Ironically, we also contradict ourselves at times by confusing our children or denying them the boundaries and safeguards we gave them for their protection. For example, we tell children it’s their body, yet we force them to hug and kiss a relative (yes, even their grandparents or aunts and uncles).
Though this may be our cultural custom—to kiss and hug upon greeting or departing, it instills in children the idea that it’s their body but they have no rights and no boundaries when it comes to relatives. And since most children are abused by non-strangers, we are opening the door to possible abuse.
Instead of forcing the child to give hugs and kisses when they don’t wish to, explain to the adult that you are teaching your child to set boundaries for themselves and enlist their help.