Originally Posted by NiteNicole
I don't ever force my daughter to hug people. I hated it when I was a kid and I just think it's creepy. However, I would NOT phrase it as "you don't have to if you don't want to" in front of other people. That, I think, is less than sensitive to the other person's feelings. It's uncomfortable.
Quite honestly, if the adults around my child are pushing hugs, then I'll phrase my response however I want. I've never been upset by a child not wanting to hug me - including nieces and nephews, and if someone is that
bothered by it, they may want to think about why they have that much emotional energy invested in unwanted hugs from relatives they don't see that often. There are all kinds of reasons why a child may not want to hug someone that have nothing to do with hurting anyone's feelings. In my case as a child, I hated having to do anything
with a bunch of other people watching - I might refuse to hug someone goodbye, then run back and hug them when I saw them alone, for instance.