“Hug, handshake, or high-five?”

Holiday lights, songs and parties. The festive atmosphere, the fun outfits and the cheer. Welcome to the season of friends and family you see often and those you see rarely. In a child's eyes, some of these people may seem like strangers. As we grow in our understanding of how children learn to make decisions for themselves we are offered opportunities to shape their early options. Willow Smith was offered an incredible opportunity here and here:

We let Willow cut her hair. When you have a little girl, it’s like how can you teach her that you’re in control of her body? If I teach her that I’m in charge of whether or not she can touch her hair, she’s going to replace me with some other man when she goes out in the world. She has got to have command of her body. So when she goes out into the world, she’s going out with a command that it is hers. She is used to making those decisions herself. We try to keep giving them those decisions until they can hold the full weight of their lives.
— Will Smith + Jada Pinkett Smith

Kelly from The (Reformed) Idealist Mom has offered a truly wonder filled option I look forward to seeing unfold. She suggests that your child can offer a "hug, hand shake or high-five" when meeting or re-meeting someone in a social situation. This gives your child more control over their own body, helping them recognize that they have a choice. No more pressure to get closer than an individual feels comfortable with. Instead opportunities for connection and self confidence. Check out The Magic Greeting Every Kid Should Learn Before Visiting Family before your next gathering. We're hoping for lots of smiles.