Your tween probably dodges public displays of affection (PDAs) as if his or her life depends on it. Truth is, the kid probably fears death by embarrassment were you to successfully hold his or her hand within range of a peer. Just keep in mind, your child's reaction isn't a rejection of you. Your tween is claiming his or her own personal space, while avoiding the teasing of friends (trust your tween on this one -- friends will mock your child for hugging you).
If you insist on risking embarrassment by hugging your tween in public, try this first: Start hugging at home. Wrapping your arms around your spouse, tween or other children models a happy relationship. And, if all this hugging becomes part of an overall campaign to consistently treat your family members with sensitivity and respect, it's quite possible your tween may endure a public squeeze.