Your daughter doesn’t owe you a hug

I saw a post with this title on Facebook… and yes, it goes for sons too, but oftentimes girls are taught to acquiesce to the wants of others and that needs to stop.

I remember numerous times as a kid feeling angry and like I wanted to punch something when I felt forced to hug people I didn’t know/sit on their laps/etc.

Now, do I think you should allow your child to be rude? No. You can require that they greet friends and relatives with a verbal hello, but you should never make your child hug anybody. Period. It teaches hem that their body autonomy does not belong to them, but to others, which is already so reinforced by society for girls that parents need to break the trend early.

Children innately want to please their parents, so if you tell them they have to hug someone and they don’t want to, you’re creating a tension for them that they don’t need. Mom and Dad are making me do something that feels wrong and unsafe… what does that mean? Tensions like that can arise and be addressed in healthy ways with children, but this particular situation can so easily be avoided.

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