Awhile back, we talked about good touching and bad touching.
At one point, I said, “It’s not good to touch someone…” and Bethel finished “when you have dirty hands.” Yes, we’re off to a good start.
I started out talking about mommies and daddies. They like to touch each other. They kiss, and sleep together because they are married. Mommy doesn’t hug other daddies at church, does she? [Yes, I realize that some mommies do] The idea is that God made a context for touching. Touching is good in the right context.
We want to prepare ahead of time for responding to inappropriate touching. It means that some innocent touching is discouraged, but especially when children are young, they are vulnerable.
This is what I told our children they could say “I want to be your friend, but I don’t want to hug you.”
One child responded, “But I like to hug them.” All right, hug your cousins, then.
I’m reminding myself that teaching is a process, not merely a series of lectures.
Hmmm… interesting. Our 18-month-old likes to hug and kiss. People, animals, inanimate objects – she kissed some crayon scribbles on the wall, for crying out loud. I’m sure she’s at least partially learned that from our affection with her and each other, but I don’t expect you’re talking about that.
So… I’m intrigued by this post and would be interested in your further thoughts on the subject. For instance, are you assuming kids old enough to understand verbal explanations? Do you allow your kids to hug close, family friends?
Doug, Thank you for your comments. Age would definitely make a difference in how I respond to this issue. Children too young for explanations I would simply redirect. I’m more concerned about what I encourage than what I allow. If a family friend hugged my children, I would certainly not scold my children or the friend. However, neither would I instruct or encourage my children to hug and kiss a family friend. (I don’t think it’s sinful; I just wouldn’t do it.) I’ll give some additional thoughts in a regular post.Michelle