46 answers

Forcing Children to Hug and Kiss.. Even If They Do Not Want To?

We have had this come up a lot throughout our daughters life.

She has never been a hugging kissing child.

SHe hugs us a lot, she is wonderful about saying.." I love you motheeeerrr! "Very dramaticly and draping her 5'7" body on my 5'3" body.. She hugs my husband and tells him "I love you filth man! "

But kissing is not her thing..

With relatives and friends, if she gives them a hug, they know it is special..

When I was growing up.. on my mothers side of the family a hug was a natural greeting and good bye hugs always. .. Sometime kisses.. On my fathers side.. not so much.. My father though gives huge wet kisses.. Yucky.. But that is who he is.. We hug my stepmopther.. But I refuse to hug my stepfather.. he hugs too long and is kind of creepy about always staring at my chest too.. Yucky.. My daughter will squirm away from him every time..

I had a work associate.. Did not see her very often or very close with her. She hosted an office party at her home once and when we arrived and as we were leaving, she instructed her 8 year old daughter, who I had never met, to kiss and hug every one of us! The girl did it, cheerfully, but everyone of us thought it was very odd..

We have had cmments about how our daughter does not like hugging and kissing. I told them she is a private person and is not comfortible getting in other peopls spaces, because she is not always comfortible with them in her space. But if she does hug you.. she must be very comfortible with you..

She does not mind sitting net to strangers on a plane or in the movies.. But she is not a person that on purpose pulls up a chair to sit right next to someone..

Anyway.. my question is.. Do you insist your child hug and kiss relatives? Your friensds? Is it ok if they refuse, or do you still encourage them.. Do you make them because you feel it would be rude if they did not?

Are there exceptions?

This came up because of this article. and I had just seen a good friend I had not seen in forever and we just naturally hugged.. Not that we had ever hugged in the past..It all got me wondering about what others do..

http://www.cnn.com/2012/06/20/living/give-grandma-hug-chi...

What can I do next?

Featured Answers

I have never forced my children or grandchildren to hug or kiss against their wishes. I teach them that they are to be respected, never forced to do anything that makes them feel uncomfortable, and if people are offended I back them up.

5 moms found this helpful

Nope. Even my twin. She wanted hugs and kisses, my kids just didn't feel like it that day, so I told her to back off. I am also a fan of 'high-fives!'.

4 moms found this helpful

I do not force my children to hug or kiss. I have to remind my husband that he should not do so.

I was always forced to do this and it was part of what destroyed my sense of being allowed to have any boundaries about letting/not letting others touch me, about being able to say "NO" when/if I wanted to....you see where this is going, right? Who wants *that* for their child?

2 moms found this helpful

More Answers

I NEVER force my children to give hugs or kisses. I have been severely criticized by people who are offended that I didn't make my kids hug or kiss them, but I couldn't care less if it seems rude to some people.
A woman in my church actually said, "Children don't GET a choice. I want my hug and I'm going to get it!" and then backed off when I told her not to violate my child's boundaries. The word "violate" made an impression on her!

Thanks for posting this! I wish everyone would have respectful consideration for their kids like you have for your daughter!

6 moms found this helpful

No, I do not insist that my kids hug/kiss others.

I can't stand social hugging or air kissing, and it has nothing to do with my affection for the other person. I just don't like somebody in my space. My only exceptions are my very close family (children, husband, my parents & close in-laws).

I find that, generally with a few exceptions of course, the insistence is more about pleasing others than what is best for the child.

5 moms found this helpful

I have never forced my children or grandchildren to hug or kiss against their wishes. I teach them that they are to be respected, never forced to do anything that makes them feel uncomfortable, and if people are offended I back them up.

5 moms found this helpful

Never, not even me or Dad. It's her body, and she needs to be in charge of who touches it I might say, "do you want to kiss Nana?". But I would never make them. And because we allow them to make the decision, they've never really resisted with family (except maybe as older toddlers) and are very affectionate in general. I don't find it odd to remind or ask a child to make a greeting, but I would be disturbed by a parent insisting upon it.

4 moms found this helpful

No, never once have I ever asked our daughter to hug or kiss anyone, family or not. She's her own little person and if she feels like granting this special gesture, she may do it on her own accord. We're very affectionate within our own small family, hugging and kissing one another. I respect everyone else's space. I hug our friends and family and they seem comfortable with that. If they didn't, I'm very keen to pick that up and would act accordingly. The last thing I want is to make someone uncomfortable :)

4 moms found this helpful

Nope. Even my twin. She wanted hugs and kisses, my kids just didn't feel like it that day, so I told her to back off. I am also a fan of 'high-fives!'.

4 moms found this helpful

I don't force mine to hug, kiss or accept hugs and kisses.

3 moms found this helpful

My almost 18 year old daughter is not a big hugger. On her terms. She does do obligation hugs with her grandparents and such..she knows it means alot to them and always will. But my BIL knows its not her thing, so he harasses her about it, which just makes it sort of a joke. To her this becomes a war of words (to which she is far better armed in this war than he is, if I do say so).

She tells him his making a joke of it invalidates her feelings and her comfort level on the subject. That it is her body and it has always been her choice on how she will share it. It always will be. She tells him "my parents instilled that in me". Slam! He will tell her he is her Uncle and he deserves her respect, including the customary affectionate hug (usually in saying goodbye for us). She tells him he does little to earn her respect by his words and actions. She does this with a deadpan serious face all while he is joking, laughing like a comedian and egging her on. She wins every time and he feels humiliated. You would think he would learn.

I am glad that my daughter has this confidence in herself! When she was little she was affectionate, but not one who just hugged anyone who looked huggable! She was always this discerning. :-)

3 moms found this helpful

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