Is Tickling Child Abuse? What Do You Think?

by Laura Driver

A parent's Facebook post went viral after they claimed that tickling could be construed as child abuse. Causing an unexpectedly huge reaction 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".

We’d love to know what you think!

If you enjoyed reading this article why not share it with others!

Written by

Laura Driver

Blogger & Social Media Manager
Laura lives in Yorkshire, UK with her two teenage children. When they were little (and definitely not taller than her) she used to blog avidly about the trials and tribulations of motherhood. Laura is no stranger to all the joys small children can bring; sleepless nights, a random public meltdown or a spectacular poonami. She fondly remembers the time her youngest child rolled across a supermarket carpark in a trolley while she was putting her eldest child in the car and the time her, then, three year old took up swearing at a church event. Laura has worked for Your Baby Club, as a Social Media Manager, since 2014.

Articles on are a mixture of informative pieces, anecdotal accounts and professional advice from our panel of Bloggers, Writers and Experts. The views and opinions expressed in these articles are those of the authors and do not necessarily reflect the official view of Your Baby Club UK

Related articles