Don't force a child to give you a hug or kiss, even if the child is your godchild, grandchild, niece or nephew. It sends a message that a child isn't allowed to refuse to be touched. Even if you are the Auntie, to a 3-yr-old who sees you twice a year, you are a stranger for all intents & purposes. The more time you spend with him or her, the child will warm up to you and feel more comfortable hugging you.
oh hell yeah.
This is so true.
I totally agree with this. I'm an adult who HATES to be touched, apart from immediate family and my boyf (and a very licky rabbit!) - I think a lot of it stems from "go kiss uncleauntystranger XYZ goodbye", and not being listened to when I said no.
I was at a party a little while back, and there was one young kid there, about 7 years old, whom I had not met before. The kid who was really well mannered and very grown up for his age, was playing Xbox in another room, and occassionally come in to chat to us/his mum.
At the end of the night, the mum told the kid to give all of us a hug and a kiss goodbye, and the kids face dropped so I told the kid that he didn't have to hug me if he didn't want to, and gave him a high five instead. Funnily enough, after saying that, he looked like he wanted to hug me!