Your Daughter Doesn't Owe Anyone a Hug. Not Even at The Holidays

GRAPHIC The Girl Scouts logo was designed by Saul Bass in 1978

The Girl Scouts of AmericaGRAPHIC The Girl Scouts logo was designed by Saul Bass in 1978

But they could, without you even realizing it, also be a time when your daughter gets the wrong idea about consent and physical affection.

The Girl Scouts, meanwhile, said the advice was, in fact, partly in reaction to the recent string of news stories on sexual harassment rocking a growing number of industries, including politics and journalism.

By urging your child to show affection just because it's been a while since they've seen Uncle Tom, it may "set the stage for her questioning" whether she owes someone else affection if they, for instance, bought her dinner or another gift when she gets older.

She added: "The notion of consent may seem very grown-up, and like something that doesn't pertain to children, but the lessons girls learn when they're young about setting physical boundaries, and expecting them to be respected, last a lifetime".

The group posted the story to its website and the post has generated over 4,000 interactions and almost 7,000 shares.

The Girl Scouts issued a warning that girls should not be forced to hug relatives that give them gifts during the holidays.

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Dr. Janet Taylor, a psychiatrist based in New York City and Sarasota, Fla., said parents should be careful to not create "a mass hysteria about physical contact with loved ones", especially during the holiday season.

Comments on the post were mixed, with some cheering the Girl Scouts for discussing consent and others saying that this was taking being careful too far.

"No girl is going to seriously think she has to get physical with a guy to be polite, just because she had to give Aunt Betty a hug at Christmas when she was little".

"Of course, many children may naturally want to hug and kiss family members, friends and neighbors, and that's lovely - but if your daughter is reticent, don't force her", it reads.

The organization is sending the message as top figures from Hollywood to Washington are being accused of sexual misconduct and harassment, in some cases dating back years. It's not just the Girl Scouts encouraging this, though.

Christina Elkins said: 'I work in the social services and there are kids that are victimized because someone manipulated them and made them feel they had no choice and they are expected to accept hugs and kisses from people if they're nice.

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