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As a child, were you forced to hug/kiss relatives or friends when you didn't want to? If you are a parent, do you force your children to hug or kiss when they don't want to, either you or other relatives or friends?

By HereticSin7
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3

No, my parents taught me that my body and boundaries should be respected. My son has aspergers. He isn't a very physically affectionate person with most people. It bothers a lot of my friends and family. They insist I should make him hug. It's not going to happen.

I actually had more problems with hugs in professional environments than anywhere else. People feel entitled to hugs and physical contact. When I tell them no they get offended and go out of their way to hug me more.

Paracosm Level 8 Sep 25, 2018
2

My cousin tried to push her grandkids (6 year old girl and 5 year old boy ) to come hug / kiss me. It was obvious they didn't want to. I told her (and them) "Hey, back off of them, they don't want to and, that's OK.. don't push them."

It made me feel uncomfortable as well since I was forced to "go hug your huge scary buxom aunt who will smother you in her bosom for 30 seconds" (no, they didn't say it like that) but that's what it was.

P.S. Now my cousin's grandkids have warmed to me, and now that they are a bit older they come and hug me on their own when I see them!

k80b619 Level 5 Sep 27, 2018

good for you for standing up for them!

2

I try to be aware of my kids feelings and not force shit

2

My parents never hugged or kissed me or my brothers and had never shown any affection. EVER!!! We were never expected or forced to hug or kiss relatives or friends, because my parents didn’t do that either. However, my aunts and cousins are very European, having lived in Europe for a long time or been born there. I always had/have to endure the double cheek kiss.

With my OCD, I find hugging or touching people difficult. When I started to date, in my 20s, I had a hard time with holding hands even. Now if I feel really comfortable with someone and choose to be intimate, I can be very touchy feely. My friends and coworkers know not to hug me though. They never force me, knowing how I feel about being touched.

graceylou Level 8 Sep 26, 2018
2

Yes I was and I didn't like it! I never forced my children to do that, if they wanted to hug relatives that was up to them and coming from their own natural feelings.

2

Wasn't and never made my kids. It's gross. When my kids were younger it seemed to offend many people that they didn't.

MsAl Level 7 Sep 25, 2018

@Hercules3000 They do if you condition them too. Whenever I ran into old friends and their kids they always hugged everyone and all my brothers kids do it. It always felt like people were judging me and my stuck up unsocialized kids.

2

Yes I was forced to and no I did not force my children to. There was an incident at the store where an elderly kept trying to talk to my son who did not respond. She said something about rudeness and I immediately told her that my son had been taught not to talk to strangers and reminded her that she was a stranger.

My youngest grandson has an aversion to hugging to me. Unsure if he is like that with everyone but my daughter in law tries to coax him into it but I always take his side. He is willing to fist bump so that is what we do.

Lucy_Fehr Level 8 Sep 25, 2018

I am so glad to hear that you take a proactive role in defending his right to say no, even in the face of his parent's pressure. that will serve him well, later in life, knowing that people have his back!

2

Yeah, my mom was big on that shit. Not good.

was it a struggle to understand bodily autonomy, when you grew up? I don't mean intellectually, but did it seem "natural" when you saw people forced into physical affection? that's what happened to me, it was just a hurdle to understand why it was wrong, since it was my experience growing up.

@HereticSin I think that it just made it tough to understand boundaries on general. They always seemed oddly arbitrary for other people where I just felt like I wasn't allowed to have any. For things like pushing yourself to go harder in something, that's a great quality. For picking partners, not so much. It took me awhile to learn not to accept leeches in my personal life.

@HonkyBMcfunky me too, not just leeches, but people insistent on my attention or affection even when I didn't feel that way. In a love relationship, I don't always feel like kissing, but I felt bad saying "not just now", because of the way I was raised. Instead of understanding that the other person was not respecting my right to decide what my body was available for.

@HereticSin tell your partner what you're struggling with. If they are cool, they'll work with you and you'll be closer for it. If they aren't cool, then you saved yourself a lot of time, misery, and money. Turn this stuff around and try to have it work for you. We are all a little crazy. Make it work for you if you can.

@Hercules3000 ... what now?

@Hercules3000 I think you misunderstood. This was a past partner.

2

i never was. i still kiss my mom and my one aunt with a peck on the lips, my dad with a peck on the cheek. most of my family is so estranged that if we get together it's so awkward even a hug seems innapropriate.

@Hercules3000 mine never started close. both of my parents are estranged from the family, so i inherited no family except for my parents and 1 aunt. and i'm an only child smile002.gif

@Hercules3000 my mom's parents were abusive so the kids just drifted, except my moms youngest sister, and my dad was raised by his grandparents and when he moved back in with his mom when he was 17 he had 3 younger siblings he didn't know about. then a yer later he went to vietnam

2

My daughter doesn't force my grand girls to kiss or hug anyone...I like that. I didn't force my kids to do anything like that either and I also made sure they knew how to refuse anything inappropriate. For example, when my girl was a preschooler, we went into a convenience store for water and an old man approached her with a quarter he insisted she accept because she was so pretty. Wow. I politely refused and made sure my daughter understood what was wrong about that situation (oh so much).

love it! respect, Ready!

2

Good question. My family were not, and are not huggers. It still feels creepy and forced, to me. Never forced my kids to hug anyone, usually helped deflect such awkward moments. Our hugs are earned, not given away smile009.gif

Varn Level 8 Sep 25, 2018
2

I don't remember, but I doubt either that I was forced to kiss relatives, or that I forced my kids to do it, since we're all a bit headstrong and rebellious at times.

But it's a very bad idea to teach kids to accept unwanted physical touching from adults. Ever.
Or to be mindlessly obedient to them.

1

My brothers kept teasing me during a long trip to our grandmother: "...and when we get there you'll have to kiss granny!" they said with a nasty chuckle.
I loathed that grandmother and our disaffection was as passionate as it was mutual.
I really don't remember whether this was just my brothers' evil invention or whether my parents had told me to drink the poisoned chalice.
I only remember that one occasion but it was enough to cure me. I never forced my children. They made their own decisions as children. Usually they only kissed members of one particular circle of friends.

1

If my kids don't want to hug someone then they don't have to. It has never been an issue as our families on both sides are very loving.

ThisGuy Level 6 Sep 28, 2018
1

Yes. A minor scene ensued when, after I initailly shied from hugging my grandfather, my aunt aggressively, publicly "encouraged" me to do so--and I twisted and ducked from her steering arms and ran away. I was twelve. My grandfather was a psychologically and verbally abusive drunk whom I had earlier witnessed kicking my brother.

I'll never forget the feeling that my "no" was given no heed whatsoever--rather it was met with tacit shaming. I wanted my hugs to be mine to give, for my reasons, if and when I felt like it. I found out this was not the case, and it was devastating.

I felt sick to my stomach a year or so ago when a woman forced her reluctant toddler to hug me. I didn't want to contradict her (because my sense of her personality was that she'd only dig in her heels and push harder), so I held open my arms for the tyke and silently apologized. I feel bad for any kid whose autonomy isn't respected.

I am sorry for your experience. mine was similar. hugs were owed, not given. do you find that it colored your view of physical affection as an adult?

@HereticSin I don't think so. Except, perhaps, for that now I'm free to do as I please--and not as I don't--I especially relish it and will tolerate no impingment upon my sovereignty.

@stinkeye_a it took me a long time to get comfortable telling my friends and family when not to touch me. until into my 20s I felt bad, like I was doing something wrong by not wanting that. I believe it impacted my ability to fully understand bodily autonomy for a long time.

@HereticSin I understand how it works out that way, and I consider myself lucky in that regard!

1

Absolutely not!

1

No one made us. Mom would announce we were leaving and we'd make the rounds hugging everyone goodbye. We're just a very huggy family. We were never forced and I would never force a kid to hug people they didn't want to.

1

I never did this to my children but i was made to kiss relations whenever they said 'come here and give us a kiss!'

jacpod Level 8 Sep 26, 2018

if you think about it, do you think that colored your ability to make distinctions later in life, as to what was "okay" and what you felt comfortable saying "no" to? I was forced into physical affection, and I truly believe it is part of the reason why I struggled with understanding the simplicity of bodily consent later in life, both for myself (even as an adult I sometimes feel "guilty" for refusing contact when I don't want it), and in other people. It literally took me a lot of time and thought to get it, even though at it's core it's a very simple concept, because of those things that were shown to me as a child.

1

I grew up hugging and all family members. That has expanded to include close friends. It was natural growing up. I can remember my (now) ex-wife thinking it was a bit creepy for some reason... She barely waved goodbye to her family. Once I knew her family well enough, I gave them a hug for hello and goodbye also. My ex would just stand by the door as I did this. Gradually, she started this and has grown closer to her family over the years.

I don't recall ever being prompted to do this... But all my family members do it.

RiverRick Level 7 Sep 26, 2018

a couple people have mentioned this. it is a strange thing to me, but I think it's great that you grew up in an environment where that affection was truly felt, not forced!

1

It happened a bit when I was a kid, but my parents were pretty cool about that sort of thing, so not too much. Mostly with grandparents. But for my daughter, I made it very clear very early and often that she is under no obligation to be physical or affectionate toward anyone, even me. I say, 'can I have a hug?', not 'give me a hug'. The little mannerisms reinforce the big talks, and I try to stay consistent on that as much as possible.

I think it's key, especially in girls, to give them autonomy very early, to raise them understanding that it is their choice, and they are okay when they say no, but even with boys it's important. learning that your own body is yours to give or withhold is vital to understanding that that makes it true of everyone else as well.

@HereticSin, exactly. I want my daughter to feel absolutely confident in saying 'no'.

1

Yea I was but I've always marched to the beat of my own drum. If i didnt want to hug or kiss a person I wouldnt no matter how much coaxing or how "bad" it looked. My poor parents with their rude ass son LOL. To this day I still don't believe in forcing children to do these type of things.

I had a few struggles with my mom over it, but I always relented. it sounds like you were a natural at understanding bodily autonomy for yourself. did that equate to understanding it in others? like, did you ever struggle to accept a "no" from other people about physical affection?

@HereticSin nope never a problem for me. Respect is something I demand and I feel it equally important to give to others. My principals are very important to me.

1

My kids only hugged people that they felt afection. for..

JanGarber Level 7 Sep 25, 2018
1

I remember one person in particular, Great Aunt Tess swooping down for my Xmas hug, christ she was scary. An unmarried, wiry woman in her 60s, formerly the headmistress of an all boys school in the east End of London. Femme Formidable smile008.gif

ipdg77 Level 8 Sep 25, 2018
1

We didn't kiss at all as a family, and only hugged in the immediate family. We still all do this, but I think it's mostly because my family is spread out, and only see each other infrequently. I love showing my family affection with a hearty hug, and it is reciprocated. If it was not, I wouldn't do it. I won't force my eventual children to do it. I think, for us, there was no breakage in the family roles. My parents only ever acted like caring nurturing people, and my siblings are good natured, so we never dealt with any kind of abuse, physically or sexually. I think this is why hugging my mom, dad, brother, or sister, is totally natural and comforting to us.

thank you for your perspective. I think so many people force their children to hug or kiss relatives BECAUSE it was a natural part of their growing up, and they don't think of what it feels like for the child not to want to. I'm glad to hear you don't plan to force your children into displays of affection they are not comfortable with, kudos to you!

1

Yes I was, being raised Latin it happens. No I don't support it.
My children have their own body autonomy and it is up to them if they feel like they would like to hug or kiss anyone.

Sirena Level 7 Sep 25, 2018

this is me too, although I was silent for a while when they were young. I didn't do the forcing, but I didn't call my family out when they were insistent. took a while to understand, for me. kudos to you.

@HereticSin this actually triggers me. I have my personal reasons, but I have no problem putting my sister in law in her place when she tries to pinch my son. He said no, and she will respect that. That's how consent is learned.
I totally understand the culture programming though. Glad you didn't force it ?

@Sirena I started defending my daughter when she was around 7. too late, in my head, but I learned. just wish someone had taught me better, so I didn't have to come late to the party for my daughter, ya know.

@HereticSin 7 is better than never... good for you ♡

@Hercules3000 it's the "making the child hug or kiss" others that blurs the lines of consent and body autonomy

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