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Teaching children they have the right to say no - June 20th 2017, 07:58 PM

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Not sure if it's the best title but I saw this article on facebook:


Do you think that more parents should do this? Do you think the mother is taking it too far?

I fully agree that children should be taught that they do not have to hug/kiss or show affection to people if they don't want. I believe that you can't teach your children about consent while also forcing them to hug/kiss/be affectionate if they don't want.

I also tend to not pick children up without their permission if we are in a situation where I can do that. For example, when I am in public with my nieces or nephew I make them hold someone's hand and when they were smaller I would carry them. But, if I am in a less crowded environment, I tend to respect them if they indicate that they do not want to be held any longer or at all.

There are still a lot of people that believe that ... children don't have the capacity to know what they want etc. If you have a facebook and come across this post...you can read the comments and see people freaking out.

Some people are basically saying the child is going to grow up to have bad manners...and I've seen parents raise their children to be able to say no to things like hugging, kissing and showing affection while still raising them to be well-mannered.

Anyway, what are your thoughts about this?

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Re: Teaching children they have the right to say no - June 20th 2017, 08:24 PM

I've seen this and I like the idea, but I definitely think you have to go about it the right way. Along the lines of not raising a rude child, teach them that it's okay not to show affection to someone, but also how to turn someone down respectfully. As the shy kid, I really wish my parents had done this. They always made me hug and/or kiss people I almost never saw and some of whom I was actually afraid of! It was clear that I didn't want to do this and it would've been nice for that to be okay instead of them making a big deal out of it and it being this huge awkward moment when the other person eventually let me off the hook and then sometimes I got a lecture about how it was rude to not hug or kiss even if I didn't want to.

I think it's also important though to teach kids that some trusted people might force a hug or a kiss (I'm thinking like family members, not creeps), and that they shouldn't necessarily throw a fit that Aunt so and so kissed them without asking first. Then teach them the difference between when to throw a fit about it (a person or in a way they don't like) and when not to.

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Re: Teaching children they have the right to say no - June 21st 2017, 03:07 PM

I like the idea!

I'm confused about why people may think that raising a child this way would result in bad manners if the child refused affection. I think, for me, it's difficult to grasp because I was never involved with extended family much and even when I was, I was never told to give or approached for affection. I've never liked the idea of telling, or expecting, children to give a hug and a kiss to a relative/someone else, because it doesn't take into consideration the fact that a child may not want to do that.

Even now I ask friends/family members if it's okay to hug rather than just assume it is. It really does make sense to learn about boundaries, asking for affection, respecting the answer, and to respectfully decline as well.

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Re: Teaching children they have the right to say no - July 5th 2017, 05:48 PM

Haven't got the time to read the whole article, but yes, I think I can agree with this.

On the other hand, anything in excess is bad. If what this manages to achieve instead is a culture where everyone has to ask everyone else for permission before even looking at them, in order not to cause offense... then no. Obviously.

I support this because I'm generally against authoritative parenting styles. I simply don't think they work as often.


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Re: Teaching children they have the right to say no - July 5th 2017, 07:10 PM

We do this with my nephew. Between my mother, myself, his mother, and certain extended family we will ask him. If he says no, then we leave it at that and might ask again later. He's almost four and about 70% of the time he remembers to say please/thank you and to ask before he hugs someone.

I don't understand why people would think it causes bad manners, either. Being polite is a different thing that you need to teach them and, in my opinion, it's on the parent(s) if their child is respectful or not. It really is important to teach a child about consent, though. A child needs to know that they can say no to affection or intimacy they don't want and to also know that they cannot force someone else to be affectionate or intimate with them.

I do agree with BDF that it can be taken too far, though. Almost anything can be taken too far when raising a child.

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Re: Teaching children they have the right to say no - July 5th 2017, 10:31 PM

Personally, I think this is a great idea. It's a way to teach children about consent from an early age in a way that makes sense to them. As they get older, they'll remember the fact that close family members took the time to ask if they could hug/kiss/pick them up, which means they'll be more likely to recognize it as wrong if someone who is nowhere near as close just assumes that it's something that they can do.

Manners and consent are two totally different things, so I don't see why some people are getting so worked up about it. Children can know to say please and thank you while still respecting themselves enough to say no if another person wants to initiate physical contact that they don't want. Teaching children the value of consent doesn't mean that other aspects of parenting are going to fall short. It's just one more thing to add to being a good parent.

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Re: Teaching children they have the right to say no - July 6th 2017, 08:05 PM

I agree that these things can be taken a bit far. I think you have to come to find a healthy balance which could be difficult for some people. I haven't quite figured out how I would go about doing this so that it wouldn't be extreme but I do know I have learned from a few people who have spoken out about their sexual abuse that allowing kids to consent to hugs and kisses is important.

I honestly don't know why people correlate allowing kids the ability to consent to manners. I have seen people approach things with their kids in this way and the kids do not lack manners. I am kind of questioning if people think kids will lack manners because they automatically assume that parents will let the child walk all over them?

Idk, I think that if this is done right it can be a great way to teach kids about consent early on in life. If it is done in the wrong way I am sure it can backfire. But, I also think that assuming that kids won't have manners is wrong.

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