As a parent who loves to hand out hugs, smile, and giggle with the kids, I was very disappointed to read about the Maryland school ban on hugging. The ban disallows hugging of students in the St. Mary’s County Public Elementary Schools and also bans birthday party invitations and homemade food.
They claim that birthday invitations shouldn’t be handed out because students who were not invited could have their feelings hurt. To soften the blow, the school’s PTA could develop a contact list with parents approval to distribute.
How impersonal is that for the children? When do the children get to talk with each other and development friendships? I understand not wanting to hurt a child’s feelings but is it healthy to deliver this fairy tale reality to our children that this won’t happen outside of school or in life period?
This exact thing happened to my children a couple a weeks ago. My husband and I simply stated to them, that it is that person’s choice to invite who they want to their party and to never be disappointed if for whatever reason you aren’t invited some place. The real reality of the situation is if my husband and I didn’t know the child/parent our children weren’t going anyway. But our point was to make them accountable for their own feelings and not let the fact that someone else not inviting them into their circle be a factor. We want to instill in them NOW a strong sense of self confidence and worth.
It’s unfortunate that this rule is in place in a day and time where there is so much disorder and absence of love in the homes, community, and schools. The hug at school may be the only hug that a child may receive all day. I adore the fact that I can go to my children’s school and hug a child that I can clearly see (running and charging toward me) wanting to greet me with a hug. It’s just the natural nature of a child to want to hug a person that they are happy to see.
With so many mandates in place its almost like our children have to be made to feel like the “Tin Man.” When are they able to express feelings or admiration? Or display that God given Agape love to people around them? Was thought put into how this would affect children socially and emotionally? It’s amazing what a simple heart felt embrace can do for a person. It has the power to change a person’s mood, uplift their spirit, and potentially change the coarse of their day.
There are many things and situations in the world today that cause our children to loose focus but taking away something so small but meaningful as a hug does more harm than good. I’m sure those hugs children and adults exchanged during tragic times helped them through. So why not allow children to hug when there is peace? When the sun is shining? When there isn’t breaking news? When today was a “good day”?
BMWK — Are you okay with your child being hugged at school? Do you think the hugging ban in Maryland is over thought or necessary?