Recently, a video went viral of a young man showing his new tattoo to his brother who has Downs Syndrome. The tattoo was of his brothers face and the joy in the younger brothers face as he recognises it is just wonderful. They hug and there is a brief kiss between the brothers on the lips. That’s the part that has caused some controversy. Although most of the comments were extremely touching and positive, many were offended by the sight of a lip kiss between brothers.
There was some social media discussion a few years ago after Victoria Beckham shared a photograph of her kissing her daughter on the lips. Many people agreed that as a mother, this was absolutely fine. Others felt that it crossed a boundary and was inappropriate. So, what do you think? Is it acceptable to kiss your children on the lips? What about a sibling? Where do we draw the line?
For me, I still kiss my teenage boys on the lips. Less so with Oliver but with Harry, who has additional needs and limited communication, I can often be found with his face between my hands as we rub noses and then give him a kiss on the lips. It’s not full on or anything. It’s not like it’s a ‘snog’ (do kids today still use that term?) and I would be annoyed if anyone was to say that my expression of affection to my boys was offensive. But in the same way that I expect people to respect my decision to lip kiss my children, I respect their right not to want to do the same. Each to their own.
However, I wouldn’t kiss my stepchildren on the lips. I think there is something very unique about the bond you have with your own children and the boundaries for me are different with my step kids. My own boys still see me naked if they walk into my bedroom or the bathroom while I am showering and none of us bat an eyelid (that’s another debate for a different blog) but I would be mortified if my stepchildren ever caught sight of me nude. My own children are an extension of myself and until such time that they are expressing a discomfort in the way I interact with them, things will continue as they are now.
It seems that I’m not alone in feeling its ok to kiss my own children on the lips. 98% of the people I surveyed said that they felt it was perfectly acceptable for a number of reasons.
The children themselves like it.
Lisa My 3 year old was a rather intense lip-kisser when he was much younger. He’d keep eye contact, and hold your face until he was done. It was the sweetest, funniest thing. Like he was showing all his love for you in the only way he knew how. I treasure that memory and hubby and I still kiss him on the lips. As long as he wants to we will!
Vicki My three-year-old doesn’t let me do anything different. If I kiss her in the forehead or cheek – after all every bit of her is kissable – then she grabs my face in her hands and shows me how to do it properly. It’s adorable and it will be one of those things I will desperately miss when she grows up and it’s gone.
Its innocent and shouldn’t be sexualized.
Anna I’m a lip kisser with family, it only becomes an issue when people with peculiar minds make it so Imho. I sometimes worry what goes on in the minds of others that makes them see it as ‘wrong’
Kimberly Hogg I wouldn’t think twice about it. My son regularly kisses me on the lips. It is not a sexual thing and those that find it inappropriate are looking at it the wrong way.
You should grab your kisses while you can.
Jess I think its perfectly fine and think its a little strange that people have a problem with it. Of course as my son gets older he might be “too cool” for kisses from mummy lol and I will obviously totally respect that too!
Louise Pink I will take all the kisses and cuddles I can get, in any form as I know when they get older, they won’t want as many. I tend to ‘shower’ them with kisses to be honest, all over their face and blow raspberries on their necks and it makes them squeal with laughter! My husband also kisses them on the lips. Totally fine, they’re our (7 & 5yr old!) babies!
As long as the children are ok with it, its fine.
Jenni I don’t see anything wrong with it. Both my husband and I kiss our two boys (aged 3 &7) on the lips, and they kiss each other on the lips too. There’s nothing sexual about it, it’s just a sign of affection. It’s just a peck after all, not French kissing! We follow our boys’ lead, and if they ever feel uncomfortable or want to stop, we will. For now, everyone is happy.
Christy Nothing wrong with it as long as you respect their boundaries when they decide they’re uncomfortable with it, but everyone is different and will show affection how they are most comfortable.
I think boundaries is a great point and a couple of people mentioned issues I hadn’t thought of and totally respect.
Catherine There is absolutely nothing wrong with kissing your children on the lips. Personally I have stopped as I suffer from cold sores and it would break my heart if I gave them to my son. It breaks my heart not to kiss him on the lips but its not worth the risk. I’ve also asked people I suspect of having them to not do it.
Fariba I wouldn’t. I do kiss my kids on the lips but that may change as they get older and begin to associate kissing on the lips more with romantic love. (through no fault of my own but through ads, movies and books that continually show this in a romantic context). I have never kissed my siblings on the lips and wouldn’t encourage it with littles either- even though they’re all girls.
As I approach my 4th decade I still have moments now where I will give my mum a peck on the lips when she calls round. She’s kissed these lips more than anyone in the world and I am incredibly grateful for our close relationship. I know once she’s not with me anymore, I’ll give anything for another kiss and a hug so I make the most of my moments now. Sarah agrees in saying that “humans kiss on the lips because we used to chew food to feed our babies mouth to mouth. It’s where kissing comes from!!” And just to put it all into perspective as I love to do, I’ll end on Erica’s comment which made me laugh out loud! ” “I’m a 40-year-old woman and still kiss my mum on the lips! It’s hardly sexual – her moustache puts me off! If my kids ever don’t want to kiss me, on the lips or otherwise, then I’d respect their choice”
What’s your opinion on this subject?
In my life, it was generational behavior. For example, my grandparents and great-grandparents, both sides, did not kiss even their own children on the lips. I asked my grandparents why this was and they each said it was because kissing your baby on the lips could become a deadly situation by passing on a communicable disease. I was born in 1971 and most diseases in the Western world were very much treatable, so my parents and their generation kissed us babies on the lips. And my cousins and I do the same with our kids. Now, however, my younger cousins have stopped kissing their young children on the lips because of COVID.