Monday, January 6, 2014

You will HUG your grandmother.

We see Nana once a year. On our 15 hour car ride, I discussed with my children the very simple 2 Rules for our time at Nana's house. One of those rules was, "You will hug Nana generously and without hesitation." The children performed this task beautifully. With glad hearts, they hugged their grandmother, both when she asked and when she did not ask.

As we traveled on, we stopped to visit friends in Dallas. My friend had a very interesting perspective on this. She recounted how her rule for her daughter is exactly the opposite.
"Do not feel obligated to hug your grandparents, great-grandparents, uncles, aunts, or any other schmuck who tries to hug you." (paraphrased liberally)

I respect this lesson in personal space and boundaries. The intentional message of "no means no" is vital for children to learn. Children need to be empowered to feel safe, and help themselves say what they need - whether it be inside or outside their own family!

We joked about the extremes of both scenarios, and agreed that there is always a middle way.

Your thoughts?

1 comment:

Between You and Me said...

I think I've lived my life on one side of a particular camp or another…I agree {all these years later} that a "radical middle" seems to be the perfect place to land.

I think my own personal story led me down the path that your friend has taken…I've noticed through the years that my kids have their own "gut" feelings….I've never made them hug someone that they don't "feel" like hugging…BUT, having them look people in the eyes and speak to that's another story!

I die on that hill. They can always be kind and speak.