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OverSword

Girl Scouts "don't make your daughters hug"

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Girl Scouts of the USA issued a warning to parents this holiday season, asking them to think twice before forcing their daughters to hug relatives at gatherings.

“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 have bought her dinner or done something else seemingly nice for her later in life,”

 

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Just kill me now please!

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8 minutes ago, OverSword said:

 

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Just kill me now please!

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I feel the same way.....

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I think this is good advice. Not everyone is comfortable with having another person press themselves against them. I think this is especially true of children/teens. Hugging is overrated and certainly shouldn't be forced on anyone.

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4 minutes ago, ouija ouija said:

I think this is good advice. Not everyone is comfortable with having another person press themselves against them. I think this is especially true of children/teens. Hugging is overrated and certainly shouldn't be forced on anyone.

I agree that it shouldn't be forced but who enforces hugging anyway??  588401.gif   Surely the relative wouldn't want such a contrived, artificial hug?  Isn't it more likely that the relative would be the first one to offer a hug anyway?

Edited by sees
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2 minutes ago, sees said:

I agree that it shouldn't be forced but who enforces hugging anyway??  588401.gif   Surely the relative wouldn't want such a contrived, artificial hug?  Isn't it more likely that the relative would be the first one to offer a hug anyway?

Who enforces hugging? Probably the same parents who ask their tiny children "Do you love me?" and insist on them replying "I love you". My god daughter has never liked being hugged(she's in her late teens now), but her mother has embarrassed her her whole life by saying "Come on, give so-&-so a hug" not just at family gatherings but with neighbours and friends of her mother.

Then there are the people who proudly announce "I'm a hugger!" as they lunge at you as if their need to hug overrides what anyone else wants or is comfortable with.

Emotional blackmail is often used to enforce hugging and cheek-kissing. How difficult is it for a child to say 'no' when doing so brings disapproval from the parent and embarrassment to the one waiting to be hugged/kissed?

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The reason I think I find this warning offensive is because it feels like an accusation, as if a person can't be trusted around children.  Granted at the very top reason given it's so you don't teach children that they need to reciprocate gifts with physicality, bot notably further on in the article it starts giving stats about incest.  frankly I find it creepy that whoever came up with this warning convinced the girl scouts to issue it.  It feels like they are the one's who are sick not us.

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18 minutes ago, ouija ouija said:

Who enforces hugging? Probably the same parents who ask their tiny children "Do you love me?" and insist on them replying "I love you". My god daughter has never liked being hugged(she's in her late teens now), but her mother has embarrassed her her whole life by saying "Come on, give so-&-so a hug" not just at family gatherings but with neighbours and friends of her mother.

Then there are the people who proudly announce "I'm a hugger!" as they lunge at you as if their need to hug overrides what anyone else wants or is comfortable with.

Emotional blackmail is often used to enforce hugging and cheek-kissing. How difficult is it for a child to say 'no' when doing so brings disapproval from the parent and embarrassment to the one waiting to be hugged/kissed?

I have seen parents encourage their children to affectionately greet relatives but not FORCE them to!!  Who would want to be the recipient of such a situation?  Perhaps I haven't met such strict parents as you have experienced.  I feel I would intervene in such a situation!

I understand what you are saying about those who freely want to hug.  I myself am not really touchy feely but I try to overcome this when I see the person's warm intent.

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“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 have bought her dinner or done something else seemingly nice for her later in life,”

This is the essence. No one 'owes' anyone a hug. They are freely given and received.

My grandfather brought hugs to my mother's side of the family decades and decades ago. It spilled out from there. Cousins and in-laws of both sexes still give each other a quick hug after long years of separation.

It's not "physical affection", it's more mental, a familial connection.

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Another my future daughter(s) will not be joining the Girl Scouts. You did this yourself, GS. Not me.

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And there is another side to this... Children who are kept from physical contact with those close to them (family) by being told to NOT hug, stand a chance of growing up afraid of physical contact, and stay in a shell... Hugs within the family (especially when there is a "crowd" there to "supervise") not only help the family bond closer together, but can be used as an excellent tool to help teach the child when it is appropriate (or safe) to have physical contact and when it is not... The GS' are overlooking a huge opportunity here to actually help young girls...  And what do they consider "forcing" to be? Threats? Constant nagging? or just asking the child to hug a couple times?...

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Coming from a Ukrainian family on my dad's side, we not only hugged, but kissed on the lips :o.  It was not sexual or freaky.  It was the Ukrainian way yo show family connection and affection.  

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Children should not be told to hug people they don't want to. There were people I was told to hug, when I was a child, that repulsed me for one reason or the other. I couldn't pinpoint exactly why, but years later it was revealed they were actually pedophiles. I shudder to think what might have happened if my parents hadn't listened to me when I told them these people made me uncomfortable. 

My friends and I used to spend the night at each other's houses all the time. There were a couple I wouldn't go back to. Either their brother, friend, father or uncle gave me a bad vibe. When I told my parents, they would help me make excuses why I couldn't spend the night again at that time. They were always welcome to come back to our house though.

Children can be a very good judge of character.

 

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1 hour ago, Kismit said:

In our family no one is forced to hug. Hugs are given freely. Psychologically they should be received or given as a sign of earned trust.

Then, boy, does my daughter trust me!  Very huggy kid

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A hug is a hug is a hug...or is it?

No ...it is not!

A hug is many things...mostly it is a way to say...I like you or I love you.  I have noticed a lot of people and their 'hugs'.  

You need to watch who your girls hug...and how...they are hugged.  Some 'relatives' are a bit too...hmmm...chesty...in their hugs.  

The only woman I hug...uh...chestily...is my wife...I don't even hug my daughter that way...so...just keep an eye out there ya'll.  Holidays and all ya know.

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6 hours ago, OverSword said:

The reason I think I find this warning offensive is because it feels like an accusation, as if a person can't be trusted around children.  Granted at the very top reason given it's so you don't teach children that they need to reciprocate gifts with physicality, bot notably further on in the article it starts giving stats about incest.  frankly I find it creepy that whoever came up with this warning convinced the girl scouts to issue it.  It feels like they are the one's who are sick not us.

Growing up, I was forced to hug two people who should not have been trusted around children. 

I wish I hadn't. 

Adults don't always know. If a kid shies away, maybe they shouldn't push them into hugging. 

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1 hour ago, ChaosRose said:

Growing up, I was forced to hug two people who should not have been trusted around children. 

I wish I hadn't. 

Adults don't always know. If a kid shies away, maybe they shouldn't push them into hugging. 

I agree, Rose, but the problem is usually the other way around; dissuading a child from too much hugging, at least of strangers. I was working in the toy department one day recently, and in one aisle, sitting in the middle on the floor, was a pink shoulder bag. When  I looked inside, it contained  a neatly folded ballet costume and slippers. I realized, immediately that it was not merchandise and that a child, engrossed with all the toys, had forgotten it. I put it in the seat of my buggy(carriage) and headed up front to turn it in to customer service. When I got to the GM entrance, one of our managers, Shanda, was talking to a women surrounded by her children, in the doorway. One of the children was the cutest little blond haired blue-eyed little girl of about seven or eight years. I overheard enough of the conversation to realize they were desperate to find some thing they left there. Shanda turned and started to speak to me when the little girl cried suddenly. "I see it. I see it.!" The bag was hers. She ran over to me and I handed it to her and said, "There you go." She ran back with it to her mother whose face was writ large with relief. She turned back around and looked at me, face bright with elation and said "O-o-o-o-h!, and ran back to me and hugged me, saying "Thank you, thank you!" much to the chagrin of the mother who chided her for it, half-heartedly. To meet that child was to meet the mother and know she was a wonderful mother. It made my day, to know I had turned her sorrow into joy. Should she have hugged me? Probably not. When a child is brought up in a loving and nurturing environment it is the job of the parents to teach them to be circumspect with their affections. She'll learn, in time.

Edited by Hammerclaw
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9 hours ago, OverSword said:

 

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Just kill me now please!

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Gee, and this is the same outfit that sends little girls, door-to-door, to sell cookies to strangers.

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Does that mean that boy scouts still have to hug their grandma's and aunts though?

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Pretty dumb reasoning by the Girl Scouts.  Hugging is not a bad thing.  

I don't know who these people are who "FORCE" their children to hug people.  I encouraged my daughters to hug my mom and dad.   They do it to this day when they see them.  It's a genuine show of affection.  I give my mom and dad a hug when I leave their house.  They are 87 and 89 years old.   Never know if it is the last time I'll see them. 

I think people are relating hugging to a sexual thing too much.   It's good to be careful though.  

 

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Geez.. don't make anyone hug, regardless of age, gender, and so on... Some parents do force their kids to hug. Not in an arm twisting force way, but in the telling kids they are going to do it or need to do it way. They use the power of the parenthood as the force rather than physical force. Typically I've seen this more as a "grandma trope"...

Parent: "When we visit grandma you are going to hug her"

Kid: "Awww, I don't want to, she smells, or hugs too much, is old or weird, ect"

Parent "She's your gma and loves you and you can make her happy by hugging her- you want to make her happy right?"

OR

Parent: "Come give gma a hug and see what she's brought you"

Kid hesitates, not wanting to hug or say anything

Parent: "Come on now, come give gma a hug"

Kid reluctantly goes and hugs gma

OR

Kid refuses to hug, parent covers with "They are just being shy"... potentially with a follow up to the kid noting they hurt the persons feeling by not hugging them. A bit of a guilt trip to try prompting hugging in the future.

OR

For the kid who is getting a little older, just old enough to stand up for themselves and refuse to hug, then the commentary changes to "What, are you too old and grown up now to give a hug? Guess you are too old for presents too?"

OR

A more public one I've seen a bunch of times. Kid don't want to go sit on Santa's or the Easter Bunnies lap, and parent starts wheedling- "Don't you want to tell Santa what you want? There's no need to be scared, you are on the good list. But the Easter Bunny needs to know where to leave your basket, you want him to be able to deliver your basket, right? But he is the real one, and loves children... " Meanwhile the line backs up, and either the parent gets the kid onto the lap happy or not, or has to leave the line.

 

Or other scenarios that run along the same sorts of lines. The force is the pressure from the adults around them that they should/must do this action the kid does not want to do. For a kid, adult pressure can be just as powerful and sometimes more powerful than peer pressure. For some folks, it is more gentle encouragement and prompting- for some folks, they keep trying to get their kids to hug even when it's clear the kid don't like that. Fortunately, I was raised in a household where we were all pretty huggy, and my folks didn't make us hug anyone or sit on laps if we didn't want to.

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2 hours ago, Myles said:

I think people are relating hugging to a sexual thing too much.

Another sign of a sick society: when people assume that the worst scenario is the most common scenario rather than something to be aware of just in case.  This constant worrying and focusing on the worst case makes things worse not better.

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Rashore and Chaos Rose, you guys certainly didn't grow up in my family.  I can not even a bit identify with your examples. The only thing I was ever forced to do was go to school and eat my vegetables. For your parents maybe this would have been good advice.

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