GRANDPARENTS should “ask permission” to hug their grandchildren to protect them from sex abuse, a parenting expert has claimed.
Appearing on This Morning today, Jane Evans said parents should be teaching their children boundaries, before making the bold statement to presenters Ruth and Eamonn Holmes.
The parenting expert argued that it was essential to teach children to “take control of their own bodies from a young age”, however her claims were branded as “snowflake” advice.
Mum-of-two Rebecca, who also appeared on today’s show, slammed Jane’s advice, saying it would raise a generation of “cold, emotionless and robotic” children.
Rebecca added that her late father would have been “devastated” if he couldn’t hug her daughter.
Speaking today, Jane said: “If I met you in a room I wouldn’t just grab you I would ask first – and it should be the same with children.”
Ruth was quick to respond, saying: “But surely grandparents would only hug their own grandchildren anyway?”
Rebecca added: “This is absolutely crazy. Where do we draw the line with boundaries? We’re going to raise cold and emotionless children.
My father recently passed away and if he hadn’t felt comfortable hugging my child and passed away not feeling close to his grandchildren, I would have been devastated.”
Jane then fired back, saying: “This is a major crisis, it’s about everyone – not just families – hence the me too movement. Most children are abused by children they know. You just need to give a heads up to what you are doing.
“It’s more important with children as their brain development is rapid and they need to be taught boundaries early on. It’s basic respect, not sexual.”
Rebecca then said: “With families no, with strangers yes. We’re making a robotic society. We need to teach kids love and affection.”
The discussion sparked a major Twitter debate, as many social media users slammed the “snowflake generation” as “ridiculous”.
A Twitter poll run by This Morning showed that 89 per cent disagreed with grandparents being told to ask children for permission before kissing them.
One Twitter user said: “‘It’s OCD gone mad. Teach them that it’s ok to say no, but those who you’re close to, be it family or friends are important enough to give a hug to. Grandparents won’t be around forever and are the greatest source of what family is!”
Another wrote: “Omg utterly ridiculous! What is this woman thinking. We’re British…it’s standard. Hug Grandma, Hug Grandad….get the kettle on, where’s the cake?”
While another tweeted: “Dear lord. This is getting out of hand now. I wish i still had my grandparents around to hug.”
However other Twitter users were quick to say that they agree with the parenting expert.
One person said: “Consent is an important concept and children should have the choice. Autonomy and trust is far more important than tradition.”
Another added: “My mum always does ask my 2 year old daughter…“can nanny have a kiss” then it’s up to my daughter, most of the time she gives a kiss, but there’s the odd occasion she turns away… So yes, kids have the right to refuse.”