Not shy about getting right into your living room with parenting instructions, Girl Scouts officials are spreading the holiday cheer by reminding parents, in a tweet, that daughters should not be required to show physical affection to relatives this season.
The organization, which raises an impressive haul of money by sending girls door-to-door to sell millions of cookies, tweeted the reminder Monday morning with the caption: ‘Forced affection = Not O.K.’ The tweet linked to an article published on their website called: “Reminder: She Doesn’t Owe Anyone a Hug. Not even at the Holidays.”
“Holidays and family get-togethers are a time for yummy food, sweet traditions, funny stories, and lots and lots of love. But they could, without you even realizing it, also be a time when your daughter gets the wrong idea about consent and physical affection,” the article reads.
Officials then delved deeper into family dynamics and child psychology, giving examples of the type of “hugs” and affection they are referring too, which in this case are non-sexual.
“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? If yes, you might want to reconsider the urge to do that in the future,” the article reads.
Though the article talks about forced affection regarding close family members, the organization said this type of interaction may set the stage for young girls to question whether or not they ‘owe’ another person physical affection when someone does something nice for them later in life.
Girl Scouts also gave examples of other ways young girls can show their appreciation, thankfulness, and love that don’t require physical contact, Mailonline reported.
‘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 organization suggested.