The phrase “we look with our eyes, not with our hands” echoes through my childhood. This was told to me over and over again as my eyes lit up with joy and my fingers reached out to touch whatever fascinating object was before me.
Enter my current problem: Peanut has the same wide-eyed wonder and desire to touch as any other child. This has made getting through stores challenging, as he wants to touch everything, just like any other kid. Even as my childhood maxim comes to my lips, however, I realize that it’s inappropriate: my kiddo looks with his hands, not with his eyes.
Does anyone have suggestions on how to handle this? “Hands to yourself” doesn’t seem to be working, and he knows enough to respond to a thoughtlessly-uttered “we look with our eyes, not with our hands” with a quick, “but I look with my hands, not with my eyes!” I need a way to explain to a very bright almost-4-year-old that there are times when it’s appropriate to touch everything in sight and times when it’s not, and to do so in such a way that I’m not thwarting his exploration of his environment as a B/VI child. Help?