Why This Mom Always Asks For Her Son’s Permission Before Holding Him

Woman laying on the floor raising baby up
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Many parents feel uneasy about other people picking up their children, and for good reason. It’s totally normal to want other people to be mindful of how they touch your child. After all, it’s a basic part of infant etiquette. One mom, however, goes even further. She and her husband ask their son if they can pick him up, every time before doing so.

Nisha Moodley, a women’s leadership coach, posted an Instagram selfie of her with her son, explaining why she insists on asking her son for permission before picking him up.

“I always feel for his ‘yes’,” she wrote. “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.”

This also extends to other parents’ children, she said. She advises asking both the parents and the child if you can hold them before doing so, taking a moment to connect with the child and asking what they want.

This kind of relationship with your child is a part of what’s become known as RIE parenting, which is geared toward treating infants and young children as competent, if little, humans. Even more broadly, though, Moodley’s hashtag #lessonsinsovereignty points to an even bigger lesson to teach children at a young age: telling them that they have control over their bodies.

The idea of teaching children…

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