Tag Archive | Babies

Why I Won’t Make My Children Give Hugs or Kisses to ANYONE if They Don’t Want to

It’s seems so normal and innocent to tell our kids, “Now give grandma a kiss and hug for coming to your birthday party”, or “Hug your uncle to thank him for that gift!”, and then proceed to push them or maybe even force them to hugging or giving a kiss to whoever it might be. It never came to my mind before that forcing kids to show intimacy as a thank you or as a sign of respect or love (or for whatever other reasons we have) to other people is wrong until I read an article about it years ago.

In our minds we think family members or maybe even close friends have the right to be shown intimacies like hugs and kisses from our children. “Why won’t you hug your grandma? That’s not very nice!”. Do we want to shame our kids into showing intimacy? Because if we punish them or demean them for this personal choice we are taking away their right to consent. We are teaching them that they don’t have power over their bodies and that decisions about their bodies and intimacy are not their own. It seems crazy to think about this, especially if you are hearing this view of these circumstances for the first time, but the truth is NOBODY has the right or privilege to force our children to show them intimacy if the child is uncomfortable with it. Not even grandma. Not even mom or dad!

This is a separate issue from discipline and misbehavior. A child making a decision about other people touching, kissing, or hugging them is not a behavioral issue, it is a human rights issue. I am trying to say that a when a child is exercising her or his right to consent that it should not be deemed as a misbehavior and that if the child refuses to give or receive intimacy it should not be an offense, it should not be punishable, and it should not be looked down on.

I know I grew up feeling and thinking that grandparents deserved hugs and kisses, and even though I had no problem with showing my grandparents love in this way (at least not that I can remember), I still also remember feeling that I didn’t have a choice even if I didn’t want to hug and kiss them, and that it was expected from me. I’m not complaining, and I personally love giving affection to family and friends, (even other people I don’t know as well if they need a hug or a friendly pat on the back and if i know that both myself and the person are comfortable with that). I am just realizing what I want my children to learn more than anything and what I want them to use their whole lives: Their personal power and their rights as humans, most especially the right to consent and the right to feel however they want without other people negatively effecting their choices and emotions.

If you really love somebody and respect them than you wouldn’t force them to do things they are uncomfortable with or that they just don’t feel like doing. We can ask our children instead to just say “thank you” or to use some other verbal consideration appropriate to the situation, because really, that should be enough.

I don’t want to teach my children that to show love or respect to someone that they have to do things they don’t really want to do. The weird thing is that you see these types of situations everywhere, even in movies and TV shows. There will be a “funny” part in a movie where a young boy is dreading a kiss from his old smelly aunt or some other family member, and then is totally grossed out after they are forced or shamed into giving or receiving the dreaded hugs or kisses.

For example: It shouldn’t be considered rude to decline receiving a hug or kiss from your aunt Mildred, it should be considered rude for your aunt Mildred to expect or demand it from you no matter how you are feeling about it.

Every child is different, and you can’t say whether or not the child will learn the different social aspects of consent and the variables of sexual situations versus what our society thinks as normal “family or close friend” social interactions. You can’t say whether or not a child will internalize the idea that consent is not their own or anyone else’s and whether or not they will respect the words “no” or “stop” if they hear it from another person. It is completely possible that they might learn to feel uncomfortable verbalizing or become unable to verbally express their feelings concerning their personal consent and that they may find it harder to say “no” or “stop” to others. It is possible that the child will grow to completely understand when and where consent needs to be given and that they won’t have any issues with saying or hearing the word “no”.

It is also completely possible that we are setting up hurtful and damaging situations as extreme as rape and/or molestation. the reason this may be happening is because many of us might not be teaching our children from a very young age that only they have power over their own bodies, that only they can give consent to people touching, kissing, or hugging them, that they can not expect anything physical from others without having that person’s consent, and that the same goes for EVERY human being in ANY circumstance.

We have to show children that they are respected and loved starting with these seemingly small steps (not making them hug grandma or making them feel bad that they didn’t hug grandma for example), because ultimately they can make a big difference in our children’s lives and in our society as a whole. Children are people who have rights and feelings that need to be respected in all circumstances. It is our job to not only discipline our children and teach them right from wrong, but to empower them as people, and to help them flourish and thrive in order to live happy lives. One of the best ways we can do that is by teaching them the personal power and human right of consent.

Normalizing Breastfeeding For Older Children Will Help Our Society View’s of Breastfeeding and of Women

breastfeeding

breastfeeding (Photo credit: sdminor81)

I just saw a post on Babycenter by a woman who is concerned about breastfeeding around her ten year old son. Some women had some great comments, such as one woman who said:

“I think it’s so important to nurse our babies in front of our other kids, especially boys. It normalizes breastfeeding, and teaches them a healthy attitude about what breasts are for. I was 17, and my little brother was 11, when my parents had our little brother. My Mom didn’t think twice about breastfeeding in front of us. My brother was never uncomfortable about it, and to this day doesn’t bat an eye about women breastfeeding their babies. He is 24 now, and so respectful of women who BF, and I really think that it is because of the experience of watching my Mom BF our brother that he has such a healthy attitude towards it.I think if you try to be discreet, or hide it all together, that it really sends the wrong message. Any discomfort he or you may feel in the beginning will be very short lived. It will become just a normal part of everyday life. I would just be as nonchalant about it as possible. The more comfortable you are, the more comfortable he will be.”

Another woman said that if you normalize breastfeeding for older children, it becomes a normal and natural thing instead of a weird gross thing, which unfortunately is the majority of our society’s view on breastfeeding.

I remember one time a guy I was dating asked me why he loved breasts so much, and I said it was probably because breasts are what he needed to feed his future babies, and he agreed because, well, it’s the truth! The reasons men and women are attracted to each other are all linked to fertility. Not feeding our babies the best nourishment in the world because we only view breasts as sexual objects is a major crime! Especially because the reason you are attracted to them in the first place is because they are a sign of fertility and will feed your babies!

I intend to add more research to this, but I really believe that if we make breastfeeding a normal and natural thing for older kids that our children will have more respect for themselves and for each other. Men would have more respect for women when they can view breasts as something more than sexual objects, and woman will also stop degrading themselves and feeling so uncomfortable about their bodies.

How can I wean my toddler from breastfeeding? | BabyCenter

 

English: Breastfeeding an infant Português: Um...

English: Breastfeeding an infant Português: Um recém-nascido em aleitamento (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

 

 

This sounds like my daughter, I am struggling to wean her right now. I am going to try vinegar on the breasts today!

 

My daughter is 21 months old and I have just successfully weaned her off the breast! I tried weaning her little by little, but she was not taking it. She would get extremely upset.I felt really bad, so I stopped. Then about 3 weeks after I read something about putting garlic in oil and let it sit for a while, after that rub the oil on the nipples.I did that and for my surprise my daughter DID NOT wanted to breastfeed anymore.It took about 5 days of she asking for it and I’m telling her that mommy’s breast was dirty…she took it…for the record, my daughter had NEVER slept through the night, we co-sleep and she used to make my nipples as her pacifier.In the first 4 days, bed time was terrible, I mean, she wouldn’t nap at all, and at night she cried so much,then she would fall asleep and wake up after 1 hour….after 5 days she has been sleeping through the night and has NOT ASKED for it anymore! She’s been eating better than ever as well! Iam very happy and sure I did the right thing!

 

posted 03/30/2009 by a BabyCenter Member

 

via How can I wean my toddler from breastfeeding? | BabyCenter.

 

This may sound cruel, but I was desperate. I was exhausted because my 20 month old stil woke up 2-3 x a night and I was pregnant. I needed rest and my toddler was a little over weight anyway due to she ate everything and nursed a lot. Anyway, I put a little vinegar on my nipples and she said “yucky”. She said it was bad and didn’t want it anymore. She asked for it a couple other times, but I reminded her it was yucky and she agreed. I did have to let her try once more, but now she is fine and sleeping alot better! Thank God! Hope you find what works for you.

 

posted 07/27/2009 by CHRISTY0830

 

Can I get pregnant while breastfeeding? | BabyCenter

English: Breastfeeding an infant Português: Um...

English: Breastfeeding an infant Português: Um recém-nascido em aleitamento (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Robert Zurawin

obstetrician and fertility specialist

Yes. In general, you’re less fertile, but not infertile, while breastfeeding. Although you may not menstruate for months after giving birth, your body usually releases its first postpartum egg before you get your first period. So you won’t know you’ve ovulated until two weeks later — when you menstruate.

via Can I get pregnant while breastfeeding? | BabyCenter.