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.
“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.
Responses to the PSA on social media varied.
just read a freaky article on the girl scouts site warning parents not to ask kids to hug their extended family at the holidays
our notions of human affection are so weird now that a grandma hug is rapey to some ppl
— subtweetive streak (@kellyrued) November 8, 2017
@BMS_Billy @BMS_Derek @BMS_Felix Girl scouts saying no pressure hugs? This is deal I have nieces who I hug to convay my love for them. There is nothing sexual about it. Eff the Girl scouts for that, it makes me feel like creep hearing this.
— Carlos Rey (@CarlosReyMedina) November 15, 2017
What is happening to this country? Insanity and mental impotence spreading like wildfire…
— Cheetoh (@Cheetoh734) November 18, 2017
Should be “He OR She doesn’t owe anyone a hug.” I know parents who force kids to hug people just because that person bought them a gift or just because they’re trying to force a connection. They punish the kids when they don’t. Even when the kid says they don’t feel comfortable.
— Nathan Dominguez (@NathanD_8) November 18, 2017
I’ve been saying this my whole life!!! https://t.co/QCkjt9brp6
— 97X (@97xonair) November 19, 2017
— Samantha (@AlmaAfroLatina) November 19, 2017
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