Growing up, it was customary in my family to kiss and hug our relatives goodbye.
I do remember being told a few times to hug a relative I didn’t feel like hugging at the time, but it was mostly due to my being upset with them for some now-forgotten (and most likely idiotic) reason.
We do instruct our son to hug and kiss his close relatives goodbye, but only those that he knows very well.
What can I say, it’s a tradition in our families.
My daughter is too young to “force” to give hugs, and she often doesn’t want to. Because she is a capricious toddler, the offended party laughs if off, along with everyone else.
But this article on CNN.com has made me think about the whole hugging relatives thing in an entirely new way, especially for my daughter.
In making my children hug their close relatives, am I really teaching them that their body is not their own? That their body is something for other people’s pleasure and not theirs?
I’d always considered it an issue of respect to elders and a sign of how close our family is, but maybe I am completely wrong about the whole thing.
What do you think?