Is it inappropriate for a 7 yr old boy and girl to hug when going separate ways and to write notes saying I love you?

  • 8
    Any age, so long as the participants are comfortable with it.
    – Buzz
    Dec 7, 2023 at 3:48

3 Answers 3


As long as either participant can refuse to give/receive a hug without any consequences, hugs are appropriate at all ages. A hug does not mean more than that you have affection towards each other and that can both be between family members and between friends.

Also with regards to the "I love you" notes, there is nothing weird or worrying. At that age, and assuming a normal abuse-free environment, the word "love" best translates to "I like being around you and playing with you". The notions that we adults have of love and sexual relationships don't exist in their worldview yet.


It's generally normal for young children to express affection through hugs and notes. Based on what you wrote, it's just showing that thay ar brought up around people who love each other and hug each other. Remember that children are copying everything they see. Personally I think it's sweet and yuu have nothing to worry about. At this age, it's more likely innocent and reflects a friendly connection. However, it's essential to ensure healthy boundaries and educate them on appropriate social behaviors as they grow. Keep open communication and monitor their interactions to ensure they understand and respect personal boundaries.


It Depends on Culture

And by that, I mean the culture of all participants in the hug...

For example, in our international household, and having lived in a bunch of different countries:

  • With me: hugs are almost NEVER OK. And when they are, it's only with my wife, kids, parents, and siblings. :D
  • With my wife: often, with close family and friends.
  • With a lot of friends I know from different cultures: they'll bear-hug strangers on the first meet. This is WEIRD to me, but it doesn't mean it's bad. Except if the strangers are like me... and n that case they should be free to decline...

For these 2 kids...

From their perspective

It seems rather appropriate, whether they're 7yo or 12yo or 15yo or older...

As long as they share a mutual fondness for each other, and they are both consenting to being hugged, it's all good.

Based on what you describe, I don't see why that would be inappropriate.

From the perspective of others

Of course, again, in some cultures and at some age, you'd think a person hugging another is inappropriate outside of a marital life, or in public, or what-have-you. I'd say that's a sad perception of the world (even for me as a non-hugger). It used to be frowned upon for a woman to just be in a bar, or to smoke, or to be seen with a man who wasn't her husband. This is too outdated for our times, hopefully, and so is the fact that these kids would have to stop hugging if they feel like it because of a rigid moral framework.

They're not betraying anything or anyone, they're not being improper, they're not being too forward, they're not being annoying to anyone, they're not being impolite.

It's not an issue with the kids, but with how people look at them.

(OK, I could take issue with an all-out giant hug, giggles, hand-waving, loud voices, kissing very sloppily, etc... And then again, that would be my issue.)

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