Girl Scouts: Don’t Force Your Kids To Hug Relatives — Even During The Holidays

Because the barrage of explosive sexual harassment allegations continues against men within Hollywood, the media and Capitol Hill, Girl Scouts of UNITED STATES is reminding parents that queries of consent apply to children as well.

Inside a holiday-themed blog post gaining attention recently, the organization, which counts 1 . 8 mil young girls as users, reminded parents to not “ force” their daughters to hug or even kiss relatives if they don’ to want to. Doing so, read the post — which is entitled “ She Doesn’ t Must pay back Anyone a Hug. Not Even at the Vacations ” — could provide kids the “ wrong concept about consent and physical devotion. ”

“ Have you ever insisted, ‘ Granddad just got here — proceed give him a big hug’ or ‘ Auntie gave you that great toy, go give her the kiss, ’ when you were concerned your child might not offer affection on her behalf own? If yes, you might want to reconsider the to do that in the future, ” the write-up, first published online on November. 1, read.

“ Think of it by doing this, telling your child that she owes someone a hug either just because the lady hasn’ t seen this individual in a while or because they offered her a gift can set the particular stage for her questioning whether the girl ‘ owes’ another person any type of actual affection when they’ ve purchased her dinner or done another thing seemingly nice for her later in life, ”   it continued.  

The blog post continues to be fulfilled with controversy on social media   with some people accusing the lady Scouts of sexualizing innocent loved ones interactions and gestures. Many others, nevertheless , have lauded the organization for dealing with the important issue of teaching children from the young age about their bodies and permission.

“ Making [children of all genders] discuss their bodies with other people is not some thing we should be forcing , ” pediatrics psychologist and mom Jillian Childres told the Tampa Bay Occasions in reaction to the blog post.

Girl Scouts’ developmental psychologist Dr . Andrea Bastiani Archibald said in a statement that will though the “ notion of permission may seem very grown-up and such as something that doesn’ t pertain in order to children… the lessons girls understand when they’ re young regarding setting physical boundaries and planning on them to be respected last a long time and can influence how she feels regarding herself and her body because she gets older. ”

Girl Scouts informed HuffPost on Wednesday that the article had been published in direct reaction to “ recent news stories regarding sexual harassment. ”

“ Given the expertise in healthy relationship growth for girls… we are proud to provide girls’ parents and caregivers with age-appropriate guidance to use when discussing this particular sensitive matter and other challenging subjects, should they wish to do so, ” stated a rep for the organization.

In the post, the Girl Scouts said that caregivers ought to teach children alternatives of displaying affection ― such as giving high-fives or “ air kisses” ― so kids can choose the manifestation most comfortable to them.

“ Give your girl the area to decide when and how she really wants to show affection… Of course , this doesn’ t give her license to become rude! There are many other ways to show understanding, thankfulness, and love that don’ t require physical contact, ” the post reads.  

According to the Rape, Abuse and Incest National System (RAINN), one in nine girls beneath the age of 18   encounters sexual abuse or assault as a result of an adult, a vast majority of whom are loved ones. About 90 percent of kid sex abuse cases involve the parent or a relative, said RAINN.