As a person who often gives hugs to people, I must say I find this totally absurd! I get the whole sexual harassment thing, believe me. But do we really need the Girl Scouts telling us not to hug our grandchildren? Come on!
Sure there is a huge deluge of sexual harassment and abuse allegations coming out Hollywood, Capitol Hill, but it’s not because grandchildren hugged their grandparents. Get real!
It’s more about the lack of principles and morality of people with power and perverts who go unchecked or held accountable for their actions. Just look at Weinstein, Epstein and Clinton – all repetitive perverts over at least several decades. All with gross and inappropriate behavior that was ignored or swept under the rug.
However, a new article at the Girl Scouts website argues that it could be in part because too many parents told too many children to hug too many relatives during holiday seasons past.
Yes, according to the article, parents forcing children to hug their aunts and uncles could leave a young girl “questioning whether she ‘owes’ another person any type of physical affection.”
“Have you ever insisted, ‘Uncle just got here—go give him a big hug!’ or ‘Auntie gave you that nice toy, go give her a kiss,’ when you were worried your child might not offer affection on her own?” the article reads.
“If yes, you might want to reconsider the urge to do that in the future.”
Duh-duh-duhhhh! Talk about a dramatic warning — and things got weirder from there.
“Think of it this way, 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,” the article continues.
“The notion of consent may seem very grown-up and like something that doesn’t pertain to children,” Girl Scouts’ developmental psychologist Dr. Andrea Bastiani Archibald is quoted as saying. “But 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.
“Plus, sadly, we know that some adults prey on children, and teaching your daughter about consent early on can help her understand her rights, know when lines are being crossed, and when to go to you for help.”
So, can your kid just give the cold shoulder to relatives? Of course not, argue the Girl Scouts.
“There are many other ways to show appreciation, thankfulness, and love that don’t require physical contact. Saying how much she’s missed someone or thank you with a smile, a high-five, or even an air kiss are all ways she can express herself, and it’s important that she knows she gets to choose which feels most comfortable to her,” the article reads.
Good grief. And just in case you think this was unconnected to the recent events in Hollywood and elsewhere, the Girl Scouts were quick to quash that notion.
In fact, the group told ABC News it was offering the advice partly “in light of recent news stories about sexual harassment.”
“Girl Scouts of the USA offers advice to girls’ parents and families (including those of current Girl Scouts) on how to talk to their daughters about issues in the larger world that they hear about or that directly affect them,” the statement said.
“Given our expertise in healthy relationship development for girls, and in light of recent news stories about sexual harassment, we are proud to provide girls’ parents and caregivers with age-appropriate guidance to use when discussing this sensitive matter and other challenging topics, should they wish to do so.”
In case you think that this sort of fear-mongering has the imprimatur of all child psychologists, well, not so much. Psychiatrist Dr. Janet Taylor noted that parents shouldn’t create “a mass hysteria about physical contact with loved ones,” which is clearly what the Girl Scouts were aiming for.
“As parents, we have to use common sense and also realize that it’s never too early to start a conversation about good touch and bad touch,” Taylor told ABC. “But also we don’t want to overstep our boundaries so our children are not afraid of who they should not be afraid of.”
Other people who weren’t experts in the field were equally dubious when the story was shared on Facebook.
“Seriously? So now teaching our kids to show affection to FAMILY is basically child abuse?” one commenter wrote. “Unless something inappropriate is going on, this shouldn’t even be a topic to discuss… and if that is the case, that is an entirely different discussion.”
It’s sad to see this coming from an organization like the Girl Scouts, that now seems intent on creating controversy.
Stop with the fear mongering!
In a response to the Girl Scouts’ Facebook post, for example, one user said, “This is absolutely ridiculous!!!! I MAKE my kids hug and kiss family members and close friends of the family when we say hello and goodbye! It’s a sign of respect!!”
Since when does the Girl Scouts think that girls are too stupid to know the difference between giving grandma and grandpa a hug and someone else saying ‘you owe me a hug’? Seriously!?
As Rush Limbaugh said,
“Well, the Girl Scouts are essentially saying that young girls being hugged by family members sets the stage for being sexually harassed or worse later in life. It’s absurd.”
“The Girl Scouts of America is advising parents not to let male family members hug these little girls. Why? Because it can lead down the road to the little girl wanting to be hugged by people who aren’t her family and who might want more than a hug. And if we condition our little girls to be hugged by family members just for greetings and saying hi when you enter a room — this is absurd. This is trying to affix the blame for a problem where it does not reside and doesn’t lie. Another attack on the family essentially from the Girl Scouts of America, of all places, which obviously has been corrupted now by the left as well.”
” To try to relate or compare the hugs, the greetings of male family members to potential future rapists and muggers? I mean, the innocent expression of affection and love in a family can lead to — what this is, is a sick, sick way of actually ending up blaming the victim, when you get right down to it. I don’t even know if they see that, but that’s essentially what they’re doing.”
The Girl Scouts should just leave the hugging advice to the parents. I think in most cases parents know best. But if the Girl Scouts think they can tell grandparents when they can and can’t get hugs from their own grandchildren….they can shove those overpriced mint cookies where the sun don’t shine.
Coming from a former girl scout, this grandma is going to give hugs and get hugs for as long as I live!