The idea is that when we force children to hug or kiss adults — especially grown men — when they don’t want to, we’re sending a not-so-subtle message to young minds about their bodies not being their own. Some of my most visceral, unpleasant memories as a kid are about being forced to kiss or hug relati…
Yup. Also, we’re teaching them that someone else’s “want” is more important than theirs. And when a child says no and the adult grabs them anyway, we teach them how to respond to no — take it anyway.
It’s important to teach kids that they have autonomy, and that their comfort level matters — I’m glad this message is becoming more common. When I taught it to my daughter a couple of decades ago, it wasn’t very common and my entire family was terribly offended.