Alex's Answer

Is it ok to cross boundaries

Your Question

i feel ashamed and abashed for even reaching out for help, to admit that someone in my family is making me a bit uncomfortable. idk if my dad finds these things normal, but I am an only child (16F) and i find him sometimes uncomfortable when he goes in for a hug or i am around, because he sometimes gropes me (unintentionally? but also consistently?) casually or briefly with his hand. It makes me feel mad more than uncomfortable and sometimes i snap and harshly push him away. I then get this sick and sorry feeling in my stomach worrying if i misunderstood and hurt his feelings. I’ve also seen online how this influencer playfully slapped his child’s butt and people found it messed up and that he should be locked up. I then realized that my dad does this too, but i just can’t figure out why he’s so touchy and what his intentions are. My family is closer than most, and my parents pour their love out on me as a only child. Is this his way of showing affection and since we’re close, it’s okay to cross those kind of boundaries? 


Hi there, thank you for reaching out to Ask Alex.

It’s very brave of you to contact us as we know it’s not always easy for young people to talk about things that are going on at home.  

We are really sorry to hear about dad’s behaviour which is making you feel uncomfortable. It’s completely understandable to feel uneasy when a family member crosses boundaries like this. Your feelings are valid, and it’s important to address them.

While it may be confusing to determine what constitutes normal affection from a parent, your discomfort and anger indicate that this behaviour is not appropriate. You really have to trust your instincts in situations like these. 

Consider reaching out to a trusted adult or professional for support. Talking to someone non-judgmental can provide clarity and help you through this challenging situation. Whether it’s a family member, friend, or helpline, we think it would be beneficial to ask for help. 

There are some articles on the Childline website which may also help you think about what to do: 

 Childline is also available for you whenever you need support. You can reach out to us through Live Chat at or call us for free at 1800 66 66 66. We are open 24 hours a day, every day of the year. We will not judge you and we will explore what options are available to you. 

Take care of yourself, and please reach out for support soon, 


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