While hugs can be GREAT and HEALING...don't force your kids to hug people.
Girl Scouts Warn Against Forced Holiday Hugs-Your child shouldn’t be forced into the clutches of waiting relatives.
That’s the word from the Girl Scouts of the USA. The organization’s website says it teaches your kid that they “owe” their relative physical attention. That could set girls up, later in life for situations like feeling it’s necessary to repay a dinner being bought for them. The Girl Scouts' post encourages parents to offer their daughters ways to show gratitude that do not require physical contact, including "a smile, a high-five, or even an air kiss."
Dr. Janet Taylor says, while the advice is good, don’t scare your daughter about physical contact with loved ones. She adds "The awareness of unwanted contact that we have right now is needed ... I just caution parents about limiting family attachment and that kind of loving space that a lot of time only happens at the holidays."