Is it just me or is it not normal to kiss your kids on the lips?

I’m pretty new on the parenting scene and last night I got asked a pretty weird question:

“Mommy, why won’t you kiss me on the lips? Don’t you love me?”

I was a bit freaked out by the question so I started explaining (very clumsily I might add) that while some parents want to kiss their kids on the lips, I find the habit weird and it grosses me out a bit. I love giving smooches but they should be done on cheeks, forehead, hands etc. Lips should be kept for true love’s kiss (I know, cheesy 🙂 ) and when a man (or a woman) comes along that they really love, they can kiss this person on the lips.

So, I came back to the big wide open Internet and also asked some of my friends too. Do you kiss your kids on the lips? I was surprised to find out that none of my Romanian friends do, while all of my English friends are for it.

I was shocked. Is this a cultural difference? The justification I got was mostly – “Why should I turn my face away when my kid wants to kiss me and make her feel rejected?”

I had a good search and I found psychologists warning against kisses on the mouth as well as the rednecks advocating it.

Here’s a summary:

AGAINST:

“As a child gets to 4 or 5 or 6 and their sexual awareness comes about (and some kids have an awareness earlier – as when we notice they start masturbating at 2 or 3 sometimes – they just discover their private parts and it feels good), the kiss on the lips can be stimulating to them.”

Others may not see it as innocent so you may have to take that into consideration.

Also consider that you may be passing on bacterial strains to your children that have no effect on you but can affect them because their immune systems is not as developed as yours.

Another thing to consider that your kid(s) may think it’s ok to kiss everyone else that way and someone will wonder why your child has no problem kissing an adult on the mouth.

PRO KISS ON MOUTH:

Dr. Paul Hokemeyer, a family therapist, disagrees with the theory, telling Yahoo Parenting:

“It’s important that parents keep and maintain boundaries with their children, certainly, but in terms of expressing affection this feels within the realm of normal.”

Sally-Anne McCormack, another psychologist, didn’t hold back in criticising Reznick’s point of view.

“There’s absolutely no way that kissing a young child on the lips is confusing for them in any way,” Dr. McCormack told The Sun. “That’s like saying breastfeeding is confusing.”

“Some people might have issues with it,” McCormack continues. “But it isn’t any more sexual than giving a baby a back rub.”

It is another way of displaying love. And in my opinion, it says a lot more than saying “Love you”. Peter Pehrson, b.soc (BSW)


I’m still weirded the hell out. Where do you guys stand with this? Am I the only one (along with a bunch of Romanians)?

1 Comment

  1. 6 and 8 year old still kiss on the mouth. 13 and 15 year old just hugs or kiss on cheek. I don’t know why I guess thinking about it they are the ones who really changed things as they got older.

    My step dad’s family even as adults all kiss eachother on the lips.

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