"My kid won't kiss Grandma."
Worth a battle?
Nah, says psychologist Debbie Glasser, Ph.D., founder of Newsforparents.org. "I don't recommend forcing toddlers to kiss relatives. That approach tends to backfire and make children less likely to greet their relatives and more likely to make a scene." Anyway, a coaxed hug is seldom sincere -- which misses the point in the first place.
Tactics to try: Warn your kid.
A better way is to prep her so she's not put on the spot: "Aunt Linda is coming to dinner tonight. She'd love a big hello!" Then, before you answer the door, prompt her: "Aunt Linda loves hugs, but even if you just smile, she'll be so happy to see you!"
Demo your own PDAs.
Nibbio's father resides in an assisted- living facility, where his fellow residents sometimes ask her toddler for a kiss. "I just laugh and say, 'She doesn't give kisses, but I do' -- and then I plant one on the person's cheek." Seeing you give hugs and kisses may help her become comfortable with the idea down the road.