This year, the Girl Scouts are putting out a special holiday message to parents. They are urging parents to not force children, specifically young girls, to hug relatives and friends this holiday season. They are challenging parents to better protect their children's personal space by giving them their right to consent to a physical embrace or not. This has started a conversation that needs to be had and Psychologist, Dr. Lisa Damous leads us in that discussion in an interview on CBS News.
Dr. Damour mentions that in forcing a growing girl to give a hug and receive a hug that she is not consenting to, we are teaching that she owes people affection. The major concern is that forced hugs are invasive. It can potentially give the wrong idea about what consenting really means.
She poses the idea that even though unknown guests may be relatives they are a stranger to a child. It can create conflict in a young girl's mind if she is not allowed a to decline the notion to hug a relative that she may not know.
With their stance, they offer a solution that applies to both boys and girls. They mention that the perfect way to identify your child's boundaries are is by simply asking, "How do you like to say hello?" or "Do you want to give a hug?". After the child has shared how they prefer to meet new people, it is then the parent's responsibility to communicate that to guests. It is not rude to express what makes your child most comfortable. Let new relatives know if your child likes to greet new people with a handshake, high-five, or even a hug if that is what they are comfortable with.
This topic has initiated conversations that we should be having with children. What do you think? Do you think that a child should be okay with giving hugs? Is it rude to not want to hug a family member?
WATCH: The Girl Scouts Give A Holiday Message
Credit: Youtube/CBS News
Source: Youtube/CBS News
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