This is one of my hot 🔥 topics. Especially when it comes to grandparents.
There is NEVER a time to violate a child’s boundaries, unless of course it means keeping them safe.
Children are often manipulated + guilted into giving physical touch. We, their parents, are advocates. It is NOT up to the child to make anyone else feel better, feel loved, feel respected or appreciated.
It is too common that we place the heavy burden on the child to keep the room of family members feeling cozy + content. We force them to “respect” their elders, by disrespecting them. It doesn’t make sense. 🤯
The discomfort shouldn’t be felt by the child to “do what is right,” but rather between the adults who are able to have a mature conversation on boundaries + offer the child other options to connect with loved ones (eye contact, high fives, etc).
We must look into the future. How do you want to empower your child as an adult? Do you want them to have the ability to say “no” and expect others to respect this limit? It starts with us. We cannot do one thing now + expect them to turn it on magically later. They build self trust when we trust them. They practice this skill with those closest to them. When we back them on their needs, it is THEN that they learn the true meaning of respect, and can head into the world deeply confident + considerate of others limitations.