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Dear David Coleman: My young son keeps rubbing his brother's feet. Is this normal?

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Sensory comfort-seeking is not unusual

Sensory comfort-seeking is not unusual

Sensory comfort-seeking is not unusual

Q I have two children. My older boy is four and the younger one is two. My younger boy loves touching my feet, or rubbing them, with his own feet. I don't mind him doing this, but he does it to his older brother too, who doesn't like it. I need to know is this normal behaviour or not? I'm worried about him. 

A Children engaging in sensory comfort-seeking, using touch, isn't unusual. Lots of children like to suck their thumbs, or they have a favoured toy or fabric that they might touch or hold to comfort and soothe themselves.

Perhaps the fact that your son's preference is to touch feet with his feet may be less typical, but the reason he does it is likely to be for the same comfort-seeking reasons.


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Since there are likely to be very good reasons why your teen gets angry right now, it might be best to stop punishing her