This Mom's Unique Parenting Move Teaches An Important Lesson

Before picking him up or holding him, Nisha Moodley says she always asks her son for permission first. Doing so, she said, is her way of teaching him how to be respectful of other people and their bodies and personal space.
"Since the moment he was born, we've always asked before we pick him up," she wrote in an Instagram post.
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While her son, Raven, couldn't answer her as an infant, she wrote that she always "feels" for his "yes."
"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," she wrote.
Moodley told Yahoo Beauty that she wanted to raise her son aware of the aspects of rape culture.
"I don’t ever want my son to be a sexual perpetrator or the victim of one, and the best thing I can do is honor his choices about his own body," she told Yahoo. "I also want him to pay attention to his instincts, and forcing physical touch could interfere with that."
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While he may not be able to verbalize his feelings yet, she told Yahoo that she's doing her best to interpret his body language until he can. And though it's sometimes difficult to navigate social situations where family or friends want to hug or pick him up, Moodley does her best to weigh the situation.
"It’s asking myself how can I prioritize what feels right to me as a parent with social niceties, especially if some consider it rude to not hug," she told Yahoo. "If Raven seems like he doesn’t want to be touched, I just explain to the person, 'Give him a few minutes — he may just want mommy now.'"
Her method, she says, goes the same way for wanting to touch or hold someone else's baby — you should always ask the parent for permission, and then the child.
"It always touches my heart when someone takes a moment to connect with him and says 'Can I hold you, dude,'" she wrote on Instagram.
Sharon Silver, a parenting expert and creator of the upcoming webinar Why Do I Yell and What Can I Do Instead, told Yahoo that Moodley's method is part of RIE parenting, which "is essentially respecting a child’s timetable and allowing him or her to experience the full range of consequences as the result of a decision."
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