You don't own me
Though some parents support giving their children more autonomy, others disagree that forcing kids to kiss grandma could possibly related to opening the door to sexual assault in the future.
The first argument against the campaign is that allowing children to choose whom they care to act affectionately towards will raise a generation of rude and heartless young people who only act warmly towards others when it benefits themselves. “Grandma might need a hug too,” wrote Diana Oliveira on Facebook. “I don’t want an alienated and selfish kid.”
Making the Choice
Of course, choosing whom and how to touch is as much a cultural issue as it is personal one. In some countries such as in Western Europe, kissing not only friends but absolute strangers is considered standard during an introduction. In other countries, even a handshake could be interpreted as a grave insult.
Yet while it may be important to teach children about the cultures they come from and live in, as well as what the norms of polite society are, there comes a time when they also need to be taught that it’s okay for them to make their own decisions about their body, regardless of what others might think of them for it.
Do you think your child shouldn’t start being so selective until they’re a little older? Or is an early age the best time to teach them to make their own choices? Or perhaps you are of the school that believes you shouldn’t make any big decisions for your child, such as those who rally against male circumcision for babies, saying that it is their body, their choice.
With many moral, ethical, cultural, and behavioral implications involved: Where do you stand on this issue? Should kids be forced to hug family? Acquaintances? Or should they be able to show affection only to whom they choose?
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