Why do women/moms pinch kids' cheeks?

What is it with chicks and pinching cheeks? Is it a form of aggressive behavior, or is it just an affectionate way to tease them?

It’s not only done by women, it’s thankfully not done by all women and it is agressive (abusive) behavior. It is done by the kind of person who finds it funny to hurt a child; not so funny when one of the child’s grown-ups snarls “she has clearly said ‘no’. That means NO. Get your hands off her or I’m calling the cops”.

I’ve never seen it done in real life and can’t imagine the point. Movies have portrayed it as something that kids hate.

Oddly, I’ve never seen a movie or TV portrayal of ‘got your nose.’ I’ve seen that in real life, but it isn’t uncomfortable.

Yeah. grandpas do it too, and it’s just as mean and annoying. Hell, I don’t even hug kids unless they want to. I hate forced affection of any kind. I ask the child to shake hands - that is civility, after all.

That seems a little over the top…

I have twice stopped my Mother from doing this to Celtling. Mom is a very sick person, and yes, she thinks cruelty is funny, and folks who complain about it are “poor sports.”

I had a Great Aunt who used to do it to me. It hurt. I can’t think of anyone else I’ve seen do it.

True, it seems to be an old people thing as well as a thing certain women do. I think it’s somewhat old fashioned nowadays probably. I think of Sixteen Candles.

Well bless your heart. You aren’t from around here, are you?

When the child has said “no”, and the old hag has taken that as permission to pinch both cheeks, and the child has said “NO!” and tried to run away? Nah, it wasn’t. People who’d witnessed the scene offered their cellphones.

It is never too early to learn that you can decide how people touch you. Or too late to learn that “no means hellthefuckNO”.

Of course, there are Dopers who famously refuse to do even that.

Please don’t summon her into this thread.

Define “pinch.” No, really. :slight_smile:

The reason I say that is I’m a mom and I’m guilty of gently taking my five year old daughter’s cheeks between forefinger and thumb, but not compressing, which I would hardly define as abusive. It’s something we’ve done since she was a baby. If she said, “Stop it,” I wouldn’t do it, but she runs over to me and yells, “Look, mommy! Cheek!”

If, on the other hand, we’re talking about, “rip your face off” type handling, then yeah, that’s annoying at best and even cruel at worst, particularly if the kid has expressed that he/she does not want it to happen.

When I think of pinching cheeks, though, it’s pretty damn gentle compared to what is described here. People actually do that?

Yeah, some of my mother’s fucking bitch friends used to do that. Hard.

And yes, they thought it was funny/cute.

Oh brother! I’m sorry you had to deal with that but do you really think that’s standard for the people who DO pinch cheeks?

I had it done to me a hundreds of times when I was a kid by various people. And not one of them did it to the point where it caused pain. It was annoying to me, not because it hurt, but because; “eww, old people are gross” I’d rather they didn’t touch me at all.

And don’t even get me started on the whole thing where mom licks the napkin to clean my face. Gah!

Same reaction here.

In my family, it was something we did mostly because only babies and very young kids have the kind of cheeks you can pinch. Once they get old enough to lose that baby fat, there’s nothing to pinch. So it’s sort of affirmation that, yes, the baby is still a baby. Nonsensical, but no more harmful than tousling a boy’s hair. Plus, you can’t exactly shake hands or hug yet… it’s a way of making contact. By the time a kid got old enough to complain, we’d stopped doing it to them.

Pinching to the point of pain - could that be designed to make the cheeks turn pink, which would make the kid look more healthy? Still seems like a warped thing to do.

They’re checking to see if the kid’s ripe yet.

It’s called “cute aggression” and it’s a recognized psychological phenomenon.

From here:

Really, to find out if they’re fat enough for good eatin’ yet. :wink:

This is amazing.