I’m openly tactile defensive. Even though my tolerance of certain things on my hands have improved, I don’t actively seek to get my hands dirty regularly. That is, until my bestie and fellow blog writer suggests we go to the SlooMoo Institute for a playdate (enter cringe mode).
Here’s the thing: Even though going to an immersive slime exhibit isn’t something I’d want to do, I knew my 5-year-old would enjoy it. Why miss a new experience for him because I can’t handle a little slime on my hands…or clothes. Agh, I digress.
This post isn’t about me or my dislikes, but rather how many parents do things we avoid, fear, or loathe for the sake of our kids. It’s very common that some parents don’t want their kids to inherit their own phobias, and they especially don’t want their kids to miss out. Whatever the reason, we know that we play a large role in our children’s learning and growing experiences.
Following up on this week’s Tactile Response post, here is a fun activity to try. This can be done with children of all ages and helpful for those who may have an over-responsive tactile system. This activity gradually introduces various substances or textures.
- Ziploc bags
- A base substance, such as finger paint, shaving cream, or lotion
Other small objects to add texture like rice, beans, buttons, or beads
Full disclosure: I hate hate HATE the feel of certain textures.
I hate them so much so that I will find ways to avoid touching them. I will never play in mud. I refuse to clean out a pumpkin. The thought of kneading dough or mixing raw meat with my hands freaks me out. I will use a fork and knife to eat BBQ ribs or chicken wings because the feel of the sauces of my fingers genuinely stresses me out.
As odd as this is, I’m not the only one. We may know kids that can’t stand the tags on shirts, the feel of sand on their hands, or when paint or glue get on their skin. Why? It’s an overresponsive tactile system.