How Do I Talk to My Children to Prevent Child Abuse – Question 4

My child refused to kiss his grandpa and I was so embarrassed. What should I do?

Let children decide for themselves how, or if, they want to express affection. Children should not be forced to hug or kiss someone if they are uncomfortable. Even if they are your favorite aunt, uncle or cousin, your child should decide how they respond. While this may displease you by doing this, you will empower your child to say no to inappropriate touching. Help the situation by explaining that you are teaching your child about appropriate boundaries, then offer your child other ways to show acknowledgement (assuming they’re comfortable) such as a handshake, a pat on the back, or a high five.

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