Here’s your yearly Girl Scouts reminder not to force your kids to hug family members

(Photo by Walter McBride/Getty Images)

The progressives at The Girl Scouts would like to remind you this holiday season that forcing your daughter to hug relatives might have “unexpected emotional consequences.”

Around the holidays, homes are inundated with relatives that you may not have seen for the rest of the year. This is enough to make most children (especially the shy ones) clam up as they are surrounded by people they don’t know very well. Organizers at The Girl Scouts want to make sure that you’re not making your daughter express physical affection toward anyone they don’t want to.

Why? Well aside from being an awkward experience for both the hug giver and receiver, they claim it can also cause girls to feel like they “owe” affection to other people, even if they don’t feel like being affectionate. They also say that further down the road, this can lead to questionable definitions of consent.

In the article entitled “Reminder: She Doesn’t Owe Anyone A Hug. Even At The Holidays,” the organization insists that encouraging your children to show affection toward family members might cause them emotional distress.

“Have you ever insisted, ‘Uncle just got here—go give him a big hug!’ or ‘Auntie gave you that nice toy, go give her a kiss,’ when you were worried your child might not offer affection on her own? If yes, you might want to reconsider the urge to do that in the future,” the article reads.

“Think of it this way, telling your child that she owes someone a hug either just because she hasn’t seen this person in a while or because they gave her a gift can set the stage for her 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,” it continues.

Instead, the writer says that parents should give their daughters space to “make their own decisions” and determine whether they want to give affection at all, or simply not in the form of a physical hug.

The article seems to conflate a shy child being encouraged to interact with family members with consenting to a romantic encounter as if the two things are in any way similar. It also assumes that parents aren’t discussing consent with their young girls, and having that discussion well into the teenage years of their child.

The organization also posted articles discussing the concept of consent as well as how to talk to your girls about physical and sexual violence.

Twitter users couldn’t understand why the organization issued such a silly piece of advice in the first place:

Perhaps parents don’t like having a liberal group tell them what is best for their children?


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