6 Reasons Not To Force Your Kid To Cuddle Or Kiss A Relative

Your baby has been closer to you—they were conceived and stayed in your womb for 9 long months. That not only gives you the right of instructing them about the good and bad, but also the responsibility of making sure your little one is not coaxed into doing something against his/her wish.

During holidays, when relatives and friends arrive at home, we tend to greet them with hugs and kisses. Even the little ones are expected to express love by giving a distant uncle or grandma a peck on the cheek. “Aww..cutiepie, come here, give your uncle a hug.” That seems harmless. A refusal to do so could mean that your child is self-aware and doesn’t find the conventional ways of greeting acceptable at a personal level.

Hold on before you insist them to do as being asked, here is why you should understand and support your child when they say ‘NO’.

1. Because They Don’t Want It

Scolding or confronting your child when he/she refuses to eat vegetables or gets dirty in the mud is justifiable. However, there has to be a reason

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for refusing to offer a peck on the cheek to a family member. Your kid may not be comfortable with it in the first place. In most cases, kids need to get accustomed to seeing those people regularly to develop and affectionate side. Give them some time before you persuade them to cuddle a family member. May be, by the time it is to say goodbye, your baby might reciprocate to a waving hand and a smile

2. They Are Aware Of Their Bodies

As a child grows, he/she becomes aware of their body as the sense of touch becomes enhanced. If they withdraw when you offer them a kiss, it is their will and it should be respected. Even if he/she refuses to cuddle you at certain times, you must not be forceful.

3. The Concept Of Consent

When you ask your child to give a hug to a relative, you set an example by allowing the person to touch and greet them without consent. Your kid might understand hugging and kissing as an obligation, which if refused would be considered impolite. Make your

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child understand that it is up to them to say a yes or no to the cuddling and kissing. The value of consent will stay them for long and protect them from a possible threat—they must know that it is their body and their choice in the end.

4. They Need Time To Trust

Aunt Jessica could be your close friend but your child doesn’t know it. Even if you tell them, they will have a different level of connection with the person, starting with observing and getting to know them. Your best friend might pull back and think that your baby doesn’t like her. It is alright—explain to them that she takes her own time to know the person before jumping in their arms to give them a cuddle and a kiss.

5. Giving Out A Wrong Message To Them

Telling your child that Uncle Peter will get upset if you don’t cuddle him has a wrong psychological effect on them. It may generate a perception that saying no could hurt the other person and make them sad. Watching the uncle, protruding their

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lower lip and holding a sad expression will leave them thinking that they were doing wrong by saying no in the first place. Your child develops a thought that a cuddle can make people happy and lower their guilt—this isn’t what you wanted to teach them.

6. Understanding The Reason Behind A ‘No’

Your child may not be comfortable with a tight hug and a wet peck on the cheeks. He/she might have developed a dislike towards the person—may be, because, that person scared them, teased them, or scolded them. It could be some silly reason—the point is to understand and acknowledge your child’s feelings.

If your guests or relatives feel wronged, you could always explain to them that you don’t believe in forcing your kid when it comes to touch, even if it is a greeting. There is nothing to get offended about, it is just a way to teach your kids to protect and prepare them from those predators that may mean serious harm.