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Why grandparents shouldn’t hug their grandkids this Christmas

Article image for Why grandparents shouldn’t hug their grandkids this Christmas

With Christmas just around the corner families across the nation are looking forward to reuniting, after one of the most unusual years on record.

But Associate Professor of Medical and Health Sciences at Edith Cowan University, Therese O’Sullivan, says we shouldn’t be forcing children to hug their grandparents or relatives at Christmas this year.

And it’s not just because of social distancing restrictions, she says Christmas can be an overwhelming time for children and we need to empower them to be in charge of their own bodies.

She told 6PR Afternoons “It’s very, very tempting for grandparents … who have been looking forward to seeing little ones all year”.

“Consider the kids point of view … it can be a very busy and hectic time of year … it can be quite overwhelming for them.”

She says we are living in an era where children are taught to say no to unwanted attention, and forcing them to hug their relatives should be no different.

“Give kids a bit of warm up time to build up a relationship first,” she said.

“Consider giving the kids an option of how they would like to greet their grandparents.

“Once kids do warm up a bit and have the chance to develop the trust in the relationship, you are likely to have a better chance of having a hug that’s a genuine hug.”

Click play to hear the full interview. 

(Photo: iStock by Getty Images.)

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