her name or face, but clearly the touch stuck with me.

With This Herring

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Re: need for touch in teen years
« Reply #13 on: October 12, 2016, 04:32:09 PM »
When people are 0-8ish, this need tends to be supported and (hopefully) met. When a person is an adult, they can seek and negotiate mutual physical relationships, with awareness of risks. In my region's culture, people ages 8-18 tend to have this discouraged. For this age range, some pathologize a need for touch, and start offering equipment: weighted vest, squeeze machine.

In your region, is this just discouraged at school or in real life as well?  I know public schools in my area would say things like "no hugs" because they were worried about harassment, but this had nothing to do with what kids did outside of school and school-sponsored activities.

I thought that the need to be in regular physical contact with others was normal.  Going without or substituting with false things like the vest or squeeze machine sounds hellish.

I'll add another +1 on theatre kids being physically close.

Also, my (female) high school friends and I would cuddle-pile, cram onto small sofas to watch terrible movies, etc.  My brother never stopped giving and getting big hugs from all family members, especially our mother.

For more casual contact, being an attendee at school sports games with just flat bleachers for seating can cause everyone to get crammed together, so legs and shoulders touch.

If this is a possibility and would not cause problems:  When babysitting little kids (young cousins, perhaps?), kids get tucked against your side under your arms or on a lap to have books read to them.  Little kids are very cuddly. 

pbkmaine

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Re: need for touch in teen years
« Reply #14 on: October 12, 2016, 04:37:06 PM »
Scrubby, does he understand that self-pleasuring is not wrong? Learning how to pleasure myself got me through the intense yearning and need for touch of my teenage years.


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KMMK

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Re: need for touch in teen years
« Reply #15 on: October 12, 2016, 04:45:16 PM »
Scrubby, does he understand that self-pleasuring is not wrong? Learning how to pleasure myself got me through the intense yearning and need for touch of my teenage years.


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Ha ha. I never thought of it like that but likely me, as well, as I had nothing else.

MayDay

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Re: need for touch in teen years
« Reply #16 on: October 12, 2016, 06:57:31 PM »
Hmm, some random thoughts....

Is touch from you ok?  Can you give more without it bothering you?

Mine loves roughhousing.  Sort of similar to putting him into a sport like wrestling.  Maybe he would like wrestling?

Mine loves banging his body against things.  I do thing horseback helps with this.  So does bouncing on a trampoline.  Ideally a big one, but a little indoor one works ok too.  We have one in our unheated storage room.  In winter he goes out and bounces on it and calms down. 

Mine loves a weighted blanket.  His social program has them.  At home when I tuck, I just fold up a regular heavy quilt into a smaller square and put it on him, and that does the trick.

But my kid doesn't want touch so much as pressure on his body so none of that may be helpful. 

ender

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Re: need for touch in teen years
« Reply #17 on: October 12, 2016, 07:01:11 PM »
Scrubby, is he at all interested in theater? I found that there was a lot of non-sexual touching amongst me and my theater pals -- hugging, massages, dancing together.

It took me until just now to realize that this makes so much sense to explain a lot of the theater people I knew in high school.

I have a huge personal bubble and a lot of them.... didn't, which was so. weird. to me. But in this context it makes perfect sense. Ah, the things 17 year old me didn't know.

scrubbyfish

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Re: need for touch in teen years
« Reply #18 on: October 12, 2016, 09:07:53 PM »
In the hug-seeking, I'm not sure if it's deep pressure he's after or just love language stuff. My sense is that it's the latter. For that reason, I tend to think it needs to be "touch from another human", as opposed to physical pressure, contact with a pet, contact with self, etc. He's very grounded, mellow, centered, etc.

I give him some touch, but his need requires more people. The boys he plays with have little to no physical contact with each other (bike riding, video games, imaginary play), and the school staff are opposed to any significant touch between any student and adult (for various reasons).

I'm going to look at things like wrestling, martial arts, theatrics, massage, and other physical therapy (just because it can provide touch).

SilveradoBojangles

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Re: need for touch in teen years
« Reply #19 on: October 12, 2016, 10:15:33 PM »
As a teenager (female) I remember it being completely normal to end up in a big pile with my friends. This could be cramming far too many of us into a car, using each other as pillows while watching a movie (both male and female friends), or forming a big dog pile to try and sleep between games at water polo tournaments (my teammates were very close). I remember hugs amongst friends as a greeting being very routine.

As for parents, my mom is not terribly touchy or affectionate, but my dad is. I hugged him, wrestled with him, jumped on him, leaned on him, etc. up until college. We also had lots of snuggly pets. To this day I am someone who requires quite a lot of physical affection. Most of it comes from my partner, but I still have some huggy friends.

NoStacheOhio

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Re: need for touch in teen years
« Reply #20 on: October 13, 2016, 06:16:51 AM »
Posting to follow, as I don't have a whole lot to add. My son is only 4, but he seems to be very sensory-driven. To the point where sometimes I need him to stop touching me, because it's too much. My wife has sensory integration problems, so it may be genetic. I bought her some rocks on vacation a while back (the smooth, colorful kind) that she likes to handle and touch.

I think horseback riding is probably a really good idea. It's very touch-oriented, especially if you're doing the horse care in addition to just riding.

edit: if you son is still young enough to be reading with you, that's also a really good way to get some physical contact.

Allie

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Re: need for touch in teen years
« Reply #21 on: October 13, 2016, 05:02:13 PM »
Aside from the massage, wrestling, dance, finding friends who are comfortable with touch, and animal affection (horseback riding, volunteering at the shelter, with pets) I can't think of anything else to add.

Given the fact that there are way too many bad people out there and older kids can be as predatory (not exactly the same thought process but same outcome) as adults, I'm super supportive of the boundaries put into places at the school. 

I'd never realized that I didn't get into drama or dance, even though I would have enjoyed it, likely because I hate to be touched.  I wish I could add more, but I do appreciate the insight! 

In just a little while, he can find a girl or boy friend with whom he can snuggle and hold hands and hug and you can start worrying about a whole host of other issues! 

Cathy

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Re: need for touch in teen years
« Reply #22 on: October 13, 2016, 08:38:57 PM »
In just a little while, he can find a girl or boy friend with whom he can snuggle and hold hands and hug ...

Maybe, but real life isn't a fairy tale, and not everybody finds companionship. Some people will spend their entire lives alone, and there's nothing wrong with that. It should be presented to children as a valid outcome, so that they don't feel awful if they are unable or unwilling to construct, maintain, or negotiate a romantic relationship.

For that matter, you should consider yourself privileged if you found a partner or partners with whom to build a lasting relationship. This is the single largest shortcut to reaching early retirement at a young age, but it's certainly not a shortcut that everybody will be able to take.
« Last Edit: October 13, 2016, 08:48:41 PM by Cathy »

Allie

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Re: need for touch in teen years
« Reply #23 on: October 13, 2016, 08:55:51 PM »
I agree that partnership is hard, but I'm talking about a late preteen, early teen relationship.  Hand holding, sitting next to each other, resting a head on a shoulder sort of thing.  If he craves human touch and has access to kids with whom he can make friends and who have the same needs, I think this is a real possibility.  Will it turn into an actual partnership and relationship?  Who knows but probably not. 

Cathy

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Re: need for touch in teen years
« Reply #24 on: October 13, 2016, 09:00:41 PM »
I agree that partnership is hard, but I'm talking about a late preteen, early teen relationship.  Hand holding, sitting next to each other, resting a head on a shoulder sort of thing. ...

Do you really think that this is an experience that is part of everybody's life? If so, you are mistaken. It may have been a privilege that you enjoyed, but there's no guarantee that it will be part of anyone's "late preteen" existence -- or a part of their life at all. It's very hurtful if you send the message to children that there's something wrong with them if they're unable or unwilling to participate in these activities. Parents, and society in general, should instead forward the message that there's nothing wrong with being alone.

scrubbyfish

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Re: need for touch in teen years
« Reply #25 on: October 13, 2016, 09:01:11 PM »
The issue of "my love language is touch, but I live in an anti-touch culture" is really big. A lot of people are profoundly affected by this. Groups make "cuddle parties" etc now. People pay a lot for massage. Many have no idea how to access touch except through sex. It's a very real need in so many, and a weird culture (not individual) that has decided platonic touch is unnecessary or ideally avoided. For some people, it's as necessary as eating and sleeping, and many adults' primary avenues are sex or paid massage, while so many teens simply go without. I don't want to pass along those weird messages/limitations. I also don't want to create a situation where a teen is dependent on one, romantic "partner" to have the bulk of the need met. Lots of concerns there. I want to promote happy, safe options for everyone who needs it :)

So, thanks very much, everyone, for sharing ideas! Excellent. I started pursuing two in earnest today.

scrubbyfish

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Re: need for touch in teen years
« Reply #26 on: October 13, 2016, 09:05:37 PM »
Do you really think that this is an experience that is part of everybody's life?

I'm not reading that in Allie's posts, Cathy. I think she is saying this is one possibility for some people. Just as all the previous ideas—horses, wrestling, dogs, close friendship, etc—are options for some, and not all. None of us would think anyone is "less than" if they can't access horse riding lessons or a theatre troupe. Ditto romance. Yes, definitely everyone is a-okay, regardless of ability to connect in a specific way.

Seagal

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Re: need for touch in teen years
« Reply #27 on: October 14, 2016, 08:45:39 AM »
Are there professional cuddlers in your area?  We have these folks in Portland.

http://cuddleuptome.com/

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Re: need for touch in teen years
« Reply #28 on: October 15, 2016, 06:16:24 AM »
Getting a dog or getting involved in a contact sport or wrestling may be the way to go. There is a lot of resentment towards a touching culture at that age so a pet or physical contact sports may be the way to go.

scrubbyfish

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Re: need for touch in teen years
« Reply #29 on: October 15, 2016, 07:40:24 AM »
There is a lot of resentment towards a touching culture at that age...

What do you mean? He seeks it, it's his love language, one of his favourite things. His sadness is that so much of his culture is anti-touch (outside of one's immediate family).

Allie

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Re: need for touch in teen years
« Reply #30 on: October 15, 2016, 10:23:32 AM »
I think he means that in our culture in those preteen/early teen years kids are no longer in need of hands on care so touching by adults is viewed as suspect because of rapers and touching by other kids is viewed as suspect because of budding sexuality stuff.  It's a weird gap where caregiver and peer contact is highly discouraged and viewed with distrust.

I hope that LF is able to find a few like minded peers, and for some reason I would think that at his school he could find other kids who need and accept touch far easier than in a main stream setting, with whom he can trade back rubs, squeezes, and squish together.  Is he good at reading other peoples facial and body language to gauge whether his touch is welcome?  This will be important as he gets older as someone with a smaller than average bubble. 

Are there any other cultural groups close by that he could spend time with who are more open about touch?  I know my son has a child in his class whose family is from an Asian country and who never attended school with US kids.  He gets way too close for the other kids and pops their bubbles all the time.  Maybe if he were to be involved in some classes or activities with other children who have a more accepting culture of touch?

scrubbyfish

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Re: need for touch in teen years
« Reply #31 on: October 15, 2016, 12:03:47 PM »
I think he means that in our culture in those preteen/early teen years kids are no longer in need of hands on care...

Oh, it's so sad! So sad that our culture holds these ideas, that touch after age 11 is suspect or dangerous rather than necessary (for some) and nurturing...

I hope that LF is able to find a few like minded peers, and for some reason I would think that at his school he could find other kids who need and accept touch far easier than in a main stream setting, with whom he can trade back rubs, squeezes, and squish together.

Opposite. He's at an Asperger's school, and many people with A don't enjoy spontaneous touch. Kid is definitely an anomaly there, in that he is very sensory-happy, athletic, etc. Also, all the schools here discourage touch amongst kids. His best friend is also essentially Aspie, so always space between bodies, no hugs/patting/wrestling/etc.

He does have two touch-happy friends (one boy, one girl) but now that they're in different schools and towns, they rarely see each other.

Is he good at reading other peoples facial and body language to gauge whether his touch is welcome?

No. He's increasingly better at it, but not great. His teachers and I are very direct with him, but that doesn't train him for real world scenarios where people tend not to be direct with each other. We're continuing to work on that piece.

Are there any other cultural groups close by that he could spend time with who are more open about touch?  I know my son has a child in his class whose family is from an Asian country and who never attended school with US kids.  He gets way too close for the other kids and pops their bubbles all the time.  Maybe if he were to be involved in some classes or activities with other children who have a more accepting culture of touch?

That's a great idea!!

scrubbyfish

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Re: need for touch in teen years
« Reply #32 on: October 18, 2016, 12:11:26 PM »
Thanks very much, LFG!

  • I reached out to a wrestling group, no response yet (almost a week).
  • Reached out to a place that does various forms of physical therapy and they referred me to two practitioners they thought would be the best fit. We could get $600 worth of appts for $300 between now and Dec 31.
  • I'm also daily watching one hour-long show with him where we sit squished together.
  • He does come to family yoga, but only has one hug-buddy there.
Talked with an acquaintance who has an extreme touch need. i.e., He feels it is not fulfilled even when he (poly) has several lovers, touch for up to seven hours per day, etc. Some stuff in the conversation made me realize there's a matter of internal boundary stuff, too. Like, if a person never feels satiated for long, and there are other indications of "internal emptiness", etc, this helps me see that sometimes it's a different piece that needs support. While I believe most humans need other humans, for a million tiny things, I think it can be dangerous to be highly dependent on people outside of ourselves to meet our survival needs. I've seen this in a few adults, and the outcomes are pretty serious. I'm going to explore this more in relation to Kid.

TrMama

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Re: need for touch in teen years
« Reply #33 on: October 18, 2016, 12:30:00 PM »
You're such a good parent to recognize, and try to fulfill, this need for your kid. I generally dislike being touched, especially by people I don't know really well, so I'll suggest a couple activities I tried and hated:

Akido. It's a form of martial arts but it's pretty gentle and is more like dancing.

Actual dancing. Swing dancing was popular when I was in university and I think there are still some active clubs. Ballroom dancing might also fit the bill.

Ditto all the recommendations for horseback riding. I rode all through high school and it was a fantastic outlet for me. I've now started both of my own kids as well. If you decide to get him some lessons be upfront with the instructor about what you're looking for. They may be able to match him with a lesson horse that is more "cuddly". I think the equestrian term they use is "in your pocket". AKA the horse would really like to be small enough to fit in your pocket and be carried around like a lap dog.

Also, make sure he is the one who tacks up the horse. AKA grooms it and then puts on the saddle and bridle. This is a very touch intensive activity and you basically get the time for free, once you're competent enough that the instructor doesn't have to supervise you.

scrubbyfish

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Re: need for touch in teen years
« Reply #34 on: October 18, 2016, 12:37:39 PM »
Just created a new thread here, with the next level of awareness this thread brought me to:
http://forum.mrmoneymustache.com/ask-a-mustachian/how-did-you-come-to-feel-satiated-with-less/

JLee

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Re: need for touch in teen years
« Reply #35 on: October 18, 2016, 01:02:23 PM »
You're such a good parent to recognize, and try to fulfill, this need for your kid. I generally dislike being touched, especially by people I don't know really well, so I'll suggest a couple activities I tried and hated:

Akido. It's a form of martial arts but it's pretty gentle and is more like dancing.

Actual dancing. Swing dancing was popular when I was in university and I think there are still some active clubs. Ballroom dancing might also fit the bill.

Ditto all the recommendations for horseback riding. I rode all through high school and it was a fantastic outlet for me. I've now started both of my own kids as well. If you decide to get him some lessons be upfront with the instructor about what you're looking for. They may be able to match him with a lesson horse that is more "cuddly". I think the equestrian term they use is "in your pocket". AKA the horse would really like to be small enough to fit in your pocket and be carried around like a lap dog.

Also, make sure he is the one who tacks up the horse. AKA grooms it and then puts on the saddle and bridle. This is a very touch intensive activity and you basically get the time for free, once you're competent enough that the instructor doesn't have to supervise you.

I've danced with several ballroom dancers and the impression I got from them was that ballroom was much more rigid and stressful than one might expect. I'm sure there's a big difference with competitive dancers vs social dancers, but the last conversation I had with a ballroom dancer was about how much more relaxed and comfortable blues dancing is in comparison.  I would lean more towards swing, blues, lindy, etc than ballroom or salsa (which I'm told has a high barrier of entry re: skill level - nobody really wants to dance with a new guy).

Bracken_Joy

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Re: need for touch in teen years
« Reply #36 on: October 18, 2016, 04:40:04 PM »
Scubby- I've been thinking about this, and missed a very obvious constant for me throughout my life. I'm now a nurse, but I've always had some sort of role of service to others that often involved touch. When I was in middle and high school, I volunteered at a nursing home and would feed clients, do their hair, give foot rubs, that sort of thing. Then I became a CNA, then a nurse. And at various times I baby sat, nannied, and was a mother's helper. (I started as a mother's helper very young, 7 or 8.) All of these are very high touch activities. I'm much more of a touch giver than receiver, if that makes sense, so these worked really well for me.

scrubbyfish

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Re: need for touch in teen years
« Reply #37 on: October 18, 2016, 04:43:10 PM »
...so I'll suggest a couple activities I tried and hated:

Loved this approach, lol!

Great suggestions. Also, I am newly watching the show Heartland, so am getting a sense of the whole horse thing and newly know what it means to tack up a horse!

Papa bear

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Re: need for touch in teen years
« Reply #38 on: October 18, 2016, 04:55:55 PM »
Thanks very much, LFG!

  • I reached out to a wrestling group, no response yet (almost a week).
  • Reached out to a place that does various forms of physical therapy and they referred me to two practitioners they thought would be the best fit. We could get $600 worth of appts for $300 between now and Dec 31.
  • I'm also daily watching one hour-long show with him where we sit squished together.
  • He does come to family yoga, but only has one hug-buddy there.
Talked with an acquaintance who has an extreme touch need. i.e., He feels it is not fulfilled even when he (poly) has several lovers, touch for up to seven hours per day, etc. Some stuff in the conversation made me realize there's a matter of internal boundary stuff, too. Like, if a person never feels satiated for long, and there are other indications of "internal emptiness", etc, this helps me see that sometimes it's a different piece that needs support. While I believe most humans need other humans, for a million tiny things, I think it can be dangerous to be highly dependent on people outside of ourselves to meet our survival needs. I've seen this in a few adults, and the outcomes are pretty serious. I'm going to explore this more in relation to Kid.


How involved is your child in this decision making process?  I speak for wrestling in particular: it can be a nasty brutal sport and your child should want to participate.   In particular, depending on their size, if they are heavier than average, they will get paired up with more skilled and older participants.  This can be devastating and hurt your child if his heart isn't in it.  This is speaking from experience and it kept me out of the sport for years until it was a school team (and competed with same age individuals)

If your child does want to pursue this route, it should provide him with the touch/feeling he needs.  You get contact with other participants and coaches, who need to be actively involved to teach.


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scrubbyfish

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Re: need for touch in teen years
« Reply #39 on: October 18, 2016, 05:12:36 PM »
How involved is your child in this decision making process?

100%. I gave him all the options, and wrestling was his first choice. He's athletic, strong, enjoys proprioception, male camaraderie, and touch.

Papa bear

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Re: need for touch in teen years
« Reply #40 on: October 18, 2016, 05:23:47 PM »
How involved is your child in this decision making process?

100%. I gave him all the options, and wrestling was his first choice. He's athletic, strong, enjoys proprioception, male camaraderie, and touch.

That's great!  Reach back out to the wrestling group and get him in!


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Jschange

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Re: need for touch in teen years
« Reply #41 on: October 18, 2016, 07:50:24 PM »
yay! so glad he chose wrestling. I think being excited is a good indicator of success.

iwasjustwondering

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Re: need for touch in teen years
« Reply #42 on: October 18, 2016, 08:26:13 PM »
Play fighting and wrestling.  My 14yo is always initiating play wrestling with his stepfather.  It's cute.

Peony

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Re: need for touch in teen years
« Reply #43 on: October 18, 2016, 09:05:34 PM »
Maybe he could learn to GIVE massage? Maybe in a way that teaches about anatomy and musculature that would be useful for athletic training and healing himself or others after athletic injury? Just kind of thinking aloud here. I read at some point that the release of oxytocin that comes from receiving a massage also occurs for the massager. But obviously approaching people to offer massage would have to be handled with care.

Also, if he does have any interest in partner-type dancing, I bet many older dancers would be thrilled to see a young person pursuing that and would be extra patient. In my ideal world that would be the case, anyway. :)

LadyStache in Baja

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Re: need for touch in teen years
« Reply #44 on: October 19, 2016, 12:43:19 PM »
Didn't read all the posts!  Sorry if I'm repeating...but horseback riding sounds like it'd be really helpful.  What about a golden retriever, too?  He could cuddle with it all day long.

ETA: Ok, just read 'em all.  So yeah, great he's going with wrestling.  I'd just like to add that horses are really special.  You mentioned it needs to be human contact, but a relationship with a horse isn't just like a pet...there's an amazing conversation that's happening through tough....people become very very close to their horses.  So if he could ride the same horse once a week, it might be really amazing for him
.
« Last Edit: October 19, 2016, 12:49:19 PM by LadyStache in Baja »

CowboyAndIndian

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Re: need for touch in teen years
« Reply #45 on: October 21, 2016, 06:54:44 PM »
Scrubby, not sure if anyone posted this.

http://www.usatoday.com/story/news/humankind/2016/10/21/amazing-moment-when-boy-meets-his-service-dog/92471058/

Could a service dog or a pet help.?

Jschange

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Re: need for touch in teen years
« Reply #46 on: October 21, 2016, 09:19:59 PM »
Maybe he could learn to GIVE massage? Maybe in a way that teaches about anatomy and musculature that would be useful for athletic training and healing himself or others after athletic injury? Just kind of thinking aloud here. I read at some point that the release of oxytocin that comes from receiving a massage also occurs for the massager. But obviously approaching people to offer massage would have to be handled with care.

Also, if he does have any interest in partner-type dancing, I bet many older dancers would be thrilled to see a young person pursuing that and would be extra patient. In my ideal world that would be the case, anyway. :)

If I'm right about where he's living, massage therapy is a 2-3 year post secondary program. And even for informal massage it would be best for him to have the right amount of touch and strong boundaries beforehand. Definitely something to consider for him as an adult career.

scrubbyfish

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Re: need for touch in teen years
« Reply #47 on: October 21, 2016, 11:18:50 PM »
Definitely something to consider for him as an adult career.

+1! A great idea for that time, absolutely.

Could a service dog or a pet help.?

CowboyAndIndian, thank you :)   No, no one had posted that article yet.

For a long time, I assumed he'd want a dog, and felt a bit guilty that I hadn't gotten him one yet, when he finally straightened me out. He wants a hamster! I could get him one of those :)

Thank you, too, LadyStache in Baja and Peony (for the additional ideas, too).

All awesome!

MBot

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Re: need for touch in teen years
« Reply #48 on: October 22, 2016, 03:24:47 PM »
What a beautiful thread. I gave a few suggestions earlier from my own experience as a teenager needing similar things. The empathy and consideration here are incredible. I really love seeing this.

Jschange

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Re: need for touch in teen years
« Reply #49 on: October 23, 2016, 06:45:21 AM »
Hamsters! Cuddly and take up so little space. Also nocturnal, like he is!