it is a rite of passage during the holidays – children giving hugs to family members they may only see a few times a year. The Girl Scouts recently published an article on their website, “She Doesn’t Owe Anyone a Hug. Not Even at the Holidays” saying parents may want to reconsider that timeless tradition.
Melissa Breazile is the marketing director for Girl Scouts – Nebraska Spirit and says they want to raise awareness that children should not be forced to give hugs and kisses if they don’t want to.
Breazile says, “These are simply suggestions based on research we have done and other studies as well to really think about what it means when we are asking children to, forcing children to touch other people and they are not comfortable doing so.” She says many organizations make similar suggestions and they wanted to also put ideas out there on how to raise strong girls who are confident and have the rights to their own body growing up.
Breazile says, “We think children should have their own individual choice in how they express their affection.”
The article goes on to say many children are natural huggers and don’t mind getting a squeeze from aunts and uncles while others may be reluctant to do so. It says there are many ways children can show appreciation that include a smile, a high five or blowing a kiss instead of physical contact. The article can be seen at girlscouts.org.