You must have witnessed situations where parents force their children to hug an aunt or kiss a gradparent etc. It is a fact that little children are cute and cuddly, and they make us all want to hold them close and give them tiny kisses. But when this display of affection, even from close friends and relatives is forced upon kids – it is a problem!

These days, we are all teaching our children the importance of consent and control over their own bodies. We do this to make sure that nobody takes advantage of our children, and also to show them the right behaviour they should follow as grown ups.

But when we force children to hug or kiss a relative, we are doing the opposite of ‘consent’. We are taking away their power to consent or deny. Consent does not apply to sexual situations only. It is a basic control over your body and shuld be taugt right in childhood. So  the next time your child says No to hugging a relative, do not force them. Suggest an alternative like a wave or a handshake or a high five!


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Lavanya Mehra

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