A therapist, who has been in practice for two decades, is sharing her personal parenting rules.
In a TikTok video, Jessica MacNair, a mom of two children, ages 13 and 10, lists five things she doesn’t do with her kids.
“I teach the importance of bodily autonomy and advocating for themselves when they’re uncomfortable,” MacNair begins. That means she never goes in for a hug without asking for consent.
“I don’t comment on their bodies,” she continues. “We discuss the importance of physical exercise and nutrition and we just don't talk about bodies."
MacNair says she doesn’t make remarks about her own body, either.
You won’t hear MacNair discussing finances in the presence of her children.
“I don’t talk about how much money I make or where my money goes, that’s not for them to be concerned about,” she explains.
“I don’t compare my kids to each other or ask them for a change that’s more like their sibling,” MacNair says. Lastly, she doesn’t “reward or punish” with food.
While speaking with TODAY Parents, MacNair, who lives in Virginia, clarified her comments about finances.
“A lot of people seemed to have a problem with that one,” she said. “What I meant was, I don’t talk about our mortgage or anything like that because it can have devastating results. For instance, if you’re talking about not having money for food, a kid might panic and go without eating. They have a tendency to internalize things.”
MacNair also received some criticism about her policy on asking for consent for hugs. As one person wrote in comments, “Ask to hug your kids? You ask to hug your kids? Wow.”
“It’s the earliest version of teaching them consent,” she told TODAY. “Kids are not required to kiss and hug all their relatives. If it’s a genuine expression or feeling that they want to share, that’s on them to decide.”