Experts: Don’t force kids to give hugs this holiday season
OCEAN PINES, Md. – As we approach the holidays, experts are offering a reminder to parents to not force your child to give a hug or any other type of physical affection to a friend or family member this season. Psychologists tell 47 ABC forcing a child to do something they don’t want to could cause them a lot of stress and anxiety. And that forced affection is not ok. We’re told often times being pressured to give physical affection can send the wrong message. You should instead give your child the choice of how and when they want to say hello or thank you.
“Don’t have that expectation that they half to be affectionate to people they haven’t met because that’s putting a lot of pressure on a child that may not be ready for that. You also want to make sure that you’re setting good boundaries with your child to especially with strangers,” said Dr. Mary-Jane Snair.
Dr. Snair adds that a fun alternative would be having your child write a thank you letter to a family friend or relative to instead of giving the physical affection.