Welcome back to Best Case Parenting, and today we will tackle an interesting subject! Whether it is weird or not to kiss your child on the lips! This is an opinion piece, as the answer to this will probably depend on the culture you have grown up in. So please don’t flame me too hard if you don’t agree with my stance!
For me, it IS weird to kiss your child on the lips when they become toddlers or older. Young children need to learn appropriate behaviour and understand when to kiss on the lips and when not to. Do you want your child to grow up always kissing on the lips? Maybe you are OK with kissing your child on the lips, but maybe a lot of other adults are not. Teaching your child when it’s appropriate to kiss on the lips will save a lot of embarrassing or uncomfortable situations.
Now, let’s unpack this topic in more detail.
Before we get into to it, I would like to say one thing. I am originally from the United Kingdom, so my views will probably reflect what is socially acceptable in that country. I do understand that views on this subject may change from country to country and/or culture to culture.
I do also understand why some parents feel the need to kiss their kids on the lips. When you bring a child into the world, many people say that it is one of the most amazing and beautiful things they have ever experienced. So, I totally understand why some may want to show their love and affection for their child in this way. I personally find it uncomfortable, but I understand why it is a thing!
This article is supposed to be a discussion starter, not a definitive guide everyone has to follow 100%!! I would love to hear what you think at the end of this article!
Why do some people find it weird to kiss their children on the lips?
The big question here is why do some people make such a big deal out of kissing young children on the lips?
Not that many years ago, there was uproar when Victoria Beckham kissed one of her young children on the lips. For my American readers, I believe Hilary Duff also got into hot water over a similar thing. A full kiss on the lips with her child at Disneyland.
Maybe, you don’t know either of those celebrities, but before you continue with this article I would encourage you to go seek out those pictures. While you are looking at them, think whether you feel they are weird or perfectly normal. I would be interested to hear how many people fall on both sides of that debate.
The problem is, some people can’t help but associate kissing on the lips with something sensual or sexual. We are not talking full on french kisses with tongues, I know, but some people still feel uncomfortable when it comes to any mouth kisses and children.
I would say I am one of these people, probably because I was brought up in a family where my Mom would never kiss me on the lips (as far as I can remember).
When should you kiss on the lips?
When your child is a baby, I would say it is fine to kiss them on the lips at this age. However, as soon as they turn into a toddler I would recommend teaching them when it is socially acceptable to kiss someone on the lips and when it is not.
If you do still want to kiss your child on the lips, you can teach them only to do this inside your family home, although this could still get awkward if other friends come over who don’t feel as comfortable as you with this.
In my view, there are different types of kisses on the lips that are appropriate for different situations. There is the lingering and romantic style of kiss (in my eyes anyway) and then there is the more goofy and fun kiss. An example of the latter would be where you do an over exaggerated pout when you kiss a child.
If you are going to kiss a child on the lips, I would only go for the latter more fun style of kiss. The problem Victoria Beckham had, was that the picture she put on social media of the kiss with her child, did seem to come across as a more sultry and lingering style of kiss. As it was only a picture, we don’t really know if this is true! But, I think that’s why she got a lot of criticism over it.
Another factor for me is context. It is important to distinguish those times when kissing a child on the lips may be more acceptable. Kissing a child good night, for example, would be one situation when I feel this would be more acceptable.
I believe the Hilary Duff kiss was with her son in public at Disneyland. And when I see the picture, it does look inappropriate to me. Hilary has her arm around her son’s waist in a fashion I would not associate with children, and the full face kiss again looks like a more lingering style of kiss!
Maybe I am just old fashioned, I don’t know!!
What should I do if my child starts kissing me on the lips?
There may be a situation where your child starts wanting to kiss you (the parent) on the lips, and it may get you wondering why this is and what to do (or maybe not and you just go for it!!).
Well, your child is probably copying what he or she has seen you doing with your partner. The problem with this, is that the kiss they are copying is one that is showing affection between adults, which also has a sexual or sensual undertone.
So, if this situation happened to me, I would explain to my child why I kiss Mom in that way and explain what I feel it means. And I would use this opportunity to teach my child when it is appropriate to kiss in this way and when it is not.
Unfortunately, certainly in the western societies I have experienced, a parent kissing their child on the lips could be seen as strange or unacceptable. You could be opening your child up to a whole world of hurt if you do kiss them in this way in public. Can you imagine what might happen if some unsavoury characters at your child’s school saw this happen. Your child would get teased for the foreseeable future.
Even if you want to kiss your child on the lips, you might still want to think about situations you might want to protect them from such problems.
As I have hinted at earlier in this article, I am British and probably from a fairly traditional background. I know this will influence the way I look at this subject, but I wanted to put this article out as a discussion piece anyway.
For me, I would always feel weird seeing other adults kissing their toddlers (or older children) on the lips. I would only feel it is warranted, if it was a more fun or jokey style of kiss. Or if it was a kiss before bedtime in the family home.
One hundred percent I would find it weird if the kiss between child and parent is a more lingering style of kiss, that I personally associate with a loving relationship between adults!
I would want my child to grow up knowing about the different types of kisses and when they should and shouldn’t be used.
Sincerely, I would love to hear all about your own opinions in the comments section below. I would say that I am usually a very open minded person, but that my upbringing has probably made this a no go area for me. Who knows, someone may be able to break this problem down for me in a way that makes me change my mind!
Let the debate begin!!