A parent has suggested that if your child does not like being tickled, you should not do it. If you do, then that's child abuse.
This point of view has started a strong online debate that has been raging on social media for a while now.
Many people were not happy with the claims the mother made. However, she was only telling this to another mother, but the online world got to know about it.
In fact, the message has since gone viral.
In a sarcastic twist, a radio personality also wondered if we should also ask the child for consent before changing their diapers.
All in all, people were pretty shocked by the woman's opinions.
In fact, the woman she was telling this to pointed out that children change their minds all the time:
"So it'd be child abuse to do it to my kids? They don't like it, then they do, then they don't, then they want [to be] tickled more. But generally, it's the best way to momentarily paralyze a toddler in order to get shoes on them…"
But the controversial lady had a quick rebuttal:
"If they [kids] come looking for it/ask for it, they like it [tickling]. Stop when they ask you to stop. It's about consent and you are teaching them their body, their rules."
Many people believe that the woman is overprotective, and also blowing things out of proportion. One person said:
"Tickling isn't going to traumatize a kid in this case."
Another commenter was utterly shocked:
"What? We argue about tickling now? 2020 is the worst."
But there were those who thought the lady had a point. Some of them remembered being traumatized by tickling:
"I hate being tickled because my brother and sister would tickle me and tickle me and tickle me and wouldn't stop even when I started crying. I'm totally with [the mum]."
But another Facebook user explained:
"I tickle my kids, but stop the second they ask me to."
Yet another person, who agreed with the points the woman made, said that tickling is a great way to teach kids about consent.
However, the opinions this woman has are not new. Jennifer Lehr in 2017 explained in an article that tickling is not everything it's made out to be.
She explains that the laughter that comes with tickling is not as happy as it might seem and that it doesn't take much for the laughter to turn into crying.
Apparently, tickling creates the impression of joy without any pleasurable feeling. In history, there are records that tickling can cause pain, although people don't currently seem to accept that it has a dark side.
Lehr relates that she has heard plenty of people remember traumatizing childhood accounts of tickling.
And apparently, tickling can also give sexual predators a means to access their victims:
"I'd be remiss if I failed to mention that tickling is one of the means used by sexual predators to groom their victims… to facilitate their being able to carry out the acts of sexual abuse on the child with the highest probability of being able to do it without getting caught."
"But every time we respect our child's 'No' or 'Stop!' whether they've said it explicitly or via their body language, we help them learn that it's their body and their right to decide what happens to it."
Maybe we can go with what experts say: tickling should be done with the understanding that it can be both fun or torture. It's important to know the difference.