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do you expect children to give hugs after receiving presents? - Page 3

post #41 of 61
Originally Posted by A&A View Post
Thank you all! My mom makes me second-guess myself even when I know (or should know) that I'm right. And I did talk to ds some but I'll mention again that choosing to hug someone is entirely his choice.
My family makes me feel this way as well. I don't know where you are, but I'm from the deep South. Hugs are an expected part of "thank you" there, but it's not something I make my children do. We live in the Midwest now, but when we visit, my family often makes me feel - and sometimes outright say - that I've lost all sense of manners since I moved to "live with Yankees."

I was forced to hug everyone as a child, and I hated it. Fighting against it only got you into trouble, so I ended up doing it. I don't consider it "good manners" because it's not something we expect of adults.
post #42 of 61
Thread Starter 
Originally Posted by sewchris2642 View Post
No. It's their body. They don't have to greet people either or talk to them. For young children, it's a nonexistant line between people who are safe and people who aren't. After all, the majority of child abuse comes from family and people who the children know. Not strangers. I want my children to have every tool I can provide so they can protect themselves as much as possible in any situation. Your mom isn't your children's mother, you are. You are responsibile for them. Just keep reminding yourself of that whenever she starts to get to you. She can't do that if you don't let her. It takes 2 and your are giving her the power to do so.
Thank you.
post #43 of 61
Thread Starter 
Originally Posted by BrandiRhoades View Post
My family makes me feel this way as well. I don't know where you are, but I'm from the deep South.
I'm in Utah.
post #44 of 61
Haven't read any of the replies, actually, but hell no! Nobody should be forced into unwanted physical contact, period. Some kids are more "touchy-feely", others don't like hugs. I totally respect that.
post #45 of 61
Originally Posted by chinaKat View Post
I WILL ask my children to give a kiss/hug hello/goodbye to relatives and close family friends. But if they are not in the mood, I do not badger them -- I disliked being required to kiss/hug people as a child.
When leaving (or, if we are staying somewhere, going to sleep) I would always say something like, "Give Goodbyes" or "Give Goodnights" letting the kids know it was *time* to do that. How they did that (verbally, with a hug or kiss, whatever) was up to them. And it varies from person to person (like they will go through the circle of people and their Nana & Poppa might get a huge hug and a sit on the lap and a person they don't know as well would get a "good night" or "bye").
post #46 of 61
My stepdaughter is so huggy, she's always done so on her own (to aunts and uncles and grandmas, to total strangers in the coffee shop), so that's never been an issue here.

But I would not force the issue if I had a LO who didn't do so. I would not be offended if someone asked for a hug, though.

I would expect them to say thank you, however.
post #47 of 61
Saying thank you politely and as sincerely as possible, yes. The idea that someone is entitled to physical affection from my children as a 'reward' for giving them gifts?

Hell. No.

I don't hug people I don't want to hug. That makes me anxious, for multiple reasons. I don't want my daughters growing up believing that other people's wishes for their bodies trumps their own, you know?

DH's mother gets it and doesn't push. The rest of the family... yeah. We're working on it.
post #48 of 61
Absolutely not. A sincere "thank you" is all that is required imo. I don't seem to have this problem too much because I don't see my extended family all that often and my children hug/give kisses on the cheek of their own accord to the family/friiends that we do see on a regular basis.
post #49 of 61
I don't force my DD to hug everyone, if she really likes them without me actually telling her she does it herself..
post #50 of 61
My dad used to make me hug and kiss everyone thank you and goodbye. It was really stressful for me, but everyone expected it and would have been offended otherwise. (I had no problem doing this with my grandparents, but my creepy great uncle and a few other family members were a different story.) My dad finally stopped pushing it one time when I gave my uncle a hug and kiss goodbye (I was maybe 11) and he blushed and got flustered and left the room. So long story short, I think a thank you is quite enough and I wouldn't force a kid to hug anyone.
post #51 of 61
No, I would never force my son to hug someone.
post #52 of 61
I would like to offer a perspective from the other side.

I have 2 godchildren, 2 nephews and a niece. I have never forced any of them to give me physical affection or to say 'I love you'. Their respective parents have all, at some point, tried to coerce them into this and I have always said 'no, they will come to me when they are ready to'. The first time each of them said 'I love you' to me or came and gave me a spontaneous hug is forever imprinted on my brain. I can tell you every single little thing that was happening at that moment and each time I had tears in my eyes (indeed I am welling up now thinking about it).

OP you are doing your children AND your family members a service by allowing your child the choice. They will remember spontaneous affection much more warmly then forced!
post #53 of 61
I think manners are things that stay the same regardless of age- speaking politely to older people, thanking people for gifts, not catapulting your meatballs... those are all the same whether you're a toddler or a grandmother.

I think demanding physical affection is rude. And comparing the grandchildren in front of them was definitely unkind.

I require my toddler to sign thank you for gifts (we had lots of practice over Christmas!) but I think it would be excessive and exhausting to have him hug everyone after each gift. We'd have a meltdown for sure if we insisted on that, and I wouldn't blame him at all.
post #54 of 61
I would never do that. I am glad you spoke for your child. I would do the same, in your shoes.

post #55 of 61
Originally Posted by JL83 View Post
If they do it the same way as they do it in France and The Netherlands (2 countries I've spent some time in) there's actually no hugging involved. The 2 people's chests don't really touch, unless the people are actually close or related. They just "kiss" which means they touch cheeks and make kissing noises.
Sorry. I jumbled two things together in my response. I didn't think there was any hugging involved in the kissing thing. I just hate "social" kisses with a passion.

I just meant that where hugs are concerned, I wouldn't ever expect my kids to hug someone they didn't want to hug - circumstances aren't relevant. My feelings on this are obviously affected by my memories of being forced to hug a man who was sexually abusing me, but I'm okay with that. IMO, that experience just underscored for me how common it is to force children to show affection they may not feel, and violate their own boundaries, and it creeps me out.
post #56 of 61
I expect my children to be polite and say thank you. I do not expect them to go out of their comfort zone and give a hug or a kiss to anyone.

I have actually pulled my child out of the arms of an Aunt who was forcing hugs and kisses on my eldest. He likes his space and she was being almost abusive in making him hug her.

I would never make my children hug anyone they didn't want to.
post #57 of 61
Thread Starter 
Originally Posted by Gnatty View Post
And comparing the grandchildren in front of them was definitely unkind.
yeah, I think that bothered me the most.
post #58 of 61
I expect my kids to say thank you, but the hugging is purely optional and up to them. I would never let anyone demand physical affection from them that they clearly weren't willing to give.
post #59 of 61
Originally Posted by Vancouver Mommy View Post
I have had to explain to family members that I allow my children to share physical affection only when it feels safe for them. Teaching a child that they must comply with an adults demand for affection tells them that they do not have sovereignty over their own bodies and leaves them vulnerable to sexual predators, IMHO.
Originally Posted by Funny Face View Post
No. We teach respecting personal boundaries and forced hugging violates that.

It's sort of funny but after reading this thread I realized that after receiving gifts (like for an anniversary) I always go around the room and hug everyone. But there is no one in my family that I feel uncomfortable doing this to. And I would never ever make my daughter show physical affection to someone she didn't want to.
post #60 of 61
Originally Posted by NiteNicole View Post
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.
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