Nisha Moodley, a woman’s leadership coach in the US, believes that children should make their own choices about their bodies.
Sharing a selfie of herself and her son on 9 June, she wrote: “Since the moment he was born, we’ve always asked before we pick him up. I always feel for his: ‘Yes’.
“Why? Because we want him to know that his body is his, and that others’ bodies are theirs, and no one gets to make choices about someone else’s body.”
Moodley explained that if an adult ever wants to hold someone else’s child or baby, they should ask the parent first and then the child.
She added: “It always touches my heart when someone takes a moment to connect with him and says: ‘Can I hold you, dude?’”
Many parents responded to the mum’s post in agreement.
“I love that you are always exploring how to raise a conscious human,” one person wrote. “Such an important practice to begin the embodiment of body sovereignty from an early age.
“Helping instil the values that a child’s body is their own is one of the most important gifts we can give our children.”
Another wrote: “This is a great idea. I have always asked babies before I pick them up but totally instinctually and never realised I did it before reading this post. Thank you.”
Others felt her post went “too far”, with one commenter writing: “Millions of parents over many hundreds of years didn’t all ask permission to pick up their newborn and believe it or not most turned out rather fine I’m sure.”
Sarah Ockwell-Smith, a parenting author, has alluded to a similar notion of giving children “choice” when writing about not making children hug or kiss relatives.
“When your child grows up, would you like them to have a strong sense of body autonomy?” she wrote in a HuffPost UK blog.
“Would you like them to not feel scared to say ‘no’ if somebody touched them in a way they didn’t like?
“It is forcing a child to do something with their body against their will. Why should children show respect to adults when adults rarely show them respect in return?”
What do you think? Comments below, please.