Should your children be forced to hug relatives at this week's holiday gatherings?
The Girl Scouts are stirring up the conversation after releasing an article reminding parents that daughters don't owe anyone a hug.
The article released from the organization says the holidays “can be a time when your daughter gets the wrong idea about consent and physical affection.”
It’s a warning that troop leader and mom Lissa Critz says she’s often thought about and agrees with.
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“I wasn’t surprised the Girl Scouts shared it. They’ve kind of been sharing insightful things for girls, in particular, but kids in general from child psychologists,” said Critz. “I think the important thing as a parent is to know your kid. Know what they’re comfortable with and to present them with options.”
According to the article and Critz, those alternatives can include a high five or an air kiss, whatever child and parent have agreed is a better option.
Clinical Psychologist John Jeffrey says he was surprised by the article, but agrees with some of its content.
“We all want to protect girls, so I’m certainly sympathetic to what they’re trying to do,” said Jeffrey.
At the end of the day, he urges parents to help their children decide what’s best for them.
"I don’t think there’s anything more important than who you can trust and who you can’t trust in life. So I think it’s good for a child to figure that out and gather that information. But again, all of that has to be guided by the parents,” Jeffrey said.
The article comes in the wake of numerous serious sexual allegations against high profile men.
Girl Scouts urge that “teaching your daughter about consent early on can help her understand her rights.”