Don’t Worry About Gang Violence or Drugs…The New Menace is Hugs!

Article in the New York Times For Teenagers, Hellow Means ‘How About A Hug?’

And schools from Hillsdale, N.J., to Bend, Ore., wary in a litigious era about sexual harassment or improper touching — or citing hallway clogging and late arrivals to class — have banned hugging or imposed a three-second rule…Touching and physical contact is very dangerous territory,” said Noreen Hajinlian, the principal of George G. White School, a junior high school in Hillsdale, N.J., who banned hugging two years ago. “It was needless hugging — they are in the hallways before they go to class. It wasn’t a greeting. It was happening all day.”

I’m disheartened that touch, a basic human need IMO, is so taboo in our culture. We aren’t talking romantic hugs here but friend hugs – even straight boys which I find to be a nice movement away from homophobia. How do we define public displays of affection?

I come from a touchy family. I kiss all my relatives on the lips and hug as hello and goodbye. Is this ‘pda’? I’m of the thought that I want people to touch my baby! Touch is basic human connection and when we lose it we are opened up to treating people as things. I love this article about why normally kind people get road rage.

I am thrilled the next generation are hugging! Maybe we can learn from them!

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6 thoughts on “Don’t Worry About Gang Violence or Drugs…The New Menace is Hugs!

  1. I know the school and principal in this article. There is a critical piece of the story that the NY Times writer left out. There were certain kids, specifically girls, going home and telling their parents that the hugs from particular boys (perhaps ones they didn’t like) were making them uncomfortable. As a result, they had to ask kids not to touch each other. “Banned hugging” was an overstatement from the NY Times writer to make the article more controversial. After stories like Swine Flu, doesn’t anyone know how the media works?

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  2. I can certainly see how NYT could have only part of the story. However, I still don’t think that asking the kids “not to touch each other” is the solution. Teach kids about appropriate and inappropriate touching and deal with the inappropriate (anything that makes you uncomfortable is inappropriate) behavior as it arises. Banning normal social contact is not only counter-productive in that it doesn’t teach about the need for human contact but it also deprives these young people of a litmus for appropriateness. High School should be about learning mature discernment and not about rule following that is completely unheard of in the real word they are about to enter.

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  3. One thing I can attest to is that my daughter strived as a preemie because of touch. She was constantly being held by me, hubby, or our ffamily and friends.

    Consequently, she’s very touchy and loving. I’ve been told that it’s not socially acceptable because other kids don’t know how to interpret her closeness. I’m like, do they parents hug them or express love to them?

    What’s the world coming to?

    Thanks so much for this post.

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  4. One thing I can attest to is that my daughter strived as a preemie because of touch. She was constantly being held by me, hubby, or our ffamily and friends.Consequently, she's very touchy and loving. I've been told that it's not socially acceptable because other kids don't know how to interpret her closeness. I'm like, do they parents hug them or express love to them?What's the world coming to?Thanks so much for this post.

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  5. “no touchy!”

    My husband comes from a very “touchy” family and I don’t. My family was just never the physically affectionate type. We love each other very much and have remained very close as our adults lives have pulled us in different directions, we just don’t hug. I don’t see anything wrong with that . . . or I didn’t until I met my husband. I have had to learn to be more physically affectionate with him and in turn with my own family. It really has made a difference in our relationship. I can hug my brother without it feeling awkward. (My parents were always affectionate, we just weren’t as siblings) I was a non-hugger, but I have changed my ways. Who would have thought?

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