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Appropriate Age for Daughter to Sit on Father's/Grandfathers' Laps?

My daughter just turned 3, and my wife and I are trying to figure out at what age it becomes inappropriate for her to sit on my or her grandfathers' laps. Also, does it depend on the situation? Meaning, it is ok if we are reading a book or watching a movie, but becomes inappropriate after dinner at a restaurant?

I'm just curious when you stopped sitting on your father's laps, or when your daughters stopped doing so. Birthdays are a good time to implement new rules as "3 years olds do this, or 3 year olds don't do that", so we are trying to get the list together of things to do this year. Sitting on my lap and the grandfathers laps are one that we just aren't sure about. Any help would be greatly appreciated.

Thanks,
T.

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HI T.,

I agree with the other ladies. Unless you see a need for it to stop, I think it is perfectly fine indefinitely. My girls, 13 and 18, still cuddle in Dad's lap...especially when they want something, lol. My Dad is 92 and bedridden and I sometimes wish I could crawl up in his lap and tell him what's wrong. As long as there is a healthy relationship, it can be a bonding that will last forever.

M.

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Is there some reason that you think it's inappropriate? Because otherwise, this question just seems ridiculous to me. Are you sexualizing this behavior? Children sitting on adults' laps = innocent affection in my book. Why would you place a time limit of love?

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Hi T.. I still sit on my dad's lap sometimes and I'm 33. My daughter is 7, and still sits on laps all the time. I say let them be little kids as long as you possibly can. Getting affection from them is precious and so short lived. a 3 year old is nowhere near close to any kind of affection being inappropriate. Plus, you guys are FAMILY, let her be a kid. If my 7 year old decided she's too old to sit on me or her dad's lap I would be devastated, and I know she'll get there sometime in the next few years, so I intend to enjoy every minute of her now.

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I sat on my Dad's lap until I left the house! Heck, I still sit in his lap sometimes! He's my Daddy. ;)
I have fond memories of sitting on my Grandfather's lap as well, well into my early teen years. He was my Grandpa, and, I loved his lap. It was a very safe place to be. :)

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It time to stop when either the child or adult feels uncomfortable with it. It may be situational and it may be at different times for different children/adults.
For some it may never be an issue.
We need to stop making stupid rules about things like that and just start to do things that work for us as individuals and our own families.
Every person has their own comfort level, just go by yours and your daughter's and you'll be fine.
Good luck.

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I never stopped. Well technically I was too heavy to sit on my dad's lap at about 12, but I would still sit next to him and put my head in his lap. Everything seemed better just by him patting my head. I also remember crawling in my grandpa's bed while he was in a nursing home and cuddling with him. It was the last time I was close to him, and I am glad no one stopped me (I couldn't sit on his lap, he only had 1 leg and it threw him off balance). I also never stopped kissing them on the lips, which I guess is another big hot topic today with daughters and fathers. I hope my daughter never stops, one day she wont have her grandpa or dad around anymore (and I hope that is a long time from now). Good Luck.

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I think this is a sad question. I don't think kids should have to think about what adults feel is inappropriate. My step mother did this to me when I was 5. She had already taken my father away from my mother and then she was telling me not to sit with my daddy which I had done my whole life. I was too young to understand why SHE thought it was sick.

Let your daughter keep her innocence and not feel rejected by her daddy. It is fine. There will come a day when she doesn't want to sit on your lap any more. I don't know too many teens that do this. So, like the other poster said, let it be her determination, not yours.

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HI T.,

I agree with the other ladies. Unless you see a need for it to stop, I think it is perfectly fine indefinitely. My girls, 13 and 18, still cuddle in Dad's lap...especially when they want something, lol. My Dad is 92 and bedridden and I sometimes wish I could crawl up in his lap and tell him what's wrong. As long as there is a healthy relationship, it can be a bonding that will last forever.

M.

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Forgive me, but I don't understand why you are worried about this. Are you having a dirty mind about it or just worried about what other people think?
To me, it sounds strange to worry about a 3 year old sitting on dad or grandpa's lap unless you know there's something wrong going on.
No offense intended!
First of all, my grandpa was my hero. I grew up in his lap. That's where I snuggled to watch TV, that's where he read to me before bed and in the morning...we read the newspaper together. I was 26 when he died. He was 85. When he was in the hospital, I layed on the bed next to him.
Up until my dad died, he would pat his knee and I would go sit on his chair with him. In my 40's with 2 kids of my own. My daddy still had a sturdy leg for me. Always.
I never once thought anything was wrong with it because there was nothing wrong with it.
Your daughter will be a teenager before you know it and there will be a time when she wants to pretend she doesn't even know you for a while.
Snuggle your daughter as much as you can for now.
For God's sake, 3 is not too old.

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I think you've gotten some good answers here. Here's my 2 cents. My answer would be - until she doesn't want to (which I hope might be never).

When my daughter was an infant, we were at the house of a good friend who had three daughters who were well into their teens at the time. At some point during the party, one of the daughters sat on her father's lap, gave him a hug and told him she loved him. My husband was so moved that he told our friend - "if your teenage daughter feels comfortable sitting on your lap in front of all these people, you're doing something right. I hope when my daughter gets older, she feels the same about me."

Well, my daughter is 10 and although she might not sit on my husband's lap in the middle of a party, she absolutely does at home and when we're around family. (because of a neck/back injuries, neither my husband nor myself has been able to pick my daugher up in many years). I hope my daughter knows our laps will always be open for her.

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T.: hummm. I still sit on my dads lap at times, and I am 31. we are not really close or anything like that we do say I love you and will hug but it is not odd or anything we are just showing that we love one another....he is my dad and I will love him forever. why would this not be okay? maybe it is a cultural thing that you dont think it is okay? sorry if I did not help I just dont understand why you think it might not be okay, maybe you can add more information to your question?

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Yo T.,

I think there's more to your story than you're sharing with the ladies of mamapedia. I can't help but think you're looking for a panel of validators to win points or an argument with your wife over some sort of questionable incident involving your daughter.

There's no way anyone on this forum can rightfully judge whether it is appropriate for your daughter to sit on your lap, let alone your father's lap without knowing fully the circumstances that would cause your wife so much alarm that you would both argue rather than come to a consensus.

I think most parents who have healthy relationships their children know and understand where to put limits, and more importantly can reach a concensus together. Healthy people "know" what is right and wholesome and what isn't when it comes to affection with others. Furthermore, those of us in healthy relationships with thier spouse communicate regularly about what they as a couple feel is safe and appropriate behavior around children and others, and will work together to establish healthy boundaries and expected norms to live by within the home and when dealing with others.

I think it odd that you want a check list of whether it's okay when reading a book or watching a movie, alone or in public. Most know that pedophiles don't use check lists when they groom a victim...and are very much opportunists when it comes to grooming their victims. Locations don't matter if the person is doing something they shouldn't be while the child is sitting on their lap, or the adult person is, as another poster mentioned, predisposed to temptation if a child is seated on their lap, regardless of circumstances. Many pedophiles will defiantly test limits in front of people to see how much they can get away with, before they act...and that can include subtle inappropriate physical contact, and sometimes this can involve having a child sit on their lap as one way to work toward something more serious in nature all the while gaining the trust of the child and to deceive others.

With that said, I think it may be telling that you feel a need to garner the support and opinion of other women than your wife to support some argument you are having with your wife. If you and your wife have a good understanding about something like this, you should have no need to go to other women to gang up on her to prove a point. It has been my experience, that very few circumstances or opinions trump a mother's gut instincts about their children and their safety. You wife must have seen something she didn't like, or thought was inappropriate, and it sounds like you need to talk with her about why she thinks it was wrong. If necessary, you may need to get professional guidance from a therapist if the discussion means arguments and not coming to an acceptible agreement of what is appropriate.

With that said, I think it's safe to say that if your wife thinks your daughter shouldn't be sitting on you or your father's laps, regardless the situation, she's probably right and probably has good reason to do so. There is usually a very "valid" reason when a mom sounds the alarms, and you should take heed...and if necessary seek counseling if you discover that there are issues with establishing appropriate boundaries...especially if you are finding yourself on the defensive end of things, and don't understand why.

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I really think it is odd that you are asking this question...unless you or your wife were molested as a child and are naturally uneasy about the situation. I find nothing sexual or suggestive about a child, regardless of their age, sitting on a loved ones lap!! My daughters(now grown with children of their own) sat on their Daddy's lap for as long as I can remember..in fact I wouldnt be surprised if they still did so today!!! Sitting on a relatives lap, especially for a toddler is something like hugging or kissing...just a sign of affection and love.
Relax Dad...don't try to regulate every move your daughter makes. If you act like there is something strange about it...then she will think so too!!

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Seriously??? She's a little girl! I pray this child is getting cuddling and affection. You make a list of rules for every birthday? I'm thinking you should be making a list of parenting classes you can take.

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Is there some reason that you think it's inappropriate? Because otherwise, this question just seems ridiculous to me. Are you sexualizing this behavior? Children sitting on adults' laps = innocent affection in my book. Why would you place a time limit of love?

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Hi T.. I still sit on my dad's lap sometimes and I'm 33. My daughter is 7, and still sits on laps all the time. I say let them be little kids as long as you possibly can. Getting affection from them is precious and so short lived. a 3 year old is nowhere near close to any kind of affection being inappropriate. Plus, you guys are FAMILY, let her be a kid. If my 7 year old decided she's too old to sit on me or her dad's lap I would be devastated, and I know she'll get there sometime in the next few years, so I intend to enjoy every minute of her now.

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She's THREE!!!!! She should be be sitting on their laps for many years.

Unless you think there is an issue with you or her grandfather being inappropriate, there is NO reason to even consider it. I remember sitting on my dad's lap for years. And even as a teenager I would crash down on him for a hug and a kiss before taking off to do something else.

She will decide when too old is too old.

I have to be honest. This strikes me as a bit of an odd question. She's three....needs lots of snuggles and hugs from family and wants to feel safe and secure. I think limiting that is certainly going to send her the message that there is something inherently inappropriate about relationships with men. And her relationship with men in her family is completely different than her relationship with men that are not related to her.

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I don't think she's ever too old to sit on daddy's lap if she wants to. If a grandfather or an uncle was initiating lap-sitting and it makes her or you uncomfortable, then I would stop it. My 6 year old is pretty affectionate and if I see her hanging on someone too much and think it might be annoying them I just tell her to come and help me with something or whatever.

My MIL recently remarried and I prefer that my children not sit on his lap because I don't know him very well and it makes me uncomfortable. If they sit on his lap I either redirect them to something else or tell them to come sit with me. I try not to make a big deal about it.

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I agree the age to stop is whenever the parties involved feel uncomfortable, unless you have concern about the integrity of the person whose lap she is sitting.

I have fond memories of sitting on my uncle's lap and these memories are very dear to me.

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I'm almost 39 and if I didn't think I'd crush my dad's lap, I'd still sit on it. My daughters are 7 and 9 and they sit on their daddy's or grandfather's lap all the time. It's time to stop only when they get too heavy. Unless you suspect there are not-innocent ulterior motives involved, that loving bonding should be cherished for as long as possible. The whole not-innocent ulterior motives thing is a whole other issue and would require a different answer. If you think there's potential for inappropriate behavior on your or her grandfather's part, the answer is: your daughter should NEVER sit on your or her grandfather's lap. Enjoy your precious little girl for as long as possible!

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It's too early to worry about this unless your fathers are giving you any cause for concern.

Is this issue because you are men? You are family. Just make sure that your fathers are always lovingly appropriate, like you as her father, and also a man, are.

All my best to you,
D.

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I am 28 and still sit on my Dad's lap

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I remember I was heartbroken when my dad started telling me I was too heavy to sit in his lap... I was probably 8-10. I would still lay on him, etc. even in a restauarant, etc. I never find it strange when I see an older girl sitting in her dad's lap.or even a grown woman for that matter. I find it very sweet and I know that they are very close. Personally, I think Father's/Daughter's and Grandfather's Daughters have very special relationships, and it would be sad to have her stop until she felt uncomfortable doing it. Now, if there were an uncle, etc. that you got a strange vibe from, for sure.. I wouldn't have her sit in his lap.. but for her own daddy... don't stop letting her.. I think it would really crush her. Eventually she will tell you she is too big, and it might even make you sad! :)

Good luck!

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Are you kidding me? Why are there new rules each birthday? She is going to grow up hating her birthday, 'cause every year there are new and ridiculous rules!!
Why would it even be a question (at age 3) if she can sit on your or her grandfather's lap??? That seems really, really strange to me!
Hug your daughter, love on her -- I sure hope she's receiving enough love!

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There is no age.
I have a picture of myself sitting on my dad's lap at my wedding reception. And it wasn't done for the pictures.

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You're over thinking. Let her sit on yours and her Grandpa's laps as long as she wants.

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Oh wow, I think you have a long time till it is any issue. In fact, I think until she showed that she wanted a bit more space, I wouldn't worry about it at all. My mother told me my grandfather stopped hugging on her around puberty. She said it hurt her feelings bc she didn't understand why, now as grown woman she was able to figure it out, but at the time she had no clue. So I think it is fine for her to cuddle with you, sit in your lap, hold her hand, give you kisses, all that good stuff. She is your daughter, and at this tender age should have 100% access to daddy's lap in my opinion. And as she ages, I think hugs and lots of arm squeezes and hair strokes will always be appropriate. She will get out of your lap when she is ready;) Don't worry dad!!

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Unless something wrong is going on.... I don't know that there is an age. I would think untill you were too big to sit their. It normally works itself out naturally.

I know that my dad allowed me lay across his lap in the lazy chair while he rubbed my back till probably 10. I was so tall my legs were hanging off the side of the chair quite a bit.

I would forsure say 3 years old is more than the right age.

Also I'd really like to know more about whats on your list of what other things you have for her to do or not to do. Is she your only child? I am just thinking this is really odd and you both are putting way to much effort in to this. Have goals like teaching the ABC...or goals as to where you would like to take her to see new things, those are ok.

L. B.
www.GetOrganized.ws

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You're really thinking about this at three years old?! Of course 3 yo's sit on daddy and grampa's laps! You are trying to be too by the book. Relax a bit and realize every kid and situation is different.

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Let her decide when she is too big to sit on your lap. Little girls need their Daddies! It is not an issue unless you make it one. It would absolutely break her heart if you and Grandpa said she was too old to sit on your lap! Enjoy your baby while you can. They grow up way too fast! Also, she will never get too old to give you an innocent kiss either!
Little girls and even teenage girls need the loving attention of their fathers. Very, very VERY important!

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I've never heard of a "lap sit" age cut-off before? My answer would be for as long as your daughter wants to. I'm in my 30's and still do it!

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Why in God's name would you be worried about the appropriateness of your 3 year old daughter sitting on her father's or grandfather's lap? Are they on some sex offender's registry? Or are you one of those mothers who assumes every adult male is a paedophile and rapist? If you are raising her to be fearful of her own relatives, how is she EVER going to learn to trust others?

Why should birthdays come into it? Other than driving, which is ordnance based, you should base decisions on the child's maturity, abilities, sensitivities, etc.

I have to wonder what the world is coming to when parents don't want their 3 or 4 or 5 or even 6 or 7 year old to sit on their laps - oh, wait, I get it, you think someone else will think you're a child molester because you let your child have a close physical relationship with you!!!!

Yeesh.

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I am not saying this to be sarcastic or mean or gross or anything, but unless you or either grandfathers are a pedophile, you don't need to worry about it. I think it's fine. Seriously, pedophiles are just wired differently than us and having a little girl sit on a man's lap is no big deal for a normal man.

BTW if you decide to quit the lap-sitting, which is definitely your prerogative since you are her father and you know her best, you may also have to nix the Santa's lap and Easter Bunny's lap. Just be aware of that.

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I asked this question not too long ago about my SD who is now 9. We've decided that we are not putting an age on it, but more of a situation thing. She doesn't sit on daddy's lap when he's not in the mood for lap sitting (maybe it's really hot or he's not feeling well). She doesn't sit on daddy's lap when he's trying to do something else. For example, he was trying to have a conversation with a friend and she wanted to sit on his lap at a get-together. He said he was talking to a friend, and gave her a hug and a kiss and sent her on her way.

He also keeps the lap sitting short because she's getting heavy. Basically she knows now to ask, and my husband decides if he feels like it's a good time or not. So far it has worked and she hasn't been upset or anything.

Best of luck!

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Sitting on a parent/grandparent's lap is a way a child shows affection. Three years of age, in my opinion, is too young to say to a a child that they cannot sit on grandfather's lap. Are you including grandmother's lap too?
Unless there are other 'issues' involved then a child should always be allowed to sit on a parent/grandparent's lap unless the adult just doesn't want it.
My son is 9, soon to 10, and he loves my husband and I so much that he asks to sit on our laps, even in restaurants when we are done with our meal!
They grow up too fast! Take the affection while you can. Believe me, they will stop doing it on their own one day!

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I sat on my dad's lap until I was a teenager, not often and not for long periods of time.

I wouldn't end the cuddle time now at age three. Touch and affection are critical for a child's development especially between a father and daughter.

These are great questions to ask, and it shows what a loving father you are. Just trust yourself and your instincts.

Good luck!

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How sad. My 22-year-old and 13-year-old have no age limits on sitting on their dad's lap. I'm sure they wouldn't do it in a restaurant for goodness sake, but they wouldn't sit on my lap there either. Don't make your little girl grow up so fast.

Updated

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Dear T.:

I would say the age is up to the child, the parents and the situation. In other words, it will be different for everybody. If it child is physically too big for a lap but wants to cuddle, they'll sit close to get that hug. As kids get older they won't want as much lap time.

Go with what feels comfortable for you and what your child wants. When a child does not want to sit in a lap, don't force them to, even if they're little. If an older, big kid wants to sit in your lap and you're not comfortable with them doing that, have them sit close instead.

I wouldn't have an arbitrary age, personally. Your child will gradually not want to be in laps and will let you know when.

L. F., mom of a 14-year-old daughter

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The world we live in when we have to worry about children sitting in their parents/grandparents laps. My niece is 7 and still sits in my dad's lap and even mine. She is a child and needs comfort still. My grandpa when ever he visits I still will sit in his lap. Relax. Your girl is a baby still and will want to sit in your lap for years.
Oh to agree with the other ladies saying that they are 30 and still sit in others laps for comfort. I agree. When I was trying to decided to keep my son or not (I was going to place him) my ex (his dad) took me into his lap and we sat like that discussing. I admit it did comfort me.
In otherward It is up to you. If you don't feel comfortable, then don't. But I honestly don't thing that family that you trust shouldn't be allowed to enjoy a child sitting on their lap and your girl snuggling with them. I love it when my boy snuggles and my niece and nephews.

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First of all, I want to say kudos to you for asking the question you have. It shows you really care for your daughter and take your role seriously. I can empathize with wanting to know what's normal, because I had some "abnormalities" growing up. It's comforting to know what others in your "village" consider normal or abnormal, especially if you grew up with something you later learned was not normal. Not sure if that's an issue or not, but just wanted to say that before I give my response to your question.

Basically, IMHO, if your daughter, her grandfather, and you are comfortable with it - it's fine, and even encouraged!! If even one of those three is not comfortable with it, however, then it's not fine - and that's OK! It's not something to feel guilty about as long as your daughter knows your love through other affection (i.e. hugs). <3

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I'm 18 and I still sit on relatives' laps.

I think it all depends on your family and how close you are with one another. I am very close with my dad's side of the family. We all get together for games at least once a month, plus every holiday and birthday. I feel comfortable sitting on their laps whether I'm just being silly, I want comforting, there aren't any chairs left (It's a big family. Lol), or I want something. Haha. It's the complete opposite with my mom's side of the family. I don't get along with anyone on that side, and rarely see them. When I do see them I barely say a word, and force myself to at least be polite. So I would never sit on one of their laps.

I'm going to go with what seems to be the majority decision of responses you have gotten so far and say for now don't worry about it. In a few years (Like when she is 8 or 9), it may become a 'only at home' sorta thing but it is definitely not something you need to worry about now.

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You have received a lot of great advice. I agree with those that say unless there is a concern of inapproriate behavior, your daughter should be able to sit in your and grandpa's lap until she is no longer comfortable with it. I am 36 and like many of the others still sit in my Daddy's lap. I venture to say I would still sit in my Papaw's lap if he was still with us (unfortnately, the pics of me sitting in his lap in a towel after my baths end when I was 7 when he was killed in a car accident). My children (girls 14 & 6, boy 11) still sit in or lay their heads in mine, my hubby's, and our parent's laps at home and in public. It is a sign of affection, and especially with the 14 year old is a rare thing, so we welcome it.

Best of luck in your decisions... and don't worry what others think. Do what is right for YOUR child and YOUR family.

Kimberley

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As long as this isn't a type of sexual temptation for you she will never be to old for loving, non-sexual touch from her father. She NEEDS to know that you love her and what the appropriate ways for other males to show affection to her are. If she doesn't get healthy touch from you she'll go searching from other males as she gets older. If it makes you uncomfortable to have her in your lap sit next to her, hug around her shoulders, hold her hand, and say I Love You.

I would be less inclined to allow lap sitting in extened family though. You know your own heart/intentions but as much as you may love your family some may still have their struggles.

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Just shy of 30 years old the first thing I do when I see my mom's dad is go and sit in his lap.and give him the biggest hug I can. Now obviously I am not going to do that in the middle of a restaurant. To the best of my recollection I have never done that with my dad's dad, they weren't hugie lovey grandparents that way. At least for us it will always be appropriate for my children to sit in their grandparents lap for stories and hugs. Now at the dinner table they need to sit by themselves. That is true for my 1 year old. My children ages between 7 years and 18 months will still sit in my parents lap but have never sat in my husbands parents laps. More then it is about a rule it is about what everyone is comfortable with.

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My daughter is almost fifteen and is five inches taller than I am, and she still will come and sit on my lap. Of course, after a while my legs fall asleep.

I don't think there is an appropriate or inappropriate age for children to stop sitting on their parents' lap. It is really a matter of comfort level and not appropriateness. If the child is not comfortable they will stop and the same for the parents. Although my daughter will stop plop down on my lap, my eleven year old son will not, nor will he allow any public displays of affection other than ruffling his hair. Maybe.

Good luck!

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I understand exactly where your coming from with this question. I have been told by older mothers that it is inappropriate for a little girl to do and the reason is simple...everybody doesnt have a childs best interest in mind....in other words some men and women too can be turned on by children. As sad and gross as it is it's true. With out me having to say much more about it I think if you have any commen sense you can read between the lines. I have a 2 year old and thats a "no no" without question. Lets be real moms and dads...there are some sick people in this world.

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I also think its odd to ask this question. I dont see why it would be such a big issue, she is only 3! That being said I am shocked at how many said they still sit on their daddy's lap at 30! Wow! To each its own but I think its really innapropriate to sit on a man's lap even if its your dad much less another male relative when you are thirty, hey I guess every one has different limits and boundaries but I definitely think its not appropriate. I have a daughter who is almost 9 and I have taught her to not sit on any male's lap when she turned 7, I dont see the need. She doesnt need to sit on anyone to be comforted, a hug or the reassurance of love and support by her parents and family should be sufficient. She can sit on my lap anytime! LOL

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Never! Grandfathers don't live forever. I can't believe you are asking this. Are you just messing with everyone or are you serious???

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You have been given some pretty good answers, and let me just add that I sat in my dads lap that I can remember until 10 or 11 and then I did a couple off times as an Adult on special occassions and we had a good relationship. If he was still on this earth I probably might still sit in his lap.
Those were happy memories (bonding) for me. Cherish this time with your babies, they are grown too soon!

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I sit on my male (and female) relatives laps and I'm 30, but not very often, for me it's a physical comfort thing, I'm not a very big person (5'5" and 115) but it's still hard to duck out of the way of someone's chin and not block their view of everyone else in the room, plus the whole leg going to sleep thing and no one in my family has any extra meat on them so it's a bit of a balancing act for me. Anyway, you get the idea.

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I sat on my dad's lap well into high school. Why do you ask at such a young age? Are there concerns? That clearly deserves a different answer but that does not appear to be the case here. I am more concerned that you ask as a father. There should never be an issue there as a parent. I think parents, especially fathers, create more issues in situations like this than are warranted. You should welcome a close, loving relationship with your daughter that is not overshadowed by clearly out of norm "rules".

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I'm 30 years old & still occasionally sit on my dad's lap. We have some of our best talks at this time.He will always be my daddy & I will always be his little girl.

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I think it's silly to even think of such a thing...age appropriate for sitting on daddy or grandpa's lap??? What is this word coming to? As long as the father and grandfather isen't a pervert why would this even come to light? Your daughter is 3 for goodness sake!! I am 28 yrs old and I never had a father he is a complete looser, I did have a grandfather who was a father to me sadly he passed 6yrs ago I would give anything to sit on his lap and enjoy one of our talks or listen to him tell me how proud he is of me as a wife and mother. I have a 1yr old son right now and I hope he never thinks there is an age where he can't sit on my lap...(course I know when he's like 15 he wouldn't be caught dead doing it, because it won't be cool...lol) but point being I want him to always know mamas arms and lap will always be there for him. My husband and I are expecting again and if this is a girl I would never put an age limit to when she can sit on her fathers lap. I'm sorry but this question is insane!

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I think as long as she still wants to sit on your lap you should enjoy it. Kids grow up too fast, I would allow her to hang on to her innocence as long as possible. There will come a time that she is way to cool to sit on your lap, hold your hand, or kiss you good bye in front of her friends, don't let that happen too soon. Let her decide when she is too old to sit on your lap. There are however times when it does become weird in public. When she's in 5th grade and wants to sit on your lap at a school function, I might discourage that, but until then I wouldn't worry about it. As long as everyone involved is comfortable with it, let her get that cuddle time in!

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This is one of these things that resolves itself. I do think it is a little silly not to let your young daughter share a relationship that includes lap holding at this young age...unless you are dealing with adults you don't trust. But if you trust her grandfathers, then let this resolve itself naturally.

My sons sat in their grandfather's laps until they were 11. They read stories together, drove the tractor together, etc. That lap was a place was a place of safety and love. When they hit about 11, they didn't feel comfortable with the fit of the lap anymore, so they began to sit beside. I have a niece, 13, who still sits on her grandfather's lap for driving lessons and other run things.

To limit that kind of loving relationship is a mistake in my opinion. Sitting in a lap is not sexual with a child unless you are dealing with a pedophile. Are you? If the answer is no, then worry about something else because this will resolve itself on your daughter's timeline.

VickiS

1 mom found this helpful

OMG, I can't believe this question. What does this paranoia stem from? My kids will always know that they have a spot in mine or their dad's lap... they are 10 and 8, but even if they were 28, it would be fine. It is your child!
And a 3 year old is still just a BABY. My daughters get their snuggle time with me and their dad every single night. Enjoy it. As far the grandfather, your child will innately know when she has outgrown lap time. No need to restrict it. Dang.

1 mom found this helpful

I am daughter in my 40s and still sit on my Dad's lap! So the answer is: there is never an age to stop... :-) Best wishes and God bless!

1 mom found this helpful

T.,
I'm wondering if you're feeling as if this is inappropriate, or if you're concerned about how others may perceive this. I'm 28 years old, and I still will sit on my father's lap.
My daughter just turned 3 on the 17th (Saturday), and I'd be devastated if my husband or father suddenly said she wouldn't be able to sit on their laps anymore... But with the same token, if I thought anyone had ill/sexual intentions with my daughter, she certainly would not be in contact (much less on their laps).
I think it's important to allow our children to be children, and not impose adult sexual standards, norms, perversions on them. Three year olds are not supposed to understand those things, they are children, and they need to be allowed to be innocent and have a bond, love, and connection with their parents. She deserves to be able to sit on your lap, until one or both of you decides it's not for you both any longer. And even then, there needs to be a candid, honest conversation about why it is being discontinued. The last thing you want is for her to think she's done something wrong. She should never feel shame for the love and bond you two share.

-T.

1 mom found this helpful

I let my grandkids make that choice. There comes a time when
these things are gone as part of growing up and as long as
they feel safe and loved they will do it. There is nothing inappropriate
about sitting in Daddys lap or granddaddys lap.
I never knew my grandparents however I never remember sitting
in dads lap but do Mom's. The last t ime I sat in her lap was the
year before she died. Why because it always meant a place of
comfort to me. So let the child decide as far as you and as far
as grandpa as long as you dont suspect anything wrong then
just say things like becareful and dont hurt grandpas legs or
when it starts to be uncomfortable physically for him due to
age or illness. Always watch for inapproipriate activity on
the part of grandpa if something is suspected watch how
she plays with dolls with no one is watching. If you do think
it is inappropriate then that means something has your hackles
up and then it should stop right away and not at a certain age.
My 10yr old granddaughter still sits in mine and her moms
lap on occasion and especially if she isnt feeling well. Its a
source of comfort to her. My 6 yr old grandson doesnt do it
so much anymore though the hugs and kisses everytime he
sees me continues. Hope this helps
A.

1 mom found this helpful

I don't think there is really an age. It's just timing. I think my dad about two weeks before he passed away 4 years ago had me sit on his lap and just held me and told me how much he loves me. As long as there is nothing inapproprate gong on there is no reason she should not be able to sit on your lap. I know my 8 year old son still sits on my husband's lap sometimes. Mine too when I will let him. But he's gettinjg to heavy for me. And my 11 year old son will sit on my lap sometimes too if I am in a chair that I can hold him on. He will also sit on my mom's lap. I see no reason to not let a three year old sit on either one of ya;ll laps.

Good luck and God bless you with what ever choice you decide!!

1 mom found this helpful

My daughter is almost 7 and still sits in her gp lap sometimes there is no father figure though

I have a 26 year old niece who will still crawl in her dad's lap (or her mom's) to love on them...not in public or even all the time, but it happens. I think with dads and grandddads, it never becomes in appropriate if it's just that kind of affection. I've never been a crawl in the lap girl, or I'd still crawl in my dad's lap too. I think your little girl will know when it's not right, if ever, and will control that herself. (unless like some of the other posts say, that there is some reason for you to feel uncomfortable about it)

If the affection is simply affection and not attraction- I don't think it ever becomes inappropriate, really. Little girls should be able to express genuine affection towards males without worrying about it being appropriate. Unless there is a fear of sexual response from you or grandpa, I wouldn't worry about it at all.

I hope my daughters feel free enough and secure enough to express their affection for their father without worrying about such things. I'd like for them to understand that affection does exist without sexual context.

I loved my father so much I can't remember when I didn't sit on his lap. When I was sad as a child I would sit on his lap with my thumb in my mouth he made me feel better about myself when it seemed nobody liked me. When my feelings were hurt he encouraged me. He was there when my sons were born he loved them equally they too sat on his lap my dad was the greatest man I knew. The last time I sat on his lap he was 84 and I was 50 It was my turn to encourage him and let him know he would always be in my heart and that I would always love him, you see, he was leaving me all alone. I was his only child named after him G.; My daddy .(.*_~.). How great he was.

You really must be joking! I can't believe that you feel it is inappropriate for your 3 year old to stop sitting on grandpas lap! Does that mean she can't be held by daddy either? I have 11 grandkids, 6 of them are girls 15 to 2 years of age. I would say that your daughter should be the judge, but if your fathers have been inappropriate with you, then I guess they should NEVER sit on their lap. All kids should feel comfortible with their grandparents hugs and kisses on the cheek and sitting on their lap. I think by the age of 8 my grand-kids pretty much stopped on their own, but every once in a while they still want to sit with grandpa or dad or grandma or mom.

I sat in my grandpa's lap after I was married. I think it just depends on you and your relationship with the men in your daughter's life.

My 14 year old daughter was told by a Child Protective Services (in Virginia) investigator that she was too old to sit on her step-father's lap.
We're trying to find out if there is some statute which says this or if this women is just giving her gut feeling based on the abuses she has seen.

She is 3. She is a long way from being inappropriate when sitting on grandpa's lap. I assume that you are reasonably sure that the grandpa's are good men without inappropriate urges. Having covered all of that, I think you should leave it up to her. I don't know if you have other children, but by the time my daughter was 5 she had very definite ideas about what constitutes appropriate behavior to the opposite sex, to the point where she even digs her heels in a giving her dad a kiss on the cheek...'because he is a boy and she doesn't kiss boys'. Her growing sense of personal space will lead her to choose her own more independent seating arrangement.

That way you won't have to feel like you have forced an artificial sense of propriety on someone who can't even spell the word. Just enjoy watching her make her own rules and become her own very interesting personality.

whenever she wants. chances are she is going to go through a big girl stage when she doesn't want to sit on your lap and you're going to miss it. enjoy this kind of closeness while you can. my son is only a yr old and at that stage where he would rather be crawling around exploring than being held, and my husband was telling me yesterday how he misses when the baby would fall asleep on us.

I'm a mom of two girls...now 7 and 4....My 7 year old plopped upon dad's lap last night at church while the little one was with me....she still wants to be affectionate or loving with her father and I and I think that it's all in the vibes. We are really conservative. Seeing this last night I thought , when J. is a little taller "then" she wont be sitting on dad's lap any more....not really an age thing. If it's that innocent acceptance and love from a man that is not driven from any sexual aspect then what's wrong with that? Why wouldnt you want to hold your daughter to read or whatever until she was "too big to do so". I guess a petite child might get more lap time. Maybe your thoughts were age related, but since you mentioned this only pertaining to dad and grandfather I'm not for sure where you're coming from. I would sort of think treat mom's the same way....when to stop sitting on mom's lap or climbing on grandma as well? I certainly think a 4 year old can be held. It's just fun to hold them and talk with them and see their little faces, give a tickle. My husband and daughter next to me just made me feel happy that our daughter is close with us and affectionate in a positive way. Children need to feel loved and know what appropriate affection is. So I feel basically love that is innocent and without sexual nature of anykind is fine. I enjoy being close to my girls to read or watch a movie, why wouldnt dad.? I do agree at a restaurant is not a good place....just common sense...go with what feels right for you. When she gets to be a teen, I dont think she'll hop on dads lap as that would be way uncool. So hopefully appreciate those moments of bonding and appropriate affection. Let's keep loving our girls and boys sweet and innocently as it should be. Then hopefully they will pick a mate in their future that is the same way.

I am 32 yrs old and I still sit next to (as close as I can) my dad at holidays and snuggle up to him. We love each other and don't see each other often enough... Honestly, there is no age limit to showing appropriate affection to your family members in my mind. I sort of think it is sad you all would think 3yrs old is too old to sit on laps. My daughter is 3yrs old and she LOVES to cuddle with her daddy. Especially right now while I am pregnant and she can't get on my lap comfortably she has really formed a bond with her daddy. And as for grandpa's I look at them as just an older daddy. My kids grandpa's are the most wonderful men who also love to cuddle her.

Honestly, you're kids will grow up so fast--don't rush it. Cherish these moments when they WANT to sit on your lap. There will come a time when they won't. I also think they learn by example and if they are prohibited from getting close at a young age they will carry that with them their entire life.

Good luck I hope you reconsider implementing your new rules.

Unless you have some reason to be worried that any of these men may behave inaapropriately, I would say that it is never a bad thing to sit in grandpa's lap!

Hi T. As long as there are no sexual intent and its clean then they should be aboe to sit on the dad or granddad lap for as long as they can. I have a 13 year old daughter and a 12 year old son and also 9 grandkids and they all sit on my lap even the boys and I still give them hugs and kisses. I tell them I need my hugs. But it is clean. We are a very affection people and I give hugs. So if you are confrotable with her sitting on your lap or theirs then its ok. Good Luck

I last sat in my father's lap the night before my wedding. I hope my daughter wants to sit in her daddy's lap at least as long.

That said, if YOU feel it is inappropriate for her to sit in your lap, then maybe it really is. If it makes you feel uncomfortable that would be make for a very awkward daddy/daughter time. What a shame, though. Girls need to get the right kind of affection from their fathers or they might seek the wrong kind elsewhere.

I also wanted to address the birthday rules. It seems a little odd to brainstorm a list of rules to begin implementing at each birthday. It makes more sense to create rules as necessary based on the child, her maturity, and the specific behaviors she is currently exhibiting rather than to base rules on her age. And while I agree there are some rules that should be clearly stated and set in stone (like no hitting, no running in the street), it seems that children do better with expectations (like - be respectful, be safe, etc.). As a teacher, I can say that all the books I read and the training I received regarding discipline support that idea - limit your classroom rules to around 3 rules and set clear expectations for appropriate behavior instead. A parent who creates lists of rules at each birthday is setting himself up for a very rebellious child in the later years.

At 17 years old I still crawl into laps. Female/male doesn't matter. When I'm sad I like snuggling up in Daddy's lap and he'll rock me. I have a best friend who is 21 and I consider him my brother. I sit on his lap and have snuggled with him on occasion (like during a panic attack). And when I say snuggle I mean sitting perpendicular to him with my head on his shoulder. I have always just been a snuggly person. I snuggle with cousins and brothers and such, some younger and some older than me. I don't see a problem. Sometimes I'll crawl into bed with my Momma and we'll spoon. If my dad is laying on the couch watching TV and I feel sad, I'll lay parallel to him. Is that inappropriate? No. I like to be held. If my bone-y butt didn't hurt my Grandpa I'd probably still sit in his lap. I think it has everything to do with relationship. I would never sit in my Uncle's lap, not because he gives me a creepy feeling, but because I haven't been all that close to him since I was 8. It's all about the type of relationship between individuals. Everyone has their own personal boundaries, which is why I wouldn't cuddle with my brothers but they will cuddle with our mom, and those have to be respected. I am very flowy with that. I am very in tune with myself and can tell when a touch has gone from innocent to threatening. Some people don't have that ability, like kids with autism, and may feel uncomfortable with any type of touch. I think it is unfair that in today's society any type of touch can be a warning sign. I have lived in an open home, thankfully, and have been able to express my affections freely. Hell, I think nothing of changing in front of my mother; why should I, she's my mother? You need to follow your daughters lead. If she's uncomfortable with anything once she's older it should be her call, but she's still young enough that it probably won't be anytime soon. A peck on the lips with my parents is also something that can be controversial but does not faze me.

Public:
This is when things get tricky. I wouldn't straight up snuggle in someone's lap in public... but perching on my 21yro friend's knee or my Daddy's knee or my Momma's is no big deal (whether there's an open seat or not). I probably stopped snuggling in public when I was getting close to 10, but again that's a personal decision. The intimacy (and again, I want to be clear that intimacy and sexuality are not the same) of snuggling and cuddling is done at home, in private or if I am very upset (like during a panic attack) because that's where I am relaxed and enjoy that type of comfort.

As affectionate a person as I am, I know boundaries. I would not go snuggle in someone's lap during a meeting or church or school. At a backyard bbq with friends and family? Heck Yeah! It's important to know the right settings and the right people. I would not sit in a strangers' lap (except Santa) or someone I was did not have an intimate (emotionally) relationship with. I think instead of teaching your daughter rules you should teach her good touch vs. bad touch. Teach her to recognize when something makes her uncomfortable. Because comfort is the defining factor. Make sure she knows that she decides when a touch has crossed a line. And honestly the most of that she won't need to think about for sometime. Put it in words she'll understand and at an age appropriate level. You can always build on it later to include more details when she's old enough to understand.

Good Luck and much Love,
L.

P.S. I think that this goes hand in hand with the Free Hugs issue and schools banning hugs.

T.,

First answer, I haven't stopped. You've gotten a lot of answers and I have to say that unless there is something (molesting/naughty) going on, then why put an age limit on sitting in grandpa/dad's lap. Girls need strong men in their lives to teach them how they should be treated.

Dr. James Dobson wrote a great book titled, "Bringing Up Girls". It discusses parents and grandparents role, but most importantly how a dad's role influences her character, decisions and even who she marries. Maybe you and your wife should read it. I still sit in my Dad's lap; however, my Dad never touched us inappropriately. I think he enjoys the hug more now that he's gotten older and we're raising our own families. My family has always been about showing love as well as voicing it. My girls 4 - 9 still sit in Dad, Grandpa, Granny and Mommy's lap. My 4 year old will climb into Dad or my lap to fall asleep. I love the closeness and hope that it will be something she remembers and cherishes when we're no longer around. I'm over 40.

First of all, I think is ok for you to ask this question, isn't what this website is for? I actually never think about it until you ask. When I ask my husband about it he said he hopes that longer then 3 for sure (my 2 year old is a total Daddy's little girl). I don't know why this came to your and your wife's mind, perhaps some past experience? or just wonder how other parents react to that in public?
I agree with everybody, is not much about a age but what the 3 (or other family members, like grandmas, uncles, etc).
If your concern is what other people think, like you can see many people in here don't find it odd (however sometimes we say one thing but when we actually see it we say other). But if your concern is because either you or your wife had been some how molested or just uncomftable when kids for a situation like this, I would let my kid decide but keep a close to her reactions and if she is ok, then feel blessed that she is just a happy child with lots of people that love her.

Interestingly, I just read my new employer's rules (a private school) and they prohibit kids sitting in laps at age three.

I agree with most postings ... it's not inappropriate at any time. My granddaughter is 9 and loves to sit with my husband, and my grandson is 12 and on rare occasions, he loves to snuggle up with me. I hope they never get to old for that, and to think that there should be a rule or a year that they have to quit doing that is beyond me. I am soon to be 50 and my dad passed away 2 months ago, 3 months ago, I sat in his lap (OK across the arms of his recliner, he was a little to frail for me to actually sit in his lap) and told him how much I loved him. God help me, if there was anything wrong with that, I felt so loved and it made me remember happy times as a child when I would sit in his lap when I was scared or just needed to be held. Believe me there were lots of times as a kid when I needed to be reassured and sitting in his lap (no mom around) was the best way to reassure us (he raised three girls) that everything was going to be OK.

Sixteen?

Don't even worry about that. When it's time, it will happen on its own.

Georgie, that's a beautiful story.

I am 40 yrs old...and up until my grandfather died 3 years ago, I sat on his lap, I sat next to him and I my older kids did too (they are now 21 and 17). He taught my daughter how to dance (2 step and waltz) and showed both of them how to fish...all while in some form or fashion on a lap or standing on feet.

Do not make this out to be a dirty thing. It is a shame that you even have to ask this question.

Across the board, teach your kids good touch and bad touch and it doesn't matter WHO that is.

I am sad that this is where we as a society have ended up...asking if it's ok for a child to sit on a grandpa's lap...

Sending good thoughts your way...

I have 3 girls. Ages 15, 9, and 5. They all still in the laps of grandfather and their dad. The 9yr old often snuggles in the recliner watching TV with her dad.

I have a question for you...how are you going to explain this to her grandfather? "I think it is inappropriate for you have our little girl sit on your lap.", "Why?", "Beause you might get turned on by her"...
Yeah, that will go over real well!!!
I think the only thing inapproporiate here is your mindset about appropriate relationships. This is YOU and her grandfather, not some stranger or her teacher even! Unless he or you is a proven pedophile or has shown inappropriate behaviors in the past to her or anyone else you are being a hover parent.
Let the chid live and love. Be there to protect her when she needs to be protected, not when you need to be a control freak.

I am a 31 year old woman and oh how I wish I could still sit in my Daddy's lap. A little girl never really grows beyond needing the love and protection of her Daddy and being held close sure tells a girl she's loved by that first special man in her life. Daddy. You are her Daddy and I bet she will always love to sit in your lap if your arms are open to her. :o)

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