Mom Sparks Debate After Explaining Grandparents Can’t Hug Her 2-Year-Old As They Like
May 10, 2021 by apost team
Every parent has their own ideas about how they want to raise their child. Some people prefer to have stricter rules while others are more laidback, for example. With the emergence of the internet, parents across the world have been able to share which techniques they think are best to raise a healthy and happy child; some approaches are universally applauded, while some spark an intense debate.
For example, one mom on Reddit explained to people on the internet that her six-year-old daughter had bitten her grandmother because she doesn't like being hugged, which led to a debate about whether grandparents have a right to hug their grandchild as they please. Many mothers have now started using internet platforms to echo the same thought, adding that consent should be required for any family members including grandparents to actually show physical affection towards their children.
Brittany Baxter, an Australian mom, has passionately supported this point through a series of TikTok videos, where she explains that all grandparents should be asking for permission before hugging her two-year-old daughter. She also goes further and says that no one has a right to demand any physical affection from her daughter. This video uploaded in April 2021 has since led to debates about whether this practice is fair or valid, and has a lot of people joining in on the conversation. For Baxter, however, there are no two ways about it, and her series of videos on why consent should be important even for toddlers and young children have made waves on the internet.
Baxter discusses that her two-year-old daughter's grandparents continue to cross boundaries despite explaining it to them time and again. She also adds that even her toddler daughter can understand how consent works, but for some reason, the adults don't seem to like it and take the boundaries personally. In one of her TikTok videos, Baxter starts, "As a parent, I practice consent with my daughter and something has been really bothering me lately..."
She decided to take her thoughts to the TikTok platform, and asked, "Can we please start normalizing the fact that kids do not have to kiss and hug adults?"
She explained that she has been teaching her daughter about consent from the day she was born and that she finds it really "unhelpful when the adults in her life are like 'What, we have to ask for a kiss and a hug?' even though I’ve explained why multiple times. And then when she says no, they’re like 'Oh, she doesn’t love me, my feelings are so hurt,' and then they proceed to overstep her body boundaries anyway."
She continued, "My daughter and her body do not exist to make anyone feel more comfortable and to make anyone feel more loved. It is not her fault and it is not my fault that the older generation haven't taken the time throughout their entire lives to learn how to regulate their emotions/feelings so consent doesn’t continue to be overlooked."
For Baxter, "No one’s feelings are ever going to be more important than my daughter’s right to her own body."
She made it clear that continuously crossing boundaries was "not going to allow her [daughter] to grow up in an environment where 1. She doesn’t know how to say no and 2. She doesn’t know what it looks like for her not to be respected." She concluded the video with, "Grandparents, do better."
Baxter spoke to Sunrise, where she explained why she made the video, "If we can’t allow our children to say no and we can’t teach them that it’s ok to say no, how are they ever going to be able to do that when they find themselves in difficult situations where they feel uncomfortable?"
While her video went viral with over 400,000 views and thousands of comments, it received a mixed response according to Baxter. "A lot of people are very outraged which I understand, a lot of people have misunderstood the point of the message that I’m trying to get across," she told the news outlet.
In her comments section, she found support from men and women alike, such as a woman commenting, "Preach sister. Love this!!!" Another man commented, "50-year-old, proud uncle here. I learned early to ask, 'Would you like a hug, high five, nothing?' Always cool. Always supported. It’s so important!"
However, others thought she went too far. Shared wrote that one woman commented, "I encourage my 21-month-old to bond (through emotional and physical warmth) with my parents, and she is so connected to them. I really don’t get your anger."
It is safe to say that Baxter's views have stirred up a debate, and there are many people on either side of it.
We would love to know what side of the debate you are on. Do you agree with the belief that grandparents should ask before hugging their grandkids? Tell us your thoughts, and be sure to ask others how they feel about it as well.