Your daughter doesn't owe a hug to anyone, not even to her grandparents: 'Let her decide how and when she wants to show affection'
The group feels that making children hug forcibly can lead to unpleasant consequences in their later life and are trying to warn all parents in America with a public message.
Ahead of the holiday season, the Girl Scouts of America sent out a warning statement to all parents, telling them that their children “do not owe a hug” to anyone this Christmas. The group also urged parents not to push the kids, especially girls, to hug a relative or a friend when they bring them a gift to the kids, since such forced behavior can lead to unpleasant consequences in their later life.
The statement and their tweet read, “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.”
“She doesn’t owe anyone a hug. Not even at the holidays”, they added.
According to the scouting group, hugging friends and relatives without their consent leads to “the wrong idea about consent and physical affection”, says a report in NY Post. They believe that the best way to handle this is to let the child decide if she wants to show her affection to her loved ones, and that too through a hug. If it comes naturally to them, it is better but if it does not, then it is best to let them choose their expression in the manner that they feel most comfortable.
NYC-based psychiatrist Dr Janet Taylor warned parents about "a mass hysteria about physical contact with loved ones," particularly during the times of holidays when social interaction for children and adults increases. According to a report on ABC News, she also said, "The awareness of unwanted contact that we have right now is needed ... I just caution parents about limiting family attachment and that kind of loving space that a lot of time only happens at the holidays."
The post by GSA got huge reactions on Facebook, where people shared it large and wide. While some parents took it in stride and agreed to the scout group’s perspective on child abuse, others seem to be ranting about its negative impact on their upbringing. GSA’s stance on such comments seems to come from their concern "in light of recent reports about sexual harassment."