Jump to content
mrkstvns

No hugs, Aunt Sarah, we're GIRL SCOUTS!

Recommended Posts

In yet another example of irresponsible overreaction, Girls Scouts USA is telling parents to back off on hugging this holiday season. 

"Hugs could be seen as signs of affection, friendship, and holiday good cheer," a spokeswoman for GSUSA said during a press conference.  "We certainly don't want to promote innocent affection in our families."

Here is the story:
https://www.msn.com/en-us/news/us/girl-scouts-dont-make-your-daughter-hug-relatives-this-holiday/ar-BBXnAfV 

 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

This is so so sad. The bad experiences of a few drive those in high positions to dictate bad ideology to the innocent. 

These are the kinds of ideals that set a bad taste for all scouting.

Barry

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

What I find saddest is that an organization like GSUSA actually thinks it is okay for them to intrude into family dynamics.  They clearly don't think mom and dad are responsible enough to raise kids in a way that protects them and that also strengthens their family bonds.

Sad.

  • Like 1
  • Thanks 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Actually, it is sad that they have to use this as a time to promote awareness into sexual abuse.   I don’t have a daughter in Girl Scouts, but maybe they have done some research and are being more active leaning the BSA was years ago.  Maybe they are actually paying attention and taking lessons from the none stop challenge BSA is dealing with.  
 

everyone knows that GSUSA cannot and will not dictate how families act this holiday season, but is bring attention to a real problem any different than BSA making scouts and parents talk about child abuse before a scout can earn Scout?  While maybe not perfect, it has you and others talking about it.   

Edited by Navybone

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
56 minutes ago, mrkstvns said:

In yet another example of irresponsible overreaction, Girls Scouts USA is telling parents to back off on hugging this holiday season

But they are right in this case. Don't make your kids show more physical affection than they are comfortable with people who are basically strangers. Its not "Don't hug" instead its "don't force your kids to hug."

  • Upvote 2

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Quote

"Think of it this way, telling your child that she owes someone a hug either just because she hasn't seen this person in a while or because they gave her a gift can set the stage for her questioning whether she 'owes' another person any type of physical affection when they've bought her dinner or done something else seemingly nice for her later in life," the piece reads.

If a child hasn't seen a family member in some time it is going to be very natural to be shy and reluctant.  Encouraging a gesture like a simple hug to a distant family member helps reinforce that family bonds exist between family members who live at a distance.  Decisions like this as full of pros and cons.  A big part of parenting is to guide a child through these sorts of pros and cons.  I don't mind a group like the GSUSA bring awareness to a parenting question so that we think about it. 

My only concern with this is that it perpetuates a false conclusion.  It is simplistic to conclude that there is a causal relationship between hugs at 8 and repaying gifts with more significant affection later in life.  This infers that girls are somehow fragile enough that they are not capable of understanding that difference.  Instead, the GSUSA message ought to be one about raising girls who understand the value of themselves.  Encouraging a girl to hug her grandmother and then talking about it later one is a way to underscore the difference between that and a person paying for a date later on.  Teach your daughter to be strong and value herself.

Edited by ParkMan
clarified a thought
  • Upvote 2

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

BTW - When reading this I'm reminded of Verizon's "Inspire Her Mind" commercial.  I always thought that commercial had a much more positive message.  Be careful not to discourage your daughter's natural inquisitiveness because of traditional gender stereotypes.  I think this is much more the tone of the BSA messaging towards girls

 

 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
10 minutes ago, malraux said:

But they are right in this case. Don't make your kids show more physical affection than they are comfortable with people who are basically strangers. Its not "Don't hug" instead its "don't force your kids to hug."

Right? Isn't that dictated by the parents. The GSUSA is sending a message to their scouts to fear their families.  If anything, the GSUSA is adding confusion because they are ejecting fears into personal intimate family situation. Parents are the social teachers of our youth, not some cold impersonal national organization that paints the world under one color. I grow tired of institutions thinking they are at parenting than parents.

On a side note, my psychology friends told a a long time ago that the brain feeds on the simple touch more than any other sense. That is why babies who are held a lot seem to have better social skills as adults. Now, I know that social dynamics is a lot more complicated that that one definition, but I did observe that a simple touch calmed excited youth faster than words, especially ADHD youth.

Barry

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Good thing they didn't mention kisses. Mediterranean heads would explode!

At the same time, I agree that it's important for children to know that their affections are theirs to give.

They certainly aren't "owed" to anyone because they gave the kid a gift or toy. I remember being told how much our kisses bring our elderly relatives happiness, that's it.

  • Upvote 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I think this more geared to the idea that girls are often forced by relatives to be more affectionate than boys. However it is a good reminder that if a kid of either gender really doesn't want to hug someone, it shouldn't be forced. I can't fault the GS for doing this and it's in line with their mission of supporting girls, which is something positive linked to their organization. Imagine how great it would be if BSA sent out a press release around Memorial Day, Flag Day, or July 4 reminding people that scouts are one of the few organizations charged with the solemn task of properly retiring flags. Or heaven forbid, if we sold BSA branded US flags once a year instead of popcorn. At least GSUSA is attempting to garner some positive, national publicity for themselves. More than BSA is doing. 

  • Upvote 2

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
2 hours ago, Eagledad said:

Right? Isn't that dictated by the parents. The GSUSA is sending a message to their scouts to fear their families.  If anything, the GSUSA is adding confusion because they are ejecting fears into personal intimate family situation. Parents are the social teachers of our youth, not some cold impersonal national organization that paints the world under one color. I grow tired of institutions thinking they are at parenting than parents.

That seems to be massively over reading the GSUSA statement.

Quote

Give your girl the space to decide when and how she wants to show affection. 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, consider letting her choose what to do. Of course, this doesn’t give her license to be rude! There are many other ways to show appreciation, thankfulness, and love that don’t require physical contact. Saying how much she’s missed someone or thank you with a smile, a high-five, or even an air kiss are all ways she can express herself, and it’s important that she knows she gets to choose which feels most comfortable to her.

The earlier stuff is about why teaching about consent is important, not that grandpa is to be feared but that if you teach that someone must give physical affection even if it make you uncomfortable, it can be taken advantage of. This is no more saying families aren't to be trusted than the BSA requiring YPT is saying that all scoutmasters are abusers.

  • Upvote 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!

Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.

Sign In Now

×