Girl Scouts warn parents about kids hugging relatives this holiday season. Here’s how that went over …

Teaching children proper manners and etiquette is a major part of being a parent, but the Girl Scouts of America wants you to abandon that practice this holiday season.

In the current climate of sexual harassment and abuse allegations being levied against many prominent men in Hollywood and Washington, the group has advised that parents not push their kids to kiss and hug relatives.

“Have you ever insisted, ‘Uncle just got here—go give him a big hug!’ or ‘Auntie gave you that nice toy, go give her a kiss,’ when you were worried your child might not offer affection on her own? If yes, you might want to reconsider the urge to do that in the future,” it wrote on its website. “Telling your child that she owes someone a hug either just because she hasn’t seen this person in a while or because they gave her a gift can set the stage for her questioning whether she ‘owes’ another person any type of physical affection when they’ve bought her dinner or done something else seemingly nice for her later in life.”

And while it is probably wise to stat asking questions if your youngster has an aversion to a particular person, is it in their best interests to not teach them to show affection?

Developmental psychologist and parenting expert Dr. Andrea Bastiana Archibald said yes in the PSA featured on the website.

Image: Shutterstock

“The notion of consent may seem very grown-up and like something that doesn’t pertain to children, but the lessons girls learn when they’re young about setting physical boundaries and expecting them to be respected last a lifetime, and can influence how she feels about herself and her body as she gets older,” she wrote.

The scouts did not appear to have the same issues with hugging when a group of them met with former President Obama in 2015 and embraced him on the White House lawn.

The President talks with Emily Bergenroth, Alicia Cutter, Karissa Cheng, Addy O’Neal, and Emery Dodson, all six-year-old Girl Scouts, from Tulsa, Oklahoma. Image: (Official White House Photo by Pete Souza)

Responses to the PSA on social media varied.

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Carmine Sabia


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