Why You Should Not Force Your Child To Hug Or Kiss Anyone

you should not force your child to hug or kiss anyone

Do you always ask your kids to hug or kiss anyone who visits your house even if they don’t want to? Or do you give them a choice? 

Forcing your child to hug or kiss a family member may scar them for life!

Stop forcing and start teaching them about CONSENT.

Consent is crucial

It is crucial to teach your child about consent. You shouldn’t insist on them even if it is their grandma or grandpa who wants to hug, kiss or pick them up. Why?

According to mental health experts, you should always make a child feel comfortable and secure, even if doing so upsets you and other family members.

Some parents insist on their kids even if they don’t want to, because they lack awareness of the possible negative outcomes associated with it. Today, consent and bodily autonomy have become a big buzz. Thanks to the digital world and virtual connections, every small and big concern comes into the limelight. 

More people are coming forward to share their personal life experiences and how we need to give children agency over their own bodies even if it means turning down hugs and love gestures from close ones. 

Read Child Sexual Abuse: 5 Reasons Why You Should Reveal It

A meme shared by – A Mighty Girl (a parenting site for daughters) from Safe Kids, Thriving Families, a child abuse protection charity- went viral. The caption “I am 5. My body is my body” speaks volumes. “Don’t force me to kiss or hug. I am learning about consent and your support on this will help me keep myself safe for the rest of my life.” 

The meme explains the hidden meaning behind the traditional family greetings. It highlights not to force kids to hug or kiss friends and folks. Telling your child to respond to physical affection shown by family members sends a damaging message about consent. A relative with perverted intentions can take utmost advantage, which can damage your child’s wellbeing. Because kids will grow up learning that their bodies don’t really belong to them.  and will develop the habit of ignoring their feelings or develop a wrong perception of what is right and wrong. 

“This leads to children getting sexually abused, teen girls submitting to sexual behavior so ‘he’ll like me’ and kids enduring bullying because everyone is ‘having fun” told Irene van der Zande (an expert on personal safety and violence prevention) to CNN.

Read Woman Explains Difference Between Rape And Consent To Men Who Still Don’t Get It

On the other hand, teaching children about consent and ownership of their bodies will prevent them from submitting to unwanted affection by near and dear ones in order not to upset a relative or disappoint a friend. 

The CNN piece by CNN piece by Katia Hetter suggests parents to help children to learn to say no. Katia explains the directive she gave her own daughter telling her, “I would like you to hug Grandma, but I won’t make you do it.”

You might wonder what’s wrong with hugging a grandma or grandpa. Yes, it is wrong, if it is happening against your child’s wish. 

Hetter says, “She doesn’t have to hug or kiss anyone just because I say so, not even me. I will not override my own child’s currently strong instincts to back off from touching someone she chooses not to touch. I figure her body is actually hers, not mine.”

Although it seems obvious, there are many parents forcing kids to be affectionate towards anyone and everyone. Sure, we all love kisses and hugs and kids too love giving them. But the point is –  “what sends the wrong message.”

Parents must value and regard the feelings of their children on this subject. 

61 thoughts on “Why You Should Not Force Your Child To Hug Or Kiss Anyone”

  1. I believe children to be excellent judges of character and can read the energy of people exceptionally well… have grown children who trust themselves and make wonderful friend and company choices. I always love watching how babies and small children react to people… dogs are good at it also. That is not a negative thing.

  2. I believe this may be the first post I will disagree with. You may deny hugs from strangers. But never from grandma and grandpa. That’s elder abuse. Lol. Our grandparents would rather die than be denied hugs from their grandchildren.

  3. How can it be right to force a child against there will to engage in any phydical contact with an adult regardless of the relationship . Then expect to turn around and tell them no means no .. stranger danger and intuition?? For me it’s the same with getting picture taken no means no it’s there body there right .

  4. Debbie Colapinto I still remember Bill and the father of the little girl who lived across the street from us. How that felt. It is as real to me today as it was in that very moment. Being a child and fearing for your life and being terrified to the point of becoming physically paralyzed…but no one listens because your just a small person with a small voice.

  5. Love this. Wish more adults weren’t offended the kids refuse. I think it means more when the kids come to you to give you a hug or a kiss anyway then if you were to make them.

  6. It IS a big deal, Theresa Chaltraw. It sends a message to the child that they must submit to this regardless. Grandma and Grandpa or others should be made to understand why the child’s wishes must be respected.

    1. it really is such a sad old world , so parents and grandparents can jog on then . teaches the kid how not to interact with parents . its all gone limp wristed and p.c mad . lets kids be kids and grow up fucking normal play in the garden get dirty and show love and affection so when they grow up they grow up normal . teaching this to a child is like teaching them theres no love or compassion in the world . what happens when i pet dies ? the parents tell the kid to man the fuck up dont hug me ????

    2. Kevin Routley I remember my friend from 5th grade who had to hug her grandfather every time he came over. Her parents made her hug the man who raped her for 4 years. Children should never be forced to hug or kiss other people.

    1. Not only those with Autism do not like being touched. Children are susceptible to feeling vibes which alert them to adults they feel a certain danger about and when we make them disavow that second sense or intuition we disarm them of the ability to alert us to danger and make them question themselves. Besides physical contact should not be forced, especially when it comes to children doing so with adults. Unless it is a parent, or grandparent (might be questionable) a child should not be forced to give of themselves recklessly.

    1. It’s really not…then when they are 12 or 13 and Boys touch or kiss, the girl allows it to happen because she’s USED TO feeling uncomfortable and disgusted by relatives touch!! It’s just a ‘fact of life’ condoned by her parents that she tolerate the repulsive feelings from unwanted touch!!

      It makes her complacent to rape/ or going further than she’s comfortable with!!

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