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A parent's Facebook post has gone viral after they claimed that tickling could be construed as child abuse.
Causing an unexpectedly huge reaction on the social media site, the parent had a conversation with a friend where they explained that if a child doesn't consent to tickling then adults should stop immediately.
"If they (kids) come looking for it/ask for it, they like it (tickling)," they wrote in their initial message, which has now been widely shared.
"Stop when they ask you to stop," they added, before also saying: "It's about consent and you are teaching them their body, their rules."
The other parent seemed to be taken aback, replying: "So it'd be child abuse to do it to my kids?"
They then also pointed out that most children will constantly change their minds and will often ask for tickling to stop, but then want more.
"They will literally tell you to stop, then immediately ask to be tickled more," they said.
"But generally it's actually the best way to momentarily paralyse a toddler in order to get shoes on them," they adding jokingly.
Making light of the discussion didn't sit well with the initial poster though, and they stood their ground on the matter.
"This (not tickling) is one small thing you can do to show respect," they replied.
"It's easy and causes no harm. Why wouldn't you?"
Screenshots of the conversation have since been widely shared, with extremely polarising views on both sides of the argument. Some couldn't believe the parent was seriously suggesting it was 'child abuse' to tickle your child.
"Tickling isn't going to traumatise a kid in this case," said one social media user.
"What? We argue about tickling now? 2020 is the worst," added another.
However, the parent also had plenty of support, with others agreeing with the pro-consent stance.
"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 parent]," said one person.
"I tickle my kids, but stop the second they ask me to," agreed another.
A third commented: "I agree that it's a great way to teach consent".
The debate appears to be running and running online, and goes to show just how complex and individual the practice of raising children is.
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