The Girl Scouts posted to its website a reminder to parents ahead of the holidays: Your daughter doesn’t owe anyone a hug.
The organization wrote that the holidays “could, without you even realizing it, also be a time when your daughter gets the wrong idea about consent and physical affection.”
The Girl Scouts said, if you have ever insisted, “Uncle just got here—go give him a big hug!” or “Auntie gave you that nice toy, go give her a kiss,” you might want to reconsider doing that.
The concern, according to the Girl Scouts? “Telling your child that she owes someone a hug either just because she hasn’t seen this person in a while or because they gave her a gift can set the stage for her questioning whether she “owes” another person any type of physical affection when they’ve bought her dinner or done something else seemingly nice for her later in life.”
Girl Scouts’ developmental psychologist Dr. Andrea Bastiani Archibald said, “.. the lessons girls learn when they’re young about setting physical boundaries and expecting them to be respected last a lifetime, and can influence how she feels about herself and her body as she gets older.”
The Girl Scouts suggest allowing your daughter to decide when and how she wants to show affection — that can be with a smile, a high-five or even an air kiss.
The reminder was also posted on the Girl Scouts USA Facebook page and has been shared nearly 7k times, with mixed reaction.
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