LOS ANGELES (CBSLA) — The current climate over sexual misconduct has organizations like the Girl Scouts rethinking things like forced hugs. Some applaud the move, others believe this is going too far.
For some a hug is a symbol of affection and community.
One mom says a hug can warm your heart.
“Definitely positive, and reinforcing, and loving , and feeling, being loved,” Gianini Haro says.
But the Girl Scouts of America published a blog post that says parents should halt those forced holiday hugs to family and friends.
Kenya Yarbrough, a member of Girl Scouts of Greater L.A., says the post is a timely lesson in consent.
“Allowing children, particularly girls, the space to decide how they want to show affection,” she said. “It’s important for kids to feel empowered and brave enough to share how they want to share.”
Girl scout Jillian King says the post has taught her you can say I love you in other ways.
“You don’t have to use your body to tell people that, you can just use your words,” King said.
A lesson former girl scout Barbara Blumenthal says she could have used as a kid.
“Even in college and after that, working situations, I’ve been forced to hug people that I’d rather not have touch me.”
So the Girl Scouts has suggested some alternatives to hugging, including a handshake, a high-five, and a thumbs up.
Or how about: “A wave, a wink,” Yarbrough, who is not anti-hugging says. “Not at all, not at all.”
But Haro, a mother of two, says: “Girl Scouts, I think you’re over-reacting.”
She says hugging doesn’t require rules.
“Very, very ridiculous.”
Haro says her family plans on plenty of holiday hugs.
“You don’t know what’s going to happen tomorrow and you didn’t have that chance to hug and kiss somebody in your family.”