There are positive changes happening in our culture surrounding the topic of consent. It’s great to know that young people, particularly college students, are learning to understand the importance of consent when it comes to romantic and intimate relations.
However, just like anything else in our unpredictable society, the idea of consent has gone to another level. Parenting expert Deborah Gilboa is catching major heat on social media for comments she made about consent to TODAY.
Gilboa believes that grandparents should never hug or kiss a child without getting the child’s verbal consent first. She says that hugging and kissing a child without permission teaches the child that they aren’t in control of their own body. It’s confusing for kids to understand that no one can touch them without their permission when Grandma doesn’t ask before planting a smooch on their cheek.
“It’s super confusing,” Gilboa insisted on TODAY, claiming that telling kids that their bodies are their own and then allowing older relatives to kiss them without asking permission sends “mixed messages.”
Gilboa isn’t the only expert promulgating this radical concept. In Australia, Jane Evans echoed a similar idea on This Morning. Evans says that by kissing kids without asking for permission first, parents and grandparents teach them that it’s okay for someone to touch their bodies or kiss them without their consent.
Social media didn’t have much patience for the ideas of Gilboa and Evans. Metro quoted several Twitter users who weighed in on the subject. One user called this idea “absolute nonsense.”
Another Twitter user agreed, speculating that this crazy concept would spiral into children having to ask their parents for permission for a hug after hurting themselves. He added, “Contact is a huge part of forming relationships.”
Others agree with the point of view of Gilboa and Evans and think the lesson of consent can be taught this way. The Sun quoted a Twitter user that said her child’s grandmother asks if she can have a kiss. She states that it’s up to the child if she wants to or not, and sometimes she will turn away adding, “Kids have the right to refuse.”
It seems like the argument is very divisive on the internet, what do you think? Should grandparents ask for permission or not? Let us know how you feel in the comments below and be sure to show this story to any parents and grandparents in your life.