Does a grandparent have the “right” to hug or kiss their own grandchild? One Australian mom has sparked a raging debate online around the need for a child’s consent before relatives physically dote on them. She posted a video in which she argues that consent is required and people have called her everything from a “sh***y mother” to “a Karen” to a “self-absorbed idiot.”
The mom, Brittany Baxter, shared another video in response, defending her decision and we think you should hear her out.
A Mom Says That No One Is Allowed to Hug or Kiss Her Toddler Without the Child’s Consent.
In the original video on TikTok, Baxter describes how she gets frustrated by older relatives, specifically grandparents, for not asking her toddler’s consent before they hug their grandchild. It caused quite the stir!
“Can we please start normalizing the fact that kids do not need to kiss and hug adults,” she says in the video. “My daughter is almost two years old and I’ve been in the process of teaching her consent basically since the day she was born.”
“And, I find it really f***ing unhelpful when adults in her life are like, ‘what we have to ask for a kiss and a hug” even though I’ve explained multiple times and then when she says ‘no,’ they’re like ‘oh she doesn’t love me, my feelings are so hurt,’ and then they proceed to overstep her body boundaries.”
“My daughter and her body do not exist to make anyone feel more comfortable and to make anyone feel more loved, it is not her fault and it’s not my fault that the older generation haven’t taken the time throughout their entire lives to learn how to regulate their emotions so consent doesn’t continue to be overlooked,” Baxter adds in the video.
“No one’s feelings are ever going to be more important than my daughter’s right to her own body and I’m sure as s**t not going to allow her to grow up in an environment where 1. She doesn’t know how to say no, and 2. She doesn’t know what it looks like for her no to be respected,” she continued.
“Grandparents, do better,” she concludes in the video.
“Working on this with my two-year-old as well,” one mom wrote. “We’ve had to reduce his interactions with my mother due to her not respecting this and I feel no guilt.”
“50-year-old, proud uncle here,” one person commented. “I learned early to ask, would you like a hug, high five, nothing? Always cool. Always supported. It’s SO important.”
While there are many, many, parents that agreed with Baxter’s sentiment, others had strong opinions about it and voiced their outrage in the comments.
“This is outrageous,” one person put it.
“What kind of parent makes their child ask to be shown affection?” another asked.
And, unfortunately, a lot of people called her a “sh**ty parent” or “mother.”
The negative comments did not go unnoticed by the content creator and she decided to respond, as all great TikTok users do, with another video.
“For everyone who felt the need to call me a ‘Karen’ and tell me I’m a ‘sh***y parent’ and tell me I’m raising a ‘snowflake,’ this one’s for you,” Baxter says in the video response.
“I hope that you remember everything that you said the next time you come across, hear of or know of a child that has experienced sexual assault, abuse, harassment, coercion and/or rape,” she continues.
“Consent starts within the home whether you agree with it or not,” she explained.
“It is not my fault that you think everyone else’s feelings are more important than your child’s right to bodily autonomy.”
Brittany said consent must be taught to children to stop them from becoming a victim or a perpetrator of abuse.
“We teach and practice consent with our children so that when they become adults they know what it looks like to hold boundaries and have those boundaries be respected,” she continued.
“Because not only will it keep them safe but it will also keep the people safe that they come into contact with.”
Whether you agree with Baxter or not, it’s always best to follow a parent’s wishes and rules when interacting with their child. We think Baxter makes a strong argument for teaching children consent at a young age, especially with relatives. After all, the majority of sexual assaults on children are carried out by relatives and people they know.
Andrew is a Chicago-based writer who enjoys finding the best of the internet, obsessively making lists, and cooking for friends. After studying Film and Art History, he developed a deep love for both topics. Celebrity news, pop culture, and stories that bring people together are his passions.
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