However, rather than teaching children to love and respect their own body, parents violate their comfort zone. The only lesson that would be learned from forced skinship is that kids should use their bodies to please other people. A healthy child should learn that even their parents don’t own their bodies and that their bodies belong to themselves alone.
So, how to protect your children from a forced hug?
It is important for parents to notice how their kids react to skinship with relatives or any other people. If you detect any discomfort, then they should not be forced to hug or kiss others. In a polite way, you must also inform your relatives that they should not force hug your kids.
Hugs and kisses should be a result of real feelings. Natural affection can’t be forced. However, kids should still be polite and maintain respectful manners to their relatives.
How to erase hurt feelings from relatives?
Parents should make it clear that refusing skinship with relatives does not mean disrespect or bad manners. As endearing as they seem to be, relatives should know their boundaries as well. Instead of expecting a forced hug or a kiss, they can initiate a high-five or a handshake with the kids.
When the kids are offered choices, it will be more natural for them to react to their relatives.
Successfully dealing with the kids and the relatives’ feelings can help avoid any awkwardness in the family’s relationships and dynamics.