Scrolling through my social media this morning, I came across a post that had a headline of ‘I never make my one-year-old hug her grandparents & I don’t care if it hurts their feelings’.
Someone had posted it and in their opinion, they believe it is disrespectful if the child doesn’t go ahead and hug their grandparent or family member as they grew up doing it. Let me add that this is their opinion and their right to feel this way, I however feel a different way.
See, I’m raising boys. I’m raising them in a way that they know from a very early age that no means no. To know appropriate affection with another person.
Girls and young women are told and advised to take self defence classes. They’re taught to be aware of men around them, to carry pepper spray, their keys between their fingers, to know their surroundings in case they’re attacked.
But, what if I alongside other Mothers and Fathers can make it right by raising boys and young men to have respect towards women. To NOT attack women, to know that when a woman says no, you respect that?
I want to raise my three sons to be the men that women feel safe around, never to be fearful of. To never raise their hand to a woman, or anyone else for that matter.
My husband is one of those men and never calls me any disrespectful names, to never raise a hand to me and I feel that sets a great example as we are raising boys.
Why must we wait until they’ve grown to teach them?
I feel it isn’t disrespectful in the slightest if my children choose not to go and hug anyone if they choose not to. My wonderful in laws understand and respect it too. Two of my boys (8 and 5 now) have just started when going to see family, decided to hug their aunties and grandmother. My in laws never force them to and never take offence, they simply show love another way. (Getting into the boys hearts with play, biscuits and my mother-in-laws cooking!)
By showing them that they have that right to say no, it instills in them that if another person says this, then that is how it is.
You’ll find in my sessions that when the child is about to be on set, it’s ingrained in me to say ‘If they don’t mind’. It’s because I respect your child.
My eldest (10), is well aware and it helps in places like school. If another child is treating one of the girls disrespectfully, he has been known to step in and say something. I couldn’t be more proud when I hear this.
I’m doing this for their futures. I won’t make them be physically affectionate towards someone if they don’t want to because in fact, that would be disrespecting my children and why would anyone do that?
I’m not surprised however I am disappointed that this isn’t the norm.
Can we normalise knowing that children have a choice too?
This doesn’t just include hugs and kisses for loved ones. This includes their choice not to be touched. My children come across this ALL THE TIME.
Having such beautiful big bouncy hair with an amazing overflow of curls, we always get people when out and about wanting to touch their hair. Stop it. Stop touching them.
‘Oh my god, I love their hair…’ then reach in.
They know to dodge this now and tell people not to touch them and this Mama Bear replies to people when they do ask me if they can touch the boys curls ‘ask them. It’s not my hair, it’s theirs’. Would you believe this is sometimes taken in a bad way? I truly don’t understand why.
When I have my hair down and curly, I will occasionally get people wanting to reach in and pull a curl and it annoys me, so imagine a young child having a full grown adult lean in with their big hands (not knowing where they have been, let’s be honest), and touching their heads? Makes me shudder.
Their feelings come before anyones else’s.
I’m a Mama doing her best while raising boys.
Thankyou for taking your time to read!
If you’d like to know more about my sessions, please don’t hesitate to have a look around my site. If there is information you’d like to know that you haven’t seen on here, you can ask anything by simply going to my contact page.
I look forward to hearing from you soon.