Sue Scheff: Have you Hugged your Teen Today?

A Hug; A New Teen "Hello?"
I’m a hugger more than a kisser so I didn’t pay attention to this trend as much as maybe other people did. Now that it’s been written about and discussed, I guess I would have to agree that hugging is much more common with this generation of kids. And, by the way, does this increase effect teen-age boys as much teen-age girls? My son isn’t old enough (yet) for me to see the trend with boys. Will he start hugging when he gets in high school? I don’t know. At first, I thought it was a California thing to do….all the hugging was just left over “California summer of love” stuff. Evidently not.

When did I first notice it? Hard to say. Mainly because it’s pretty common for teen girls to hug their friends hello, good-bye, when they are excited, when they are sad and well…anytime. Maybe I first noticed it when my daughter had a mixed group of friends over (when they were 14 or so) and when saying good-bye, she hugged both the girls AND the boys. THAT surprised me. I operated on the theory you only hugged guys you liked or were dating and I knew that wasn’t the case. First sign that I was clueless.

It came up again after we moved to California and I noticed some hugging between friends of the opposite sex for no apparent reason. Sounds odd to say but there it is. I don’t think I would have felt comfortable hugging a guy when I was in High School unless we were dating or we were childhood friends or…even then I’m not sure it was the thing to do.
OK, let’s look at it another way. According to popular wisdom and current teen “standards”, the blow-job is the new handshake. Maybe that’s an exaggeration for most kids (for mine I hope) but it’s fairly well known that teenagers today don’t think of oral sex the same way we used to. In fact, many of them think of it as less intimate than sexual intercourse. So, is there a correlation between the two? I mean, has this generation re-defined touching/ intimacy?

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