A Little More Wisdom
When it comes to kissing your child on the lips, psychologists are divided as to whether it’s a natural show of affection or an unhealthy habit that’s sexually confusing.
Kissing Your Kiddo on the Lips
Written by September 4th, 2017on
What seems like no big deal to many moms sparks controversy and heated debates–kissing your children on the lips. What’s the big deal about a little lip-to-lip peck between mama and her baby?
Most recently, actress Hillary Duff posted a photo on Instagram where she was kissing her 4-year-old son on the lips at Disney World. Other celebrity moms and dads—like David Beckham, Victoria Beckham and Jessica Alba—have posted similar photos. The public’s response to these photos was shocking: many people seemed really bothered by it. Comments included calling it "inappropriate" and "unusual" behavior.
I have planted many kisses on my boys, and their growing a bit older doesn’t deter me. When they were babies, it was just natural. As they hit their toddler years, they thought a peck on the lips was funny. Probably because I’d usually make a silly face and say, "ewww," because their lips had traces of applesauce, for example. At bedtime, if they wanted a kiss on the lips, they always got it. I never thought twice about it, because they’re my babies, and to me, it seemed a perfectly natural way to show affection between mother and child.
As they’ve grown up, they’ve shifted to kissing on the cheek more often than on the lips. But even now at the ages of 9 and 12, if they lean in for a quick kiss on the lips, which they do every so often, I don’t turn away.
Of course, there are always exceptions in every scenario. Some moms may go too far with wet slobbery kisses, giving it an "ick" factor to onlookers or other family members. Some folks say it’s gross because it’s an obvious exchange of germs, although I tend to disagree with the germaphobe mentality. I would venture a guess to say that the folks who feel that way are not parents, because moms and germs go hand-in-hand.
What tends to infuriate parents is the idea that kissing your child on the lips is somehow sexually inappropriate. According to psychologists, there are two schools of thought on this.* Anti-kissing psychologists, like Dr. Charlotte Reznick, argue that it’s sexually "confusing" to a child because lip-to-lip kissing is an act of desire. It should be reserved for mom and dad, not mom and child.
In stark contrast to that are the pro-kissing psychologists who slam anti-kissing psychologists for implying that it’s sexual in nature at all. These psychologists argue that the lack of affection is far more damaging to a child than a peck on the lips. Kissing your child–on the lips or on the cheek–communicates to your child that you love and cherish them. In my opinion, it’s the most natural thing in the world.
What do you think about kissing your child on the lips? Is it a cute connection or an awkward moment? Share your thoughts with other moms on the Little Remedies® Facebook page!