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A Man Is Refusing To Punish His Son Who Pushed His Younger Cousin When She Tried To Hug Him & His Wife Is Furious

Photo: Standret / Shutterstock 
boy, girl, cousins

A father is teaching his young son an important lesson about personal boundaries. After his younger cousin attempted to hug him even after he refused, he shoved her into a doorframe. 

While the man’s wife believes that their son needs to be published for his actions, he disagrees and is proud of the little boy for standing his ground, even if it meant hurting his cousin. 

The man’s 7-year-old son shoved his younger cousin after she tried to hug him. 

Sharing his story to the subreddit, r/amITheA–hole, the father asked other Redditors if he was wrong for not punishing his son. He revealed that his little boy has autism, and does not like to be touched by other people. 

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While the father claims that his son is amazing and he loves him, the only issue with him in social settings is that he “cannot stand” being hugged or any other physical contact with other people. The man understands how his son feels, having autism himself, and empathizes with him.

“I know what that’s like, you feel your insides curl up, it makes you want to peel off your own skin,” he wrote. “Whenever my son is hugged by someone or is grabbed he freaks out and has a meltdown.” 

 Photo: fizkes / Shutterstock 

One day, the man’s sister and five-year-old niece paid a visit to their home. Unlike his son, he describes his niece as a “huge hugger” who ran straight for his son and attempted to hug him. 

“He told her no and to not touch him,” the man wrote. Still, the little girl persisted. “She tried two more times to hug him and on the third time she tried, my son snapped.” 

The little boy shoved his cousin, hitting her head on a doorframe. Thankfully according to the man, she was not seriously injured. 

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However, the man’s wife wanted to give their son consequences for his actions. “After she and my sister left, my wife tried to punish my son,” he shared. Although the man did not believe that punishing their son was necessary. 

“I put my foot down as he set boundaries and was clear in telling my niece not to touch him,” he wrote. “My sister, my wife, and I all told her that my son doesn’t like being touched and stopped her but there comes a point it all comes too much.” 

The man’s wife argues that they need to teach their son that he cannot get away with everything just because he is autistic. “But the way I see it my sister should teach her daughter to understand when no means no,” the man added. 

Other Reddit users agreed with the father. 

“No one should be punished for defending their boundaries, especially after two separate times saying no,” one user commented. “The person that should be reprimanded is the one who continuously tries to step over people's comfort for their own pleasure.” 

“Setting acceptable boundaries and using Autism as an excuse are VASTLY different scenarios,” another user pointed out. “Your wife and sister need to understand what setting boundaries actually are.” 

Other users informed the man that while he did not have to punish his son, he could have a gentle conversation with him about when it is appropriate to inflict physical harm on someone. 

“I wouldn’t say punishment is needed. That seems inappropriate. But maybe a gentle conversation about how it’s not okay to push others,” one user suggested. “Maybe next time he just puts his hands in front of him and says no thanks I hate hugs. Or go run and stand behind an adult if he sees this coming.” 

“His son should also be taught to not physically hurt someone pushing his boundaries unless it's absolutely necessary, but at the same time, he shouldn't be punished for having boundaries and exercising his right to them,” another user noted. 

It is never too early to start teaching children about consent and boundaries. It prepares them for life and how to act appropriately in social settings by having respect for others. 

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Megan Quinn is a writer at YourTango who covers entertainment and news, self, love, and relationships.