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As we are now in the fall season, there is new curriculum for some of our churches’ children and youth programs. It is not too late to order a copy of the Circle of Grace program for your church. You might remember that Circle of Grace is a Christian-based program designed to educate, empower, and equip children and adults to advocate for safe environments, remembering that God is always with them, in their circle of grace. It helps give our children a voice.

To let you know how important this is, please read this list adapted from the online article entitled 7 Reasons Your Child Should Never Be Forced to Hug Anyone by James St. James.

1. It teaches your child that they do not have control over their own bodies.

2. It implies that you (or adults in general) have the right to touch your child how they want, when they want.

3. It tells them that relatives cannot be abusers.

4. It disregards your child’s comfort zone.

5. It risks dismantling their natural, healthy sense of “stranger danger”.

6. It ignores any important, subtle cues your child is trying to tell you.

7. It sends the message that hugging (or physical contact in general) is the only way to show affection or appreciation for another person.

“Having legal possession over a child doesn’t mean they’re your property. It means they’re your responsibility. By forcing a child to hug, you’re telling them ‘Yes, I’m in charge here, which means you have to do everything I say.’ Instead, you’re in charge here, which means it’s your job to make sure that the kid grows up to be the most functioning adult they’re capable of being.”

For more information about Circle of Grace, please click here

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