OK - imagine..... You're just minding your own business and someone comes up behind you and puts a cloth over your nose and mouth. Sounds like a scene in a terrifying movie, right?! So why do we do it to kids?
Somewhere along the line we must have had the idea that 'If we just do it quickly they won't have time to protest too much and the job will get done'. So we're pouncing on our kids with tissues. But it's not very respectful of us. We would NEVER do that to a friend so why do that to a child?
The solution: just ask them! "Can I wipe your nose?". Or - just give some warning: "I'm just going to wipe your nose for you". That way, your little one gets a warning that something is coming at their face and have the opportunity to refuse. It's going to mean you don't have to be as swift or as rough because they're not going to be squirming to run away because you warned them. You'd be surprised how much better the whole routine can be. On top of this - asking them is modelling great language around nose blowing. How else are they going to learn fab words like 'snot'?!
Let's think to the future. We want to raise our children to have bodily autonomy - to feel confident about self-ownership and giving/asking for consent. Those lessons start NOW. I know they're little and need us for basically everything but it takes no time at all to show a child the same respect you'd show a friend by letting them know what you're going to do next. They understand more than we give them credit for. We don't want to give the message "you must be passive whilst I do anything to your body".
Be your child's advocate. When I take August to the doctors, I hold him on my knee so that I can sort of fold him further away from the doctor to explain their next move before they do anything to him. "The doctor is going to put that on your chest to listen to your heart". Again - we wouldn't let a stranger lift our friend's top up and put something on their chest out of the blue?! This might mean asking friends and family to get your child's permission before they do things.
Are you asking before you do?