Bored Panda works better on our iPhone app
Continue in app Continue in browser
BoredPanda Add Post

The Bored Panda iOS app is live! Fight boredom with iPhones and iPads here.

Everybody Needs To See This Controversial Viral Meme About Children And Consent
295points
User submission
49.8K
194.2K
Parenting, Social Issues5 years ago

Everybody Needs To See This Controversial Viral Meme About Children And Consent

Telling your child to hug or kiss a family friend or relative might seem like an innocent thing to do, but as this controversial meme points out, it could actually be giving your kids a dangerous message about the rules of consent.

“I am 5,” reads the meme’s message. “My body is my body. Don’t force me to kiss or hug.” It was posted on A Might Girl’s Facebook page alongside excerpts from an article titled “I don’t own my child’s body,” written by CNN writer and producer Katia Hetter. In it she argues that encouraging children to submit to unwanted affection is actually teaching them that their bodies do not belong to them, and that forcing them to touch people they don’t want to could actually leave them vulnerable to sexual abusers. The post has since been liked more than 88k times and shared by over 162k people. It’s also started a dialogue on what parents should and shouldn’t be teaching their children. What do you think? Let us know in the comments below.

More info: Facebook (h/t: 22words)

This controversial meme has gone viral for its important message about children and consent

The post was inspired Katia Hetter’s post on CNN titled “I don’t own my child’s body”

In it she argues that forcing kids to show unwanted affection is teaching them that their bodies don’t belong to them, which could leave them vulnerable to abuse

The meme has started a dialogue about children and consent

A number of people agreed with the post and shared their own opinions and stories

Other people had different opinions however

And some shared their belief in the “hug, handshake or high five” option. What do you think?

194Kviews

Share on Facebook
You May Like
Popular on Bored Panda
Write comments
Herb Eaversmells
Community Member
5 years ago

I wonder how she feels about having her image and story plastered all over the internet?

Arty
Community Member
5 years ago

I suppose there is no need to ask permission for that...

Load More Replies...
Ana T.
Community Member
5 years ago

i a mom and i think this is a good idea. children often are force to do thing that they dont want to do and just because they are children their opinion dont matter

Darb
Community Member
5 years ago

This comment is hidden. Click here to view.

So we as parents are not allowed to tell our kids what to do!

Load More Replies...
Alusair Alustriel
Community Member
5 years ago

I witnessed at a family meeting from my fiancees side how a granddaugther was forced to hug their grandparents and she did everything to wiggle out from their arms asap. If the 5 year old kid sees them twice a year, they are strangers to her, and I am positive she doesn't grasp fully the family relations idea yet. i felt very sorry for her and I am sure that the hugh-high five-hello-handshake option is way better than what I had to see.

Joseph Caliri
Community Member
5 years ago

This article is a Huge eye opener. I was an abused child, had loving and caring parents, family and siblings. I wonder now had I been given this option how things would have been. I don't dwell on it, I am 43 and know now that I can offer this Choice to my neices and nephews as well as other children. Thank you very much for bringing this important issue to light. Blessings to all, main point no matter what and or how you feel towards article, is that we keep Children Safe!

Load More Replies...
Anonymous Hobiest
Community Member
5 years ago

For children within the Autism spectrum, this would be a cardinal rule. Our society ignores the needs of special children

Luca Plas
Community Member
5 years ago

Though I do agree for some children with autism this is something important, but children with autism can also hate it if they are put on a label that seems to give people the right to decide things for them before even knowing them. I am especially saying this for parents of young autistic children who should always remember not to do things because their child has autism, but because that is what their child needs.

Load More Replies...
Cheslyn McKay
Community Member
5 years ago

Love this article! Just recently my daughters great grandmother came over to our apartment and by the end my poor child was so distraught I felt so bad for her. Great grandma has no sense of boundaries even while my child was saying and eventually screaming no she continued making her give her kisses (I tried to tell her my daughter was saying no but ofc with old people they don't listen). My boyfriend returned later that evening from his job and asked how everything went so I explained everything. He then asked her if she enjoyed seeing great grandma to which she started to cry and scream watching our front door to see if she was coming back....my poor little girl is now scared of her and I don't blame her one bit! Affection must be earned...you can't expect my child to hug or kiss you when you've only seen her a total of 6 times in her life and don't even give her respect for her personal space. People think I'm wrong for giving her a choice but they're wrong for not understanding.

Frank Vallone III
Community Member
5 years ago

I'm very sorry your daughter was scared like that.

Load More Replies...
Sandra Sanynka
Community Member
5 years ago

I completely agree. I'm 29 and I suffer from social anxiaty desorder. For me it's two-sens feeling, because I hate the parents who tell their kids make a hug/kiss ME. I don't feel confortable with touching anybody, even the children, but I have to, because if I say no to the parents/kids I will look like heartless person

Lewis Macleod
Community Member
5 years ago

You shouldn't have to feel like people will judge you for not wanting physical contact with other people. I'm sure if you just say that you would feel uncomfortable doing so to the parent or even child then they will understand as long as you're polite

Load More Replies...
Bobbi Newell
Community Member
5 years ago

It's all about personal boundaries and comfort level. The mom states in her letter that she expects her daughter to be polite, and that she can high five or shake hands as an alternative. Adults have a say in their personal preferences; children should have the same opportunity.

Sven
Community Member
5 years ago

Can we make this the same for circumsicion?

get in
Community Member
5 years ago

This comment is hidden. Click here to view.

An uncircumcised penis is a health hazard and just plain gross. Besides, it is normally done at birth or soon after with people of the Jewish persuasion being an exception.

Load More Replies...
Laury M.
Community Member
5 years ago

This has been paramount to my relationship to my niece, and I was very glad to see that my siblings had the same idea. My sister's parenting style has always been very open and based on their ability to choose: they aren't forced to finish their plates if they really aren't hungry, they can choose what they wear, and they're consulted on a multitude of things. It's so much more encouraging for a child to see that they can decide on things and have those decisions respected, and explore the consequences of those choices. Of course, it's within reason.

Viviane Katz
Community Member
5 years ago

I'm not a big hugger of little kids. I find workarounds. Example 1: If I wanted to be affectionate with my pre-school nephew, I would say, "Sucky aunt!" He would bent his head forward and I'd kiss the top. Example 2: My husband introduced me to a couple with a 5-year-old daughter. I shook hands with the parent, then held out my hand to their daughter. She looked daggers at me for a few seconds, while hugging her toy dog closer. So I shook hands with the toy dog and said, "He gives a paw! Does he do other tricks."

Lori Thompson
Community Member
5 years ago

I'd like a sign that says, "I'm 53 and my body is my body. Don't force me to hug, kiss, or handshake." I have an aunt that STILL kisses me on the lips! I am a germaphobe and have always had a very large personal bubble. Mom says that, even as a baby, I wasn't much of a snuggler. My daughter is like me, and it means so much to receive a true hug from her. We respect each others' wishes. There are so many more ways to show acknowledgement and love than by touching. Fist bumps with strangers and friends, a flower or small gift for friends and family, and a smile for everyone.

guess
Community Member
5 years ago

"give affection only when YOU feel like it?" Um, hell yes? I'm not some mindless slave who must always live to make others happy. If they can't be happy with a "hello" or high five, it's their issue, not mine. And to impose that responsibility of making everybody happy, even when it requires you doing something you don't feel comfortable doing, upon a child is wrong.

Eli Lonn
Community Member
5 years ago

I wish i had that hug or high five rule. I love my family, but i hate hugs even ones from my mother.

Timothy D.
Community Member
5 years ago

When I was a kid I absouloutley hated being touched by people I didn't know, and I think this is an amazing idea.

Erin Fletcher
Community Member
5 years ago

Personally, as a young child this wasn't much of an issue. I was happy enough to give/receive physical affection; however, as I got older that changed. The problem then became that since I used to be very physically affectionate people expected that from me. While some family members recognized the change and have respected it, there are some (such as my mother) who have not. What I hate the most is when I'm told I owe someone physical affection because they are my relative or did something huge for me. Just because I don't want to give a hug or kiss doesn't mean I love them any less or that I'm not grateful...it just means that touch often makes me uncomfortable. The problem with pushing anyone to be physically affectionate is, in my mind, the changes it will bring to those relationships. I resent my mom continuing to force affection. I'm ok giving hugs...sometimes. Not all the time. It has caused a number of other problems to pop up in our relationship. So even more than showing that you don't owe anyone anything physical, it should also be about learning how to have healthy, happy relationships with mutual respect. You want a hug and I don't want to give one? How about a handshake and a nice conversation? You still feel valued and that I'm interested in your life and I don't have to give affection that I'm not ok giving.

Sherry Straus
Community Member
5 years ago

Don't overthink some things, a hug a handshake, high 5, a nod, take the lead from the child and move on. I have 3 grandsons which 2 were 3 and 4 when I meet them, they hugged me the 1st time and every time they see me, they are huggers. My grandson from birth who I seen almost every day for 3 years hugs when he wants too sometimes 50 times a visit sometime none. All good, I never forced my kids too hug or kiss anyone but a hello for sure.

Connie Bonneville
Community Member
5 years ago

At 4 yrs old a man forced me to sit on his lap. I peed on him. To this day my nickname is 'pudddles'. Respect people regardless of their age

Veronique Anketier
Community Member
5 years ago

I think the mother is right. When I was a child, I was very shy and I didn't feel very comfortable kissing and hugging everybody. My mother, one of the greatest women I have ever met, told me to do whatever made me feel comfortable as long as I was polite. She taught me that we all are entitle to make our own choices, that being somebody's child doesn't mean our parents own us, and that we doesn't have to wait to became teenagers or adults leaving their parents' home to ask for respect and privacy.

Diana Campkin Vickerson
Community Member
5 years ago

I believe this 100% ,I always thought I never had a say growing up

Sara Fina
Community Member
5 years ago

I think this is a GREAT healthy way to teach children to respect their own bodies and boundaries at least as much as they respect other people. To those who say this teaches them to be selfish, I don't see ANYWHERE that the mother is advocating to grant her daughter freedom to do as she pleases, or to be rude, or to not greet people, she just allows her daughter greater control over her on body and the decision on how specifically to greet people. It doesn't anywhere say that the mom is giving her daughter free reign to decide everything in her life (like not doing her chores and generally not doing what she's told). Some of you need to learn to read, people.

Rina Ford
Community Member
5 years ago

I'm the last born of my cousins and had an adult male cousin kiss me when I was a kid. It happened once and my parents and I left and I never saw that cousin again. However every time other family was around my parents had to tell the adults to leave me alone. That experience was just so weird that I never really liked hugging strangers/ family after that.

Tasha Harris
Community Member
5 years ago

Thanks All involved in this article, made some really interesting points that reminded me to assess how my kids are interacting with others

Nyello
Community Member
5 years ago

An open hand is a very powerful thing. I've had many parents in my family tell their kids "give nyello a hug goodbye". Some I've only meant once or twice but you can see the uneasiness in some kids. I started just offering an open hand, giving them the choice. I've gotten many high fives which is great. It later turns into hand holding and cuddles. :)

Cat Meow
Community Member
5 years ago

As an adult, I am still grateful to my mom for never forcing me to shake someone else's hand, hug them or even kiss them. It was MY choice whether I wanted to or not... Most of the time, I didn't want to shake anyone's hand.

Hans
Community Member
5 years ago

While I am always in favour of challenging things "we have always done" if they do not seem to be right, this one at least needs to be assessed critical. The way of representing "MY BODY IS MY BODY" and all the following text in all caps at least hints to that this discussion is not based on facts but on the subjective perception of one person. I truly do not know the psychology behind that and would guess it needs psychologists and pedagogists to qualifiedly comment on the underlying mechanics in a child’s mind. I find it equally wrong if parents force their children to have close bodily contact to other persons and to NOT teach your children social behaviour specific to your own culture. As usual, a balanced attitude and a balanced approach might be the best one.

Laury M.
Community Member
5 years ago

It's pretty simple. As an adult, how would you feel about having a total stranger touch you - kiss you, hug your whole body, pinch parts of it - if you wanted exactly none of it? Why would you inflict that on a child, especially a girl, who will face a society where her comfort and safety is far, FAR too often passing second to other people's enjoyment? The moment they're old enough to refuse to be touched by people who don't NEED to be touching them - which is pretty much everyone apart from the parents - it should be respected, to teach them that their boundaries SHOULD be respected. That's how you teach a kid self-worth: by showing that you recognize the validity of their choices for themselves.

Load More Replies...
Michael Bastos
Community Member
5 years ago

I think it's cultural, it would be unheard of for a Brazilian child to not allow another family member or close friend of the family to kiss them on the cheek or vice versa. It's a sign of utter disrespect towards the other individual much in the same way that here in America not offering your hand when someone wants to shake it would be considered extremely rude.

Regennia Johnson
Community Member
5 years ago

http://polishandpolitics.tumblr.com/post/137826468835/stop-forcing-your-daughters-to-hug-the-family

Fandoms Rise
Community Member
5 years ago

Woo-hoo! Go Katia Hetter! I completely support you!

Jonathan Shearer
Community Member
5 years ago

No one in history, not even Grandma, has ever "needed" a hug.

Player 0001
Community Member
5 years ago

That's a very broad statement to say that in the thousands of years of human recorded history (and waaay more before that) that absolutely no one on planet Earth has needed one. Think bigger. What about those who are hit with a tragic loss? Look at all those people we see in the news right after something like this happens. What about a funeral? There are plenty of people who "need" a compassionate hug sometimes. This is one thing that separates us from animals. (...no, not hugging, but the ability to comfort those who need it)

Load More Replies...
Diana Campkin Vickerson
Community Member
5 years ago

I believe this 100%

James Lola
Community Member
5 years ago

Good way to raise a self-centered cold-hearted emotionless android

Christine Sharland
Community Member
5 years ago

Oh this is tricky!! I think we need to be a bit more open to what we teach children abut their bodies Of course their body is their own and we need to make them aware that certain kind of touches are but if this is about more than just a loving hug IE 'Abuse' then of course teach them to be safe, but surely we don't want to plant bad ideas about hugging 'regularly seen' family members or close friends into their heads either! I have grandchildren in NZ and wouldn't expect them to feel comfy enough to give me a hug when I visit. i would be a stranger to them! But surely we can do better here and think more carefully about what we say and the suggestions we make to children subconsciously! By saying 'its your body and you get to decide' is also making them have thoughts that there shouldn't allow any physical contact at all. That would be a sad world. Better education on what to say is out there to choose. So we don't need to go quite this far!!

Susann Campbell
Community Member
5 years ago

A little girl could hold out her hand, back side up to be kissed and to say it's nice to see you too. A little boy shakes hands and responds with a greeting. If these practices have stayed that way over the years, Children would not come to physical or emotional harm from Uncle Hands on every part of your body without anyone seeing him do it. Do not force your child to go with someone you love if your child has that look of being scared.

Ja Legge
Community Member
5 years ago

What abt the receiver? The receiver has feelings, too. We must know when to give or not out of respect.

Grace Nanni
Community Member
5 years ago

How would you like it if your husband made you kiss his co workers or boss when you met This is not a hard decision . Let the child kiss and hug and apologize to whom they wish and save someone from sex abuse !Don't raise a victim .

Stille20
Community Member
5 years ago

While I agree that I wouldn't forced my child to hug someone, I think the post is arrogant and self righteous. It suggests that you telling your child to hug grandma is a directly linked to them being sexually abused in the future.

Philippe ARNOULD
Community Member
5 years ago

What is consent for a 4 years old child??? A child is not a responsable human. Do we ask to our children when we teach them a language, a dinner they don't like, when we give them an education, when we force them to go to school? All these things are alienation of the children and are done without their consent…

Ellie
Community Member
5 years ago

I don't like physical contact but I'm actually being forced by therapists to hug people because otherwise I'm just not "normal"

Vervelende Panda
Community Member
5 years ago

Oh dear, find another therapist and don't let anyone force you to do anything. Ever. You don't need to be 'normal' to be happy.

Load More Replies...
Holly Rossmaier Newingham
Community Member
5 years ago

I wz molested by an uncle. I wz nvr told I HAD 2b affectionate relatives but b/c no 1 thought 2teach me 'no'-didn't say it when sh*t got rlz

Sara Fina
Community Member
5 years ago

I'm so sorry to hear that. People are not at all conscious of how many children are being abused and molested, so much many more than they think. And how often it is a family member.

Load More Replies...
Frank Vallone III
Community Member
5 years ago

The quote from Diana Oliveira is incredibly ironic: she's petrified that her opportunity to continue her own selfish behavior is being thwarted.

Israel Oliva
Community Member
5 years ago

How greeting relatives could be harmful? We have to learn how to protect our children and also teach them how this world works, not over protect them. We as parents have to tell to our kids wath to do (Just in some cases, many), but we are not allowed to separate the children from the outter world. Because for more of us, is easiest over protect children than let them discover the world and taking care of what could happen without cut their ways.

Laury M.
Community Member
5 years ago

It's harmful because we force them to do something that is not necessary - touch and be touched by people they might not want to be touched by, which is something that is actually 100% permissible in the adult world. The parents' perception of relationships between their children and their relative is coloured by their adult understanding. If a child sees uncles and aunts and grandparents only once or twice a year, they're literally strangers to them. Would you like to be FORCED to kiss and hug complete strangers?

Load More Replies...
Graham Marshall
Community Member
5 years ago

How about, I am five,, dont use my image in a marketing campaign for a cause im too young to understand and accurately consent too,, that image is now on the internet for all kind of predators too see, even more worrying, it may have been a hired model to take the photo, wivh opens up another can of worms qas to wether its ok to exploit a child for modelling purposes,, and thus it never ends

Phanic! at My Chemical Fall Out Twenty One Brides
5 years ago

Actually it's a stock photo

Load More Replies...
Serene Erby
Community Member
5 years ago

Crazy, ridiculous, insane. So does this go for the doctor, the dentist, their teachers? That they can say no to an adult and they will be obeyed? That's crazy for a child. That doesn't develop respect for adults, that develops arrogance towards adults.

John Ashley
Community Member
5 years ago

A lot of this reminds me of the Shakespearean line about "protesting too much". From my own observations, kids overwhelmingly tend to be obstinate and resistant to things because they're testing parental limits to see what they can get with away doing, or not doing... not because they feel "violated".

Bridgette David
Community Member
5 years ago

Don't you think you are being a little presumptuous? You should work on that.

Load More Replies...
Domenico Consoli
Community Member
5 years ago

Interesting idea but didn't we all experienced this when we were young? And did we all suffer from it? Sorry but we are taking this way to far. Kids should also learn about the lesser things in life. There is nothing wrong with the occasional cry or not liking.

Sara Fina
Community Member
5 years ago

I think the main point for doing this is not only to save the child a little discomfort or a distressing but harmless situations, it is to teach the child that NOBODY can demand that she be physically affectionate with them, if she doesn't want that, even the closest family members, it is teaching her that it is not expected of her to let anybody touch her if she doesn't want it, so that she will be better equipped to avoid sexual abuse as a child, and consent as an adult later in life. You'd be surprised how many girls just go along with sex to please someone even if they don't want sex or to prevent that someone to become angry or disappointed with them.

Load More Replies...
Kathy Hoffman
Community Member
5 years ago

This is a stupid article making victims of kids unnecessarily and adding more pc culture to an already difficult enough job of raising kids. Parents that don't respect their child's wishes (about hugging/kissing strangers) really don't use much common sense. Every child is different but each must be taught respect and if they are lucky enough to have a family, should be taught to be courteous and graceful to their family. I realize that this author touched on that, but it seems she is making a mountain from a molehill.

Jonathan Shearer
Community Member
5 years ago

No one in history has ever "needed" a hug.

Aang
Community Member
5 years ago

A beautiful girl.

Sara Fina
Community Member
5 years ago

Yes, a pretty girl, but it's a stock photo, not the girl in the story.

Load More Replies...
Patrick Adams
Community Member
5 years ago

This comment is hidden. Click here to view.

more PC blathering - give it a rest. stop judging parents - let them raise their kids how they see fit - in my view teaching kids to hug is good thing. The other discussion should occur also.

Marioara Popescu
Community Member
5 years ago

This comment is hidden. Click here to view.

But we make kids to make US happy, who cares what they feel?

Nicholas Hesser
Community Member
5 years ago

This comment is hidden. Click here to view.

I find this kind of stupid. It's like telling her that she shouldn't hug her own family, i understand saying that about strangers, but its her family, don't teach her that she shouldn't hug her own grandma.

Bridgette David
Community Member
5 years ago

I cannot speak for little boys, but I can assure you that for myself as a child and for my daughter, hugging any man other that dad was not wanted. It was scary and gross at the same time. Instead of trying to hug, people should just try to develop a closer relationship with the kid. Maybe eventually they will want to hug that adult.

Load More Replies...
Rob Adams
Community Member
5 years ago

This comment is hidden. Click here to view.

"My body is my body" That's something that pro-abortion advocates should take to heart.

Frank Vallone III
Community Member
5 years ago

A fetus is not a human being. Catastrophic generalization seems to be common amongst idiots.

Load More Replies...
Garret Grayson
Community Member
5 years ago

This comment is hidden. Click here to view.

So stupid. Yes, by all means let's alienate children from everyone around them and make them feel all alone. Then we can all sit around and wonder why Sally blew her brains out with a gun the first chance she got. Or why Mary walked on the railroad tracks ignoring the screaming whistle coming up behind her. Make sure Billy gets a new rope for Christmas but for God sake don't hug them or hold them close and tell them that they are wanted and loved. Dumb to stupid and they get published.

Greg Merc
Community Member
5 years ago

This comment is hidden. Click here to view.

what a spoil girl,,,its bull shit

Ricardo Ferreira
Community Member
5 years ago

This comment is hidden. Click here to view.

I am a father and think this is absurd. Learning good manners, it's forcing nothing. The problem today is nobody as time to sit and talk to their families, teach love or social skills. It's all about balance learning to give and take. This is all silly to me.

guess
Community Member
5 years ago

There are other ways of showing love and affection than physical touch. And often times children don't remember relatives they've only seen twice a year or so, or even people they saw five months ago. To the children, they're strangers who they call "nana" or "cousin" and are forced to touch for no reason other than to avoid hurting their feelings. Basic social skills call for understanding the importance of showing affection in certain situations and how to do it. It takes a deeper understanding to be able to know when those things are not called for, and to understand that they are a privilege and not a right, and when such things are unwanted. If an adult is unable to tell that a child does not recognize them, does not want to touch them, and should not be responsible for making the adult happy, the adult is in the one who needs to be taught real love and social skills, not the child.

Load More Replies...
Sick Boy
Community Member
5 years ago

This comment is hidden. Click here to view.

It's fair enough, just as long as someone doesn't sue unassuming relatives for harassment.

Keith Darby
Community Member
5 years ago

This comment is hidden. Click here to view.

Maybe if parents spent time with their kids instead of their phones, kids would not feel weird giving grandma a hug. If a child is not used to being physically touched than yes it would be awkward. What if your phone or tablet had feelings and did not want to be touched.

Laury M.
Community Member
5 years ago

Nothing to do with it. If they see their grandparents once every few months, they're still essentially strangers, and they're still 100% entitled to refuse to be touched if they don't want to be. Phones and tablets are electronic devices. They're not human, or even living beings.

Load More Replies...
Hańka
Community Member
5 years ago

This comment is hidden. Click here to view.

World without loving touch will be cool and ill...

Laury M.
Community Member
5 years ago

We're not talking about loving touch. We're talking about unsolicited, unwanted touch on an individual whose agency is ignored because of their age. Whoever you are, being "lovingly touched" by someone who creeps you out is a traumatizing experience, especially when it's forced on you by the very people who are supposed to protect you: your parents.

Load More Replies...
Mardi Solomon
Community Member
5 years ago

This comment is hidden. Click here to view.

this article is a load of rot! kids are forced to do things they don't want to do, please!!!!!!!!!!! No wonder this world is politically correct and cotton wooled articles like this and comments like yeah my poor kid has to do stuff they don't like. so if your kid doesn't want to clean up their room that's ok is it????. My kids kiss ad hug people they know and sometimes when introduced to strangers they even shake hands. SHOCK HORROR......... Lets divide the world up into the parents and kids who are Nanny stating their kids and the other side who are raising kids with moral, values and behaviours that millions of generations before us managed to cope with. Complete GARBAGE and if you agree with this trash you are contributing to a generation of people who have a day off college because a president was elected you don't like. GET REAL PEOPLE

Jesse Reeves
Community Member
5 years ago

Why are you so angry? The article doesn't say anything about cleaning or chores. It's specifically about not forcing anyone to give physical affection when they don't want to.

Load More Replies...
Rob Adams
Community Member
5 years ago

This comment is hidden. Click here to view.

Forcing them to eat vegetable is also bad for their psyche.

Frank Vallone III
Community Member
5 years ago

Stupidity won't get you anywhere.

Load More Replies...
Jonathan Eatsalot
Community Member
5 years ago

This comment is hidden. Click here to view.

Kids parenting adults. What could possibly go wrong?

Laury M.
Community Member
5 years ago

Parents listening to kids as if they're actual human beings, and not mindless dolls who can't think or feel. What could possibly go wrong?

Load More Replies...
Johhn3443234523
Community Member
5 years ago

This comment is hidden. Click here to view.

Ugly and old aunt has to kiss all relatives. It's part of Christmas spirit. And Christmas is coming. Stop brain-washing us. Mother or dad can't hug their child? Give me a break.

Normah-Jane Oliver
Community Member
5 years ago

Thats not what the article said AT ALL. Maybe go re-read it? Let a child own their own body & greet people hoewever they want... Even their own mother & father.

Load More Replies...
Johhn3443234523
Community Member
5 years ago

This comment is hidden. Click here to view.

“I don’t own my child’s body” unless mother wants make an abortion, then "Her body, her choice". Nice liberal mind***k.

Hans
Community Member
5 years ago

I seriously do not get, in this discussion and any other, how "liberal" can be used as a swearword. I find liberty and equality rather desirable.

Load More Replies...
Herb Eaversmells
Community Member
5 years ago

I wonder how she feels about having her image and story plastered all over the internet?

Arty
Community Member
5 years ago

I suppose there is no need to ask permission for that...

Load More Replies...
Ana T.
Community Member
5 years ago

i a mom and i think this is a good idea. children often are force to do thing that they dont want to do and just because they are children their opinion dont matter

Darb
Community Member
5 years ago

This comment is hidden. Click here to view.

So we as parents are not allowed to tell our kids what to do!

Load More Replies...
Alusair Alustriel
Community Member
5 years ago

I witnessed at a family meeting from my fiancees side how a granddaugther was forced to hug their grandparents and she did everything to wiggle out from their arms asap. If the 5 year old kid sees them twice a year, they are strangers to her, and I am positive she doesn't grasp fully the family relations idea yet. i felt very sorry for her and I am sure that the hugh-high five-hello-handshake option is way better than what I had to see.

Joseph Caliri
Community Member
5 years ago

This article is a Huge eye opener. I was an abused child, had loving and caring parents, family and siblings. I wonder now had I been given this option how things would have been. I don't dwell on it, I am 43 and know now that I can offer this Choice to my neices and nephews as well as other children. Thank you very much for bringing this important issue to light. Blessings to all, main point no matter what and or how you feel towards article, is that we keep Children Safe!

Load More Replies...
Anonymous Hobiest
Community Member
5 years ago

For children within the Autism spectrum, this would be a cardinal rule. Our society ignores the needs of special children

Luca Plas
Community Member
5 years ago

Though I do agree for some children with autism this is something important, but children with autism can also hate it if they are put on a label that seems to give people the right to decide things for them before even knowing them. I am especially saying this for parents of young autistic children who should always remember not to do things because their child has autism, but because that is what their child needs.

Load More Replies...
Cheslyn McKay
Community Member
5 years ago

Love this article! Just recently my daughters great grandmother came over to our apartment and by the end my poor child was so distraught I felt so bad for her. Great grandma has no sense of boundaries even while my child was saying and eventually screaming no she continued making her give her kisses (I tried to tell her my daughter was saying no but ofc with old people they don't listen). My boyfriend returned later that evening from his job and asked how everything went so I explained everything. He then asked her if she enjoyed seeing great grandma to which she started to cry and scream watching our front door to see if she was coming back....my poor little girl is now scared of her and I don't blame her one bit! Affection must be earned...you can't expect my child to hug or kiss you when you've only seen her a total of 6 times in her life and don't even give her respect for her personal space. People think I'm wrong for giving her a choice but they're wrong for not understanding.

Frank Vallone III
Community Member
5 years ago

I'm very sorry your daughter was scared like that.

Load More Replies...
Sandra Sanynka
Community Member
5 years ago

I completely agree. I'm 29 and I suffer from social anxiaty desorder. For me it's two-sens feeling, because I hate the parents who tell their kids make a hug/kiss ME. I don't feel confortable with touching anybody, even the children, but I have to, because if I say no to the parents/kids I will look like heartless person

Lewis Macleod
Community Member
5 years ago

You shouldn't have to feel like people will judge you for not wanting physical contact with other people. I'm sure if you just say that you would feel uncomfortable doing so to the parent or even child then they will understand as long as you're polite

Load More Replies...
Bobbi Newell
Community Member
5 years ago

It's all about personal boundaries and comfort level. The mom states in her letter that she expects her daughter to be polite, and that she can high five or shake hands as an alternative. Adults have a say in their personal preferences; children should have the same opportunity.

Sven
Community Member
5 years ago

Can we make this the same for circumsicion?

get in
Community Member
5 years ago

This comment is hidden. Click here to view.

An uncircumcised penis is a health hazard and just plain gross. Besides, it is normally done at birth or soon after with people of the Jewish persuasion being an exception.

Load More Replies...
Laury M.
Community Member
5 years ago

This has been paramount to my relationship to my niece, and I was very glad to see that my siblings had the same idea. My sister's parenting style has always been very open and based on their ability to choose: they aren't forced to finish their plates if they really aren't hungry, they can choose what they wear, and they're consulted on a multitude of things. It's so much more encouraging for a child to see that they can decide on things and have those decisions respected, and explore the consequences of those choices. Of course, it's within reason.

Viviane Katz
Community Member
5 years ago

I'm not a big hugger of little kids. I find workarounds. Example 1: If I wanted to be affectionate with my pre-school nephew, I would say, "Sucky aunt!" He would bent his head forward and I'd kiss the top. Example 2: My husband introduced me to a couple with a 5-year-old daughter. I shook hands with the parent, then held out my hand to their daughter. She looked daggers at me for a few seconds, while hugging her toy dog closer. So I shook hands with the toy dog and said, "He gives a paw! Does he do other tricks."

Lori Thompson
Community Member
5 years ago

I'd like a sign that says, "I'm 53 and my body is my body. Don't force me to hug, kiss, or handshake." I have an aunt that STILL kisses me on the lips! I am a germaphobe and have always had a very large personal bubble. Mom says that, even as a baby, I wasn't much of a snuggler. My daughter is like me, and it means so much to receive a true hug from her. We respect each others' wishes. There are so many more ways to show acknowledgement and love than by touching. Fist bumps with strangers and friends, a flower or small gift for friends and family, and a smile for everyone.

guess
Community Member
5 years ago

"give affection only when YOU feel like it?" Um, hell yes? I'm not some mindless slave who must always live to make others happy. If they can't be happy with a "hello" or high five, it's their issue, not mine. And to impose that responsibility of making everybody happy, even when it requires you doing something you don't feel comfortable doing, upon a child is wrong.

Eli Lonn
Community Member
5 years ago

I wish i had that hug or high five rule. I love my family, but i hate hugs even ones from my mother.

Timothy D.
Community Member
5 years ago

When I was a kid I absouloutley hated being touched by people I didn't know, and I think this is an amazing idea.

Erin Fletcher
Community Member
5 years ago

Personally, as a young child this wasn't much of an issue. I was happy enough to give/receive physical affection; however, as I got older that changed. The problem then became that since I used to be very physically affectionate people expected that from me. While some family members recognized the change and have respected it, there are some (such as my mother) who have not. What I hate the most is when I'm told I owe someone physical affection because they are my relative or did something huge for me. Just because I don't want to give a hug or kiss doesn't mean I love them any less or that I'm not grateful...it just means that touch often makes me uncomfortable. The problem with pushing anyone to be physically affectionate is, in my mind, the changes it will bring to those relationships. I resent my mom continuing to force affection. I'm ok giving hugs...sometimes. Not all the time. It has caused a number of other problems to pop up in our relationship. So even more than showing that you don't owe anyone anything physical, it should also be about learning how to have healthy, happy relationships with mutual respect. You want a hug and I don't want to give one? How about a handshake and a nice conversation? You still feel valued and that I'm interested in your life and I don't have to give affection that I'm not ok giving.

Sherry Straus
Community Member
5 years ago

Don't overthink some things, a hug a handshake, high 5, a nod, take the lead from the child and move on. I have 3 grandsons which 2 were 3 and 4 when I meet them, they hugged me the 1st time and every time they see me, they are huggers. My grandson from birth who I seen almost every day for 3 years hugs when he wants too sometimes 50 times a visit sometime none. All good, I never forced my kids too hug or kiss anyone but a hello for sure.

Connie Bonneville
Community Member
5 years ago

At 4 yrs old a man forced me to sit on his lap. I peed on him. To this day my nickname is 'pudddles'. Respect people regardless of their age

Veronique Anketier
Community Member
5 years ago

I think the mother is right. When I was a child, I was very shy and I didn't feel very comfortable kissing and hugging everybody. My mother, one of the greatest women I have ever met, told me to do whatever made me feel comfortable as long as I was polite. She taught me that we all are entitle to make our own choices, that being somebody's child doesn't mean our parents own us, and that we doesn't have to wait to became teenagers or adults leaving their parents' home to ask for respect and privacy.

Diana Campkin Vickerson
Community Member
5 years ago

I believe this 100% ,I always thought I never had a say growing up

Sara Fina
Community Member
5 years ago

I think this is a GREAT healthy way to teach children to respect their own bodies and boundaries at least as much as they respect other people. To those who say this teaches them to be selfish, I don't see ANYWHERE that the mother is advocating to grant her daughter freedom to do as she pleases, or to be rude, or to not greet people, she just allows her daughter greater control over her on body and the decision on how specifically to greet people. It doesn't anywhere say that the mom is giving her daughter free reign to decide everything in her life (like not doing her chores and generally not doing what she's told). Some of you need to learn to read, people.

Rina Ford
Community Member
5 years ago

I'm the last born of my cousins and had an adult male cousin kiss me when I was a kid. It happened once and my parents and I left and I never saw that cousin again. However every time other family was around my parents had to tell the adults to leave me alone. That experience was just so weird that I never really liked hugging strangers/ family after that.

Tasha Harris
Community Member
5 years ago

Thanks All involved in this article, made some really interesting points that reminded me to assess how my kids are interacting with others

Nyello
Community Member
5 years ago

An open hand is a very powerful thing. I've had many parents in my family tell their kids "give nyello a hug goodbye". Some I've only meant once or twice but you can see the uneasiness in some kids. I started just offering an open hand, giving them the choice. I've gotten many high fives which is great. It later turns into hand holding and cuddles. :)

Cat Meow
Community Member
5 years ago

As an adult, I am still grateful to my mom for never forcing me to shake someone else's hand, hug them or even kiss them. It was MY choice whether I wanted to or not... Most of the time, I didn't want to shake anyone's hand.

Hans
Community Member
5 years ago

While I am always in favour of challenging things "we have always done" if they do not seem to be right, this one at least needs to be assessed critical. The way of representing "MY BODY IS MY BODY" and all the following text in all caps at least hints to that this discussion is not based on facts but on the subjective perception of one person. I truly do not know the psychology behind that and would guess it needs psychologists and pedagogists to qualifiedly comment on the underlying mechanics in a child’s mind. I find it equally wrong if parents force their children to have close bodily contact to other persons and to NOT teach your children social behaviour specific to your own culture. As usual, a balanced attitude and a balanced approach might be the best one.

Laury M.
Community Member
5 years ago

It's pretty simple. As an adult, how would you feel about having a total stranger touch you - kiss you, hug your whole body, pinch parts of it - if you wanted exactly none of it? Why would you inflict that on a child, especially a girl, who will face a society where her comfort and safety is far, FAR too often passing second to other people's enjoyment? The moment they're old enough to refuse to be touched by people who don't NEED to be touching them - which is pretty much everyone apart from the parents - it should be respected, to teach them that their boundaries SHOULD be respected. That's how you teach a kid self-worth: by showing that you recognize the validity of their choices for themselves.

Load More Replies...
Michael Bastos
Community Member
5 years ago

I think it's cultural, it would be unheard of for a Brazilian child to not allow another family member or close friend of the family to kiss them on the cheek or vice versa. It's a sign of utter disrespect towards the other individual much in the same way that here in America not offering your hand when someone wants to shake it would be considered extremely rude.

Regennia Johnson
Community Member
5 years ago

http://polishandpolitics.tumblr.com/post/137826468835/stop-forcing-your-daughters-to-hug-the-family

Fandoms Rise
Community Member
5 years ago

Woo-hoo! Go Katia Hetter! I completely support you!

Jonathan Shearer
Community Member
5 years ago

No one in history, not even Grandma, has ever "needed" a hug.

Player 0001
Community Member
5 years ago

That's a very broad statement to say that in the thousands of years of human recorded history (and waaay more before that) that absolutely no one on planet Earth has needed one. Think bigger. What about those who are hit with a tragic loss? Look at all those people we see in the news right after something like this happens. What about a funeral? There are plenty of people who "need" a compassionate hug sometimes. This is one thing that separates us from animals. (...no, not hugging, but the ability to comfort those who need it)

Load More Replies...
Diana Campkin Vickerson
Community Member
5 years ago

I believe this 100%

James Lola
Community Member
5 years ago

Good way to raise a self-centered cold-hearted emotionless android

Christine Sharland
Community Member
5 years ago

Oh this is tricky!! I think we need to be a bit more open to what we teach children abut their bodies Of course their body is their own and we need to make them aware that certain kind of touches are but if this is about more than just a loving hug IE 'Abuse' then of course teach them to be safe, but surely we don't want to plant bad ideas about hugging 'regularly seen' family members or close friends into their heads either! I have grandchildren in NZ and wouldn't expect them to feel comfy enough to give me a hug when I visit. i would be a stranger to them! But surely we can do better here and think more carefully about what we say and the suggestions we make to children subconsciously! By saying 'its your body and you get to decide' is also making them have thoughts that there shouldn't allow any physical contact at all. That would be a sad world. Better education on what to say is out there to choose. So we don't need to go quite this far!!

Susann Campbell
Community Member
5 years ago

A little girl could hold out her hand, back side up to be kissed and to say it's nice to see you too. A little boy shakes hands and responds with a greeting. If these practices have stayed that way over the years, Children would not come to physical or emotional harm from Uncle Hands on every part of your body without anyone seeing him do it. Do not force your child to go with someone you love if your child has that look of being scared.

Ja Legge
Community Member
5 years ago

What abt the receiver? The receiver has feelings, too. We must know when to give or not out of respect.

Grace Nanni
Community Member
5 years ago

How would you like it if your husband made you kiss his co workers or boss when you met This is not a hard decision . Let the child kiss and hug and apologize to whom they wish and save someone from sex abuse !Don't raise a victim .

Stille20
Community Member
5 years ago

While I agree that I wouldn't forced my child to hug someone, I think the post is arrogant and self righteous. It suggests that you telling your child to hug grandma is a directly linked to them being sexually abused in the future.

Philippe ARNOULD
Community Member
5 years ago

What is consent for a 4 years old child??? A child is not a responsable human. Do we ask to our children when we teach them a language, a dinner they don't like, when we give them an education, when we force them to go to school? All these things are alienation of the children and are done without their consent…

Ellie
Community Member
5 years ago

I don't like physical contact but I'm actually being forced by therapists to hug people because otherwise I'm just not "normal"

Vervelende Panda
Community Member
5 years ago

Oh dear, find another therapist and don't let anyone force you to do anything. Ever. You don't need to be 'normal' to be happy.

Load More Replies...
Holly Rossmaier Newingham
Community Member
5 years ago

I wz molested by an uncle. I wz nvr told I HAD 2b affectionate relatives but b/c no 1 thought 2teach me 'no'-didn't say it when sh*t got rlz

Sara Fina
Community Member
5 years ago

I'm so sorry to hear that. People are not at all conscious of how many children are being abused and molested, so much many more than they think. And how often it is a family member.

Load More Replies...
Frank Vallone III
Community Member
5 years ago

The quote from Diana Oliveira is incredibly ironic: she's petrified that her opportunity to continue her own selfish behavior is being thwarted.

Israel Oliva
Community Member
5 years ago

How greeting relatives could be harmful? We have to learn how to protect our children and also teach them how this world works, not over protect them. We as parents have to tell to our kids wath to do (Just in some cases, many), but we are not allowed to separate the children from the outter world. Because for more of us, is easiest over protect children than let them discover the world and taking care of what could happen without cut their ways.

Laury M.
Community Member
5 years ago

It's harmful because we force them to do something that is not necessary - touch and be touched by people they might not want to be touched by, which is something that is actually 100% permissible in the adult world. The parents' perception of relationships between their children and their relative is coloured by their adult understanding. If a child sees uncles and aunts and grandparents only once or twice a year, they're literally strangers to them. Would you like to be FORCED to kiss and hug complete strangers?

Load More Replies...
Graham Marshall
Community Member
5 years ago

How about, I am five,, dont use my image in a marketing campaign for a cause im too young to understand and accurately consent too,, that image is now on the internet for all kind of predators too see, even more worrying, it may have been a hired model to take the photo, wivh opens up another can of worms qas to wether its ok to exploit a child for modelling purposes,, and thus it never ends

Phanic! at My Chemical Fall Out Twenty One Brides
5 years ago

Actually it's a stock photo

Load More Replies...
Serene Erby
Community Member
5 years ago

Crazy, ridiculous, insane. So does this go for the doctor, the dentist, their teachers? That they can say no to an adult and they will be obeyed? That's crazy for a child. That doesn't develop respect for adults, that develops arrogance towards adults.

John Ashley
Community Member
5 years ago

A lot of this reminds me of the Shakespearean line about "protesting too much". From my own observations, kids overwhelmingly tend to be obstinate and resistant to things because they're testing parental limits to see what they can get with away doing, or not doing... not because they feel "violated".

Bridgette David
Community Member
5 years ago

Don't you think you are being a little presumptuous? You should work on that.

Load More Replies...
Domenico Consoli
Community Member
5 years ago

Interesting idea but didn't we all experienced this when we were young? And did we all suffer from it? Sorry but we are taking this way to far. Kids should also learn about the lesser things in life. There is nothing wrong with the occasional cry or not liking.

Sara Fina
Community Member
5 years ago

I think the main point for doing this is not only to save the child a little discomfort or a distressing but harmless situations, it is to teach the child that NOBODY can demand that she be physically affectionate with them, if she doesn't want that, even the closest family members, it is teaching her that it is not expected of her to let anybody touch her if she doesn't want it, so that she will be better equipped to avoid sexual abuse as a child, and consent as an adult later in life. You'd be surprised how many girls just go along with sex to please someone even if they don't want sex or to prevent that someone to become angry or disappointed with them.

Load More Replies...
Kathy Hoffman
Community Member
5 years ago

This is a stupid article making victims of kids unnecessarily and adding more pc culture to an already difficult enough job of raising kids. Parents that don't respect their child's wishes (about hugging/kissing strangers) really don't use much common sense. Every child is different but each must be taught respect and if they are lucky enough to have a family, should be taught to be courteous and graceful to their family. I realize that this author touched on that, but it seems she is making a mountain from a molehill.

Jonathan Shearer
Community Member
5 years ago

No one in history has ever "needed" a hug.

Aang
Community Member
5 years ago

A beautiful girl.

Sara Fina
Community Member
5 years ago

Yes, a pretty girl, but it's a stock photo, not the girl in the story.

Load More Replies...
Patrick Adams
Community Member
5 years ago

This comment is hidden. Click here to view.

more PC blathering - give it a rest. stop judging parents - let them raise their kids how they see fit - in my view teaching kids to hug is good thing. The other discussion should occur also.

Marioara Popescu
Community Member
5 years ago

This comment is hidden. Click here to view.

But we make kids to make US happy, who cares what they feel?

Nicholas Hesser
Community Member
5 years ago

This comment is hidden. Click here to view.

I find this kind of stupid. It's like telling her that she shouldn't hug her own family, i understand saying that about strangers, but its her family, don't teach her that she shouldn't hug her own grandma.

Bridgette David
Community Member
5 years ago

I cannot speak for little boys, but I can assure you that for myself as a child and for my daughter, hugging any man other that dad was not wanted. It was scary and gross at the same time. Instead of trying to hug, people should just try to develop a closer relationship with the kid. Maybe eventually they will want to hug that adult.

Load More Replies...
Rob Adams
Community Member
5 years ago

This comment is hidden. Click here to view.

"My body is my body" That's something that pro-abortion advocates should take to heart.

Frank Vallone III
Community Member
5 years ago

A fetus is not a human being. Catastrophic generalization seems to be common amongst idiots.

Load More Replies...
Garret Grayson
Community Member
5 years ago

This comment is hidden. Click here to view.

So stupid. Yes, by all means let's alienate children from everyone around them and make them feel all alone. Then we can all sit around and wonder why Sally blew her brains out with a gun the first chance she got. Or why Mary walked on the railroad tracks ignoring the screaming whistle coming up behind her. Make sure Billy gets a new rope for Christmas but for God sake don't hug them or hold them close and tell them that they are wanted and loved. Dumb to stupid and they get published.

Greg Merc
Community Member
5 years ago

This comment is hidden. Click here to view.

what a spoil girl,,,its bull shit

Ricardo Ferreira
Community Member
5 years ago

This comment is hidden. Click here to view.

I am a father and think this is absurd. Learning good manners, it's forcing nothing. The problem today is nobody as time to sit and talk to their families, teach love or social skills. It's all about balance learning to give and take. This is all silly to me.

guess
Community Member
5 years ago

There are other ways of showing love and affection than physical touch. And often times children don't remember relatives they've only seen twice a year or so, or even people they saw five months ago. To the children, they're strangers who they call "nana" or "cousin" and are forced to touch for no reason other than to avoid hurting their feelings. Basic social skills call for understanding the importance of showing affection in certain situations and how to do it. It takes a deeper understanding to be able to know when those things are not called for, and to understand that they are a privilege and not a right, and when such things are unwanted. If an adult is unable to tell that a child does not recognize them, does not want to touch them, and should not be responsible for making the adult happy, the adult is in the one who needs to be taught real love and social skills, not the child.

Load More Replies...