The Bearded Man and I have a rule in our home that ticks a lot of people off. You know what? I don’t care. In light of my newsfeed being filled with a sickening news story of a woman being raped, and the joke of a sentence the man received-I realize more than ever that we’re right to implement this rule.
What’s the rule?
Our kids don’t have to give hugs.
No matter how much a well meaning friend or family member begs.
They don’t have to put up with tickling and unwanted touch- even if playful.
You wouldn’t believe the looks and snide comments I’ve received because I won’t make my child give a grown up, “One little hug.” Mainly because their pride and sense of entitlement gets hurt.
What does this have to do with a rape case?
I’m teaching my kids that, “No means NO!”
It goes both ways, for both genders.
Nobody “earns” their right to touch another human being without their consent.
Nobody owes another person a hug, a kiss, a tickle.
Can I ask you a favor before you go begging my child (or any other) for a hug?
Let them hug you first. My kids aren’t denied affection. They aren’t weird. When they’re in the right frame of mind, and comfortable with you; they’ll come running up and put their pudgy little arms around you. You won’t have to beg or bribe.
I would never want my sons to believe they have the right to force a horrific act on a woman because she was wearing a short skirt, or because they have never grasped “no” and that none of us are entitled to anything.
Maybe you think I’m being dramatic. I don’t care. This stuff is serious business, and it starts when they’re young.
Does it make me sad?
Am I going to force him to allow me a kiss goodnight just because I’m his Mom?
I don’t care that he’s only 3. I don’t care that I’m his Mother. It’s his body. Besides…I would never want to force physical touch on someone that didn’t want it. The thought of that just makes my skin crawl. What makes other adults think it’s ok to force hugs and kisses on a child that clearly doesn’t feel comfortable?
Do me a favor.
Before you buy my child a toy, an ice cream cone, or anything kid related, and do it with the intent of receiving a hug or kiss…put the stupid toy back. I’ve taught my children to say “thank you” and write a note, or make a card. But that’s it. They don’t “owe” you physical affection.
If you start in on our kids, begging for hugs, or giving unwanted tickles, we will kindly remind you of our family rules. If you continue after they decline, we tend to get a little hot headed .
It’s my job to protect my children, not to make you feel all warm and fuzzy inside.
Maybe the other person isn’t vocally saying “no” out of fear, intoxication, mental challenge, or simply being 2 years old and unable to speak. But their body language certainly isn’t saying “yes.” That still means no.
How sad that we live in a world where the lines of things that should be so obvious are constantly being blurred. Where “no means yes” and where even Christians justify wrong so as not to hurt anyone’s feelings.
To end my rant, in case I didn’t say it enough…
Whether you’re 3 or 23.
No means no.
Whether someone says it with their voice, their face, or their parents are about to slap you six different ways to Sunday.
No means no.