People Online Debate Why Grandparents Should Ask Permission to Kiss and Hug Their Grandkids
The relationship we build with our grandparents can be one of the purest and most rewarding ones we ever have. However, making our children kiss or hug them, even when they don’t want to, is not very acceptable. A viral TikTok video raised so many questions on this topic, but also woke up a sense of awareness in people. Even experts have something to say about children giving consent to their grandparents for hugs and kisses.
We at Bright Side stumbled upon that video and we saw that its proposed approach got many different reactions from people. So, we decided to dig a little bit deeper and see this question in a more detailed way.
The video raised awareness about children’s consent.
Recently a mom from Australia posted a video on TikTok talking about how she teaches her 2-year-old daughter. Her video went viral on many different social media sites. In it, she talks about how her daughter gets to choose if she wants to get hugs and kisses, even from her grandparents.
But it’s very difficult for her and she finds it very unhelpful when other adults in her life question her decision, and end up asking her, “What?! We have to ask for a kiss and a hug?”
“As a parent, I practice consent with my daughter and something’s really been bothering me, so I thought, why not take it to TikTok so we can talk about it,” said the concerned mother in her viral video.
Obligatory kisses and hugs are not the right way to express love.
The TikTok video divided people into those who agree and those who disagree with the message. One grandparent said that forced kisses and hugs are not the right way to say, “I love you.” While many people supported her statement, one had a good point, “How would you ask a baby?”
Well, maybe babies don’t talk but they have their own way of communicating with the world. In their first few months, they are used to mom and dad, or the people they were surrounded by the most. However, when an unfamiliar face picks them up, the baby might start to cry and become fussy. Also, they might look scared and act like they are hiding.
You should give children time to get to know you and, once they do, they will give you a hug and a kiss. But forcing this is not ok, it’s like you are forcing love.
It’s not about other people’s feelings or egos.
But grandparents weren’t the only ones who were talking about this topic. There is one mother who strongly supports teaching consent, even toward relatives. She says that even if her 3-year-old kid doesn’t want to be hugged or kissed by her she won’t do it.
Teaching a child about body autonomy and consent is more important than her or anyone else’s feelings or ego, no matter whether it’s about family or not. She said, “I can’t teach him that ’no means no’ and then ignore him when he sets boundaries about his own body.”
But children should experience affection and love.
One young man opened up as well and added that it might not seem like a pleasant thing to get a slobbery kiss on your face from a 94-year-old grandmother, but it shows pure love. Especially now that he looks back, remembering the warm memories of his grandma’s kindness and fondness, it means everything.
According to him, children don’t like doing a lot of things but it doesn’t mean that we need to listen to their objections, mostly when it comes to something trivial like this. They won’t be traumatized nor will their future be affected in a negative way. Just the opposite, it will teach them how to express affection and love, especially when they get older.
According to experts it should be more about safety.
One expert says that actually, the entire topic is very simple. It’s just giving our children a choice to choose, on their own, who can touch their bodies. It’s about who, what, where, when... which is about the safety of our children.
Teaching consent at a young age is about helping kids understand that they have the right over their own bodies and that they should be confident about their wishes. Kids will be raised to feel safe in their bodies and respect them and others too. But the thing that should be understood is that it’s not about the grandparents, aunties, uncles, or even parents, it’s about the child.
In this case, age is not something to rely on. We get to be asked if we want a kiss or a hug, so should our kids. Relatives should ask permission before touching. It’s possible to physically and verbally respect a “NO” without any shaming.
So many people ended up supporting the mom in the video.
But there are those who are not big fans of her approach.
Do you give your kid a chance to be asked for a kiss or a hug? What would you do if your kid doesn’t want one? Where do you stand in this debate?