July 9, 2018


When NO means NO! “Recently relatives came to visit and asked for a goodbye hug, and my son promptly said no. This person said “ohhh come on!! Just one big hug”.

I was looked at by the relative like I should encourage him by saying “go on give her a hug!”

But instead I said “that’s okay you don’t have to”…

And what may have been considered as slightly awkward or rude on my part, it’s something I’m proud as a parent to say or do.

My responsibility first and foremost is to my children. As their mother it’s my job to stand up for them when they can’t and teach them to learn to stand up for themselves.

I am their safe place, one that they trust and I won’t abuse that by insisting that they do something that makes them feel uncomfortable to be polite.

My son gets too much sometimes and wants to hug other kids, or his sister, a little too much. I can’t tell him “You can’t hug her/him if they don’t want to be hugged, but if uncle Albert demands a hug, you should give him one”.

Because I’m teaching my kids that no means no and that’s it’s okay to say no.

It means no when I say “you can’t have an extra cookie”

It means no when your sister doesn’t want to wrestle

It means ‘no’ when your girlfriend/boyfriend says ‘no’ to sex or if you or they say, ‘I’m not ready’

It means no when you say you don’t want to do something with your body that you don’t want to do. So it definitely means no when someone asks you for a hug and you don’t want to give them one.

The message is that you can still be polite, nice and a good person and still say no.

Unfortunately I know all too well what it’s like as a child to be obliged to do something and be polite as you were taught and we only have to spend 10 minutes on social media to see the statistics of children being forced into situations isn’t a low one.

But for now I’m their voice and I’m their advocate and I’ll make it count and hopefully that’ll give them the strength in all situations to remember my words and to know that they don’t have to do anything they don’t want to with their body and that, no means no and walk away.

This post originally appeared on Laura Mazza – Mum on the Run Facebook page

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  • This is very true. Life rules need to be consistant.


  • We often compromise with a smile and a wave. We never force. The kids sometimes blow us kisses. I must admit I do feel disappointed sometimes. As children we were taught a kiss with a relative was a sign of love and respect and thought nothing of it. The only one I hated kissing was an uncle who drank a lot of alcohol and I hated the smell of it.


  • Good on you I agree you should be teaching your child it’s their bodies and they need to feel comfortable and also it teaches them to respect them self’s, also to speak up of anything don’t be shy but everyone has there own differences but I totally am all for yours. ☺️


  • Having read your full post I agree with your reasons and protection for your child. I do hope this was received with understanding from your wider family.


  • Agree with this mum on this one. Its Ok to not to want to hug and the child should be taught that their feelings matter too.


  • I agree and such an important lesson to be introduced to children from an early age. People should learn not to take offence, as none is intended.


  • Yes I agree in that the child should not be given a hard time if they don’t want to hug someone.


  • Yep! I totally agree with this and no child should have to hug anyone! Little people need to be given the right tools to be in charge of their own bodies. No is a powerful and good word for children.

    • If relatives do get offended it is their problem!


  • Yes I believe more parents should listen and stand up for their children’s wishes in this circumstance.


  • i had an aunty who used to kiss us on the lips. i was never an affectionate child and i found kissing disgusting, i hated it. i used to beg my mum not to take me there but she always insisted and after i was kissed on the lips, i had to smile and be polite when all i wanted to do was run out of the room and cry under the back steps. my mother taught us kids that they should never let anyone touch them in a way that makes them feel uncomfortable but she always made me kiss the aunt on the lips. i grew up to be very confused and resentful and to this day, i really hate affection


  • I absolutely agree with this. People do get offended though. I think that the child should say hello and goodbye – but in a way that they choose (verbal, a wave).


  • This was a really good way of trying to get it across. I sure hope it helps. You are very right and a good lesson


  • Absolutely right. We don’t have to force a child to hug anyone. Good on the mother to take her child’s side.


  • I’m 100% with this mum here. I don’t think kids should be forced into close confrontations. I remember being super uncomfortable when my parents did it to me, so I never forced my kids to


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