Girl Scouts: 'She doesn't owe anyone a hug'

Girl Scouts warn parents about forcing kids to hug relatives for the holidays

Girls Scouts have issued a warning to parents, telling them not to force reluctant children to hug people and reminding them that girls don't "owe" anyone a hug.

"We know that some adults prey on children, and teaching your daughter about consent early on can help her understand her rights, know when lines are being crossed, and when to go to you for help", said Girl Scouts' developmental psychologist Dr. Andrea Bastiani Archibald on the site. Physical intimacy isn't the only way adults show love and gratitude to other adults, after all! It said kids should be encouraged to hug family members if that's what they're into, but they should never be forced into it if they're shy. You can always ask your child, "Do you want to hug Grandma?"

The Girl Scouts of America have some sage advice for your family when you're sitting down to eat some sage stuffing with your turkey. The organization said in an emailed statement on Wednesday such events include the recent news stories about sexual harassment that have risen in national discussion.

"Give your girl the space to decide when and how she wants to show affection".

Beth Gray has two daughters and said she tells them to only hug people they intimately know.

The "Today" show started an online poll Wednesday, asking respondents whether they agreed with the Girl Scouts' "stance on hugging". The organization published a blog post this week arguing that forcing children to hug relatives and family friends during the holidays could muddy the waters when it comes to the notion of consent later in life.

Minnesota turkeys get luxury treatment in DC before Thanksgiving pardon
It faded under Presidents Gerald Ford and Richard Nixon, but George H.W. Recent honorees were chosen by vote on social media.

"The main message is children should be given a choice if they want to give a hug", said Susan Mathias, chief executive officer of Transitions, Lewisburg, which provides services to victims of sexual assault and other crimes. May I have a hug?

At a time when issues of sexual harassment and consent are in the news, and with the holidays just around the corner, the Girl Scouts have released a recommendation about how parents can help young girls handle affection. Physical contact is about a decision someone gets to make.

Mothers Theresa Buckalew and Paige Hodgeson said they won't push their daughters to give family members a hug, but they also don't want them to miss out on affection.

GRAPHIC: The Girl Scouts logo was designed by Saul Bass in 1978. It's the holidays. We should be gathering together in thanks and showering our loved ones with...

"I would walk with them and take them over [to the relatives] and allow them time to warm up", she said.

The Girl Scouts pointed out that the conversation might not be an obvious one - even if it is important.

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