Coming into my room to fondle me, or hugging me too closely, or eventually raping me and the list goes on. I would dread that evening routine. I remember wanting a choice. I remember trying to pretend that I forgot or was too tired. But it didn't work. It was required of me, spoken at times and unspoken at other times.
Teaching our children about consent at an early age will protect them in ways that you may not realize. Also teaching consent and assuring that aunt Thelma or Uncle Robert are trained up that not receiving hugs and kisses is alright and that doesn't mean that the kids don't like them or love them, just means that the child has been trained that they have the ability to choose. They have the ability to consent to this behavior for themselves. Gives them some control over their bodies and their being. This process also
Changing this expectation, teaching your children about consent from an early age, will help them know when lines are being crossed, identifying when they are uncomfortable and coming to a trusted adult for help.
If your child is comfortable and chooses to give those hugs and love on their own, that is fine, but if they reluctant, let them choose. I do believe this doesn't give a child the right to be rude. There are many ways to show thankfulness that don't require physical contact. High fives, blowing kisses, fist bumps, head knod or an audible thank you - all will suffice.
Think it through help them understand and know consent.
"Being quite and hidden is no longer an option."