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The discussion was sparked after an Australian mother said adults should not “guilt trip” children into cuddles. The mother then pleaded with grandparents to “do better” and educate children that they have the right to say no and that consent is needed before a hug can be given. Now her parenting advice has gone viral on the TikTok video-sharing platform.
The Australian woman, Brittany Baxter, said adults should start “normalising the fact that kids do not have to kiss and hug adults”.
She said children shouldn’t be forced to give up their own “body boundaries” just to make an adult feel loved.
Referring to her daughter, Ms Baxter added: “I find it really f***ing unhelpful when the adults in her life are like, ‘we have to ask for a kiss and a hug?
“Even though I’ve explained multiple times.
“And then when she says ‘no’ they’re like ‘oh, she doesn’t love me, my feelings are hurt’ and then they proceed to overstep the body boundaries anyway.
“My daughter and her body do not exist to make anyone feel more comfortable, or to make anybody feel more loved.”
Now fury has erupted on Twitter over the comments.
Television presenter Jeremy Vine tweeted: “Should grandparents need their grandchildren’s permission if they want to have a hug?
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“In adulthood, we teach that you need consent.
“Do you think that it’s a good idea to ask kids if they’re okay with a hug?”
Responding to Mr Vine one Twitter follower agreed with Ms Baxter and wrote: “Yes, why not.
“When your kids reach an age to express an opinion, is it really that hard to say ‘can I have a hug?’
“We manage this fine in our family.”
Although another Twitter user was firmly against the sentiments expressed by Ms Baxter and wrote: “Oh for pities sake, no!
“Of course not.
“It is their grandparents not total strangers.”
One said: “No! Don’t be ridiculous. Most kids can’t wait to hug their grandparents. Who comes up with such ridiculous questions.”
Another said: “Yes, let’s all be robots with no feelings, shall we? Everything beige. Many are already afraid to open their mouth and speak in case someone is offended.”
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