I read a post on Scary Mommy today that resonated with me instantly. I have had a similar post swirling in my head for awhile now and just never made time to put it in the drafts. The post I am referring to talks about not forcing kids to hug others if they do not want to.
I have to say that I completely agree with that post. I have often been
accused informed that my kids are just simply too shy. They need to learn to open up and talk to people, they said. Well let me tell you a little secret. My kids are far from shy. They have no problem speaking their minds and I am finding that people often confuse introverted with shyness. Shyness is apprehension and anxiety in social situations where as introverts need alone time to recharge.
My oldest daughter is an introvert and very much values her personal space. So is her mother by the way. We have a bubble and do not enjoy others in our bubble. I have not and will not force her to hug anyone she does not want to hug. It is her body and shouldn’t we teach our kids to maintain control over what happens to their body?
Kids do not get a lot of control over most things, but the one thing they should control is their body. This also includes hugging me by the way. If she does not want to hug me, then I do not force her. It may hurt my feelings a bit but I know that she loves me, she just shows it differently.
I don’t want her to think that she has to let people touch her to make them happy and put their happiness in front of her discomfort. I want her to trust her instincts and there are just too many creeps out there who will try to get kids to do unspeakable things to make them happy. I just can’t even go there, but you know what I am referring to.
It is not rude to not hug a family member nor does it make them self centered. It lets them value their personal space and value their bodies. I understand that grandparents love their kids and it can hurt their feelings if they are not hugged but at least in our case, the grandparents are n around on a daily basis. It may feel like hugging a stranger and that just seems odd to kids.
we should look at kids respect their personal space. We should empower them to control their bodies and respect their choices of whether or not to show affection. What do you do when your children do not want to hug others?