By Amy Reast via SWNS
A therapist shared ten things she would never do with her kids - including never giving them a hug without getting consent first.
Mom-of-two Jessica MacNair, 41, has been a licensed therapist for 20 years and says following her tips creates a "secure attachment."
Without it, kids can become adults with addictions, in broken relationships, and have trouble keeping jobs.
Jessica, from Arlington County, Virginia, top tips include asking for consent before hugging your kids and never commenting on their bodies.
She says you shouldn't talk about personal finances in front of them, never compare them to other kids, or use food as punishment or reward.
She also said you shouldn't judge kids for their gender, sexuality, their feelings or how they express them, their grades at school, or use fear as a motivational tool.
Finally, she controversially advised parents should never be taught to trust authority figures.
@strongtherapy 5 things a Licensed Therapist doesn’t do with kids. #tiktoktherapist #therapistsoftiktok #mentalhealthtiktok #5things #5thingschallenge #5thingsiwouldneverdo #parentingtips #parentinghacks ♬ original sound - Jess (Licensed Therapist)
She shared her views on TikTok and the two videos garnered 480,000 views - with people flocking to the comments to ask further questions and discuss their views.
"In terms of parenting, there is so much conflicting information out there, I experienced that myself," said Jessica, whose sons are 10 and 13.
"A lot of people follow and trust me and there are some first-time parents who might be trying to figure things out, I thought it might be helpful for them."
Discussing her hugging advice one TikTok user commented: "The asking for consent to hug your own kids, it’s excessive to me personally."
Another added: "I've been asking permission for giving hugs for decades. Had relatives on the Spectrum and knew it freaked them out if I didn't ask first."
Explaining her advice, Jessica said: "For them to advocate for themselves and be an adult, they have to learn how to give consent.
"To model that from a young age is important, the older gen didn’t have that so they don’t realize you can say no.
"More often than not they do say yes, and that’s more meaningful.
"It can feel like an offensive rejection but I always remember they don’t owe you anything, and they have to be able to advocate for themselves even if it's not what you want."
Another which provoked discussion was teaching children not to automatically respect and trust authority figures.
In the video, she said: "I teach them that trust and respect is earned."
Some people agreed, with one saying: "The last one is soooo important."
But others disputed it - with one saying: "Respect should be given. It's only earned when someone disrespects them.
@strongtherapy 5 more things I do not do with my kids as a licensed therapist practicing for 20 years. #tiktoktherapist #therapistsoftiktok #mentalhealthtiktok #5things #5thingsiwouldneverdo #fivethings #fivethingschallenge ♬ original sound - Jess (Licensed Therapist)
"If they disrespect you, they have to earn your respect back."
Jessica said: "It's about not blindly following authority. My generation were taught to do that, but Gen Z do a good job of pushing back.
"People should pay attention to what they're hearing, and if it doesn’t sound right, don’t just trust the person.
"Everyone doesn’t know everything. Your teacher might be doing the best they can but they may not know everything.
"It depends on the situation but always question the premise - should you trust that particular person in that particular question?
"It goes back to basic thing of, if someone comes up in a van and says 'get in', don’t just trust them because they're an adult.
"Look at situation and what they’re trying to achieve."
She explained the ten points are examples of how to create a "safe" relationship between a parent and child.
"If you implement these from a young age, a child will feel safe and a lot of traumatic things can be avoided," she said.
"A lot of reason adults end up in therapy is because parents didn't create this safe space for their child and the trust isn't there.
She added: "I mean this for myself too. Don't just trust what I'm saying because I'm a licensed therapist!
"Go back through my account and figure out for yourself if you feel I'm someone you can trust."
She explained that now having a secure attachment to a parent in childhood can result in things such as addiction, broken relationships, and issues sustaining jobs.
She went on to say that by modeling good, safe habits and behaviors is a way to avoid these things happening in adulthood.
"Peoples' responses were interesting to me," Jessica said.
"They don't have to follow or agree with me, but some of the points I made are things I wish I had known before I had children.
"I hope some people might take something away from the videos."
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