Kissing Your Child On the Lips: Do You Do It–Why or Why Not? #parenting
Kissing Your Child On the Lips.
We’ve all had those tumultuous friendships that hastily and most ferociously enter your life and just as quick as they came, they are gone. But, nonetheless, a mess is left in its wake. To spare you the details of the horrid friendships that happened in my life, which thankfully only happened once. I will tell you about one thing about them that still makes me shake my head in wonder and what led me to reflect upon my own parenting.
Or possibly just cringe at the audacity.
Mostly, it made me question an act that is completely and utterly normal in our everyday lives. First off, this is my disclaimer, this post is by no means meant to offend anyone, just merely a topic open for discussion and based upon an incident that happened to me. I grew up in a very old-fashioned family, with very traditional values. We were to wait until we were married, the roles of women and men were clearly defined and my upbringing was strict. My childhood was a happy one and I had loving parents who made me feel loved. They encouraged me when I needed it and were always supportive. Just what one would consider a “normal” upbringing. But, I say that with parenthesis because that is relative. Also, the mere reference to being brought up old-fashioned is simply that, a reference. Simply because if you know me well, you know that I don’t fit into a mold and I certainly do not like gender roles and have done everything possible to break them. One thing that I didn’t grow up with was being kissed on the lips by my parents.
Well, this brings me to this incident that happened when my eldest was a year old. I had met a younger couple, we’ll call them Donna and Simon. I hit it off with the girl and we began to hang out quite often, she introduced me to another girl, Amanda. We all became “good friends” and began to hang out a lot. They’d come over, I’d visit them, we’d go on road trips and day trips etc. At the time, I was the only one with a child and one day, Donna and Simon came over to visit. I was feeling a bit under the weather and not in the mood to go out so they decided to stop by instead. Upon arrival, Gabby greeted them happily as she had gotten to know them and recognized them. They picked her up and gave her a hug and next thing I know, Donna lands a big, sloppy kiss on her lips!
I was taken aback and quite shocked considering that the whole time that we had hung out, not once had they seen me kiss Gabby on the lips. What boggled my mind further was that Donna felt comfortable doing it having only been in our lives for less than a year. I was a bit grossed out as I am already a bit germaphobic, of this person kissing my baby. I don’t know where those lips have been or what they have done! At the time, I didn’t say anything and shrugged it off as an isolated event—I let it go. After letting it go once though, the next time she greeted her she did it again and this time, she was encouraging my daughter to do the same.
That is where I stepped in.
Let me tell you my position on this and why I’m even writing about it in the first place. My youngest daughter tries to sneak a kiss on the lips every once in a while and it makes me chuckle. I can’t help but think it’s adorable. I just tell her that Mommy and Daddy kiss on the lips but, you can kiss me on my cheek. She asks no questions but, still tries to copy us. It’s normal. Though a lot of what I learned in my upbringing has stayed with me, I think it is healthy for kids to see their parents showing each other affection. It shows them what a healthy relationship should be. Obviously within reason and affection is not just physical. It’s the small acts of affection, like making breakfast in bed, leaving a note, celebrating holidays etc. Anyway, my parents never kissed me on the lips. Their reasons were that it was only for husband and wives to kiss on the lips. Or another reason is that it might confuse them in the wrong ways. I’ve heard a wide variety of some really stupid reasons from old school Hispanic people who I simply don’t agree with and won’t divulge. But, that’s the gist of it. We just didn’t do it and since we never did, I thought nothing of it.
Now that I have two kids, I don’t kiss them on the lips. Why? My reason is because I feel that I would rather them reserve that for when they do find a significant other. It’s all I’ve known and I don’t feel that I’ve missed out not having had the latter. Not because I feel there is something wrong or sexual about it but, I do feel that in a small way it is an intimate though innocent act. Maybe it’s a bit of the way I was raised that rubbed off, who knows? But, I prefer to show my affection in other ways and I often gobble them up and kiss them on the cheeks, tummies, arms—almost everywhere else. Affection is also something that changes with age, while I’ll still attack my now 10-year-old in kisses, I don’t think she would like me doing that in public!
Let me say this though, I have absolutely NOTHING against people who choose to kiss their kids on the lips. If that’s the way you were taught, go for it. I’ve even met people like me who weren’t raised kissing kids on the lips and have started doing it when they had kids. It’s all in the manner you choose to show affection to YOUR kids. I do, however, have a problem when people kiss MY kids in the lips, especially when they know it’s something we don’t do! Haha, I only say that because, well, it happened!
Kissing your child on the lips, I think it’s just another tongue in cheek chapter in the unwritten book of parenting. It is a topic that I feel that will always have differing opinions that aren’t easily changed. However, I do think that people should respect other people’s parenting decisions and not judge the ones they don’t agree with. If there is no harm coming to that child, then mind your own business.
Heck, Jessica Alba was shocked that people DON’T kiss their kids in the mouth stating, “Really? Why? It’s your baby. People allow dogs to lick at their mouths.” Touché. But, honest-ly (pun intended), not the best comparison. I’ve never understood the appeal to letting a dog go at it but, to each their own, right?
Ultimately, I think that what it boils down to is that if your kids are loved–that’s all that matters, right?
Do you kiss your kids on the lips—why or why not? If so, did you stop at a certain age?
Spill it and let me know, til then—cheers m’deres!
Nancy Polanco is a freelance journalist, lifestyle content creator, and editor of Whispered Inspirations. She is a proud Mom to Gabby and Michaela. Having worked as part of a health care team for almost a decade, Nancy is happy to be back to her passion. She is a contributor to the Huffington Post, TODAY’s Parents, and an Oprah Magazine Brand Ambassador.
We are cheek kissers. Sometimes a single cheek or double cheek kiss, but not on the lips.
That is how we do it too. LOL.
My kids are teens so even if I wanted a kiss on the lips, they would probaby tell me I'm gross….lol. When they were babies, they were always drooling, so I don't remember kissing them on the lips. I have to be super happy and excited about something to kiss my kids on the lips. I wouldn't kiss somebody else's kids on the lips though, but that's just me. I'm more like you. I'm comfortable with hugs and kissing on the cheek. 🙂
LOL, it is hard to kiss my 10 year-old these days, I could not imagine when she becomes a teen. LOL. Yeah, kissing other people\’s kids in the lips is just \”odd\”. I was shocked when it happened.
The only person I kiss on the lips is my husband. Besides, my boys have the most kissable cheeks ever.
Same here! Cheeks are always so kissable. LOL.
My household wasn't very big on touching, growing up, we expressed love in gestures and words- I can't ever imagine my mom kissing me on the lips (the cheek was rare) so this discussion is a bit alien to me! I can see myself getting upset if someone kissed my child on the mouth, but if someone wishes to do that with their child then hey, their choice.
Hmm, that is very interesting. We are very touchy feely in our family so, hugging and kissing on the cheek was normal. Some people in my family are less though and express with words and gestures. I feel the same too, that was a bit much considering she never once saw me kiss her on the mouth.
I did it both ways. It was usually however it ended up landing. =D Now that my son is a teenage, it's just cheek action (when he allows it).
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Haha, that seems to be the trend with teens. Even my 10 year old now runs off. 😛
Cheek kissers here too, I am always afraid of spreading unnecessary germs to kiss on the lips.
I totally forgot about that! I am a germaphobe and yes, totally don\’t want to pass germs!
We kiss on the cheek, and honestly, I never really thought to do otherwise. Besides, my kids had the chubbiest, most kissable cheeks. I couldn't resist them if I tried. 🙂
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Haha, I am with you on that one. Also, I never thought to do otherwise either. Just this one incident where I was like, umm, what?
My only thoughts would be on passing colds and spreading germs. Otherwise, I haven't really given it much thought. We are mostly cheek kissers in my family, but I think it's okay either way depending on what you are comfortable with.
I think it is okay too, for sure. But, definitely within the family and people\’s comfort zones.
I do kiss my little one on the lips (she is 2) but I don't the older kids. We do cheek kisses for them. The baby is just not old enough to even try to stop at this point!
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Haha, like I said, I think it is adorable but, we just never were brought up that way. My youngest always tries to sneak them in! LOL.
I don't have kids, so I can't say what I'd do in that instance. But I never kiss kids on the lips. I might get them sick, and they might get me sick.
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That is definitely one of the reasons I do not kiss them in the lips. 🙂
I kiss my daughter on the lips, but I kiss all other children on the cheek. I just don't want to offend anyone.
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That is what I do. 🙂
I usually kissed my kids on the cheeks. Now that they're older it's always cheek kisses.
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I don't kiss my kids on the mouth, but I don't have anything against people who do. My kids are pretty against any kind of physical contact though. They hate germs.
I do now, but I think there is certain age that you should stop. Not sure what the age is since she is only 1.
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I have always kissed my babies on the mouth… now they are 4,5, and 7 and we still do it. It is just natural for us.
I do and I will stop when they want me to. My 10 year old still kisses me good night.
That is great! So sweet!
I don't think you should kiss other people's children on the lips, that can pass on germs etc. A kiss on the cheek will do nicely I think. I don't remember kissing my children on the lips when they were babies, it was more of a huddle and cheek kisses.
It took me aback when she did! Mostly because of hygiene. I would never do that, that is for sure.
Normally I get drooly kisses from my baby on the mouth but typically from my other 4 kids they are cheek kisses. I see nothing wrong with kissing little ones on the mouth. I think it's a preferrance thing.
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My parents didn't kiss me on the lips, really rarely kissed me once I was old enough to remember. I kiss my littles on the lips, though. Not as they get older, it gets weird.
They may get embarassed. No matter where it lands.
To be honest I have never really thought about it much. We do both at our house. I would be way freaked out if another person kissed my kids on the lips though.
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Yeah! I freaked too! Haha!
That's pretty normal for an innocent child. If you always do it to your child from the start to show your love to her/him then she/he just copied you in return in showing her love with you as well. 🙂 kids toys and stuff
We are total lip smackers LOL… As an adult, I kiss my own parents on the lips and my adult kids always give me big ole wet ones still too. My husband's family, they do not. In fact, they rarely even hug it out. And when our families get together at holdiays and such, it's always that awkward greeting. Makes me laugh.
Having said that… I don't think I'd plant one on a neighbor's kid. Or, even a friend's child. That would be creepy to me. My kids, my kisses. Your kids, your kisses…
That is a perfect way to put it! Everyone shows affection differently!
I do not do it because I think it is gross. In fact, I do not think anyone should kiss my kids on the lips at all.
I would not kiss anyone\’s child in the mouth. That is for sure. Mine though, I just do not for a few reasons.
My kids get kisses on the cheeks when they get kisses. I have never been one to kiss my kids on the lips. Those kisses are saved for the hubby.
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I used to kiss my son on the lips when he was a baby because he'd lean in for smooches. My husband has never kissed him on the lips but my parents did. If anyone else tried to, I'd be pretty upset about it. He still leans in for lip kisses now (he's 3.5) but I kiss him cheek or head instead. I now make sure to constantly remind my parents not to kiss him around his mouth – not because I'm grossed about about it but I do think he's too old for mouth kisses by parents or grandparents – because he has severe food allergies and one kiss on his mouth could cause an anaphylactic reaction depending on what my parents ate that day.
I don't think anything of it if I see a parent kiss their kids on the mouth, but I would think it's weird if somebody else kissed their kid on the mouth.
UGH- My family kisses on the lips as grownups.. I find it bizarre, and turn away.. lol. I have been that way all my life I guess. HA!
Cheeks are for kissing its just the way I see it,I only kiss my Hubby on the lips.
Kissing on the lips is a good way to pass germs to your child
We do cheeks or forehead,but i have seen grandparents kiss their grandkids right on the lips,just don’t seem right !
I totally agree!
I grew up in a Latino home in which my mom pretty much avoided affection no kissing no hugging and the only times she did was because someone commented on it. My dad was a lip kisser which he stopped when I was around 5 and same with my sister. I kiss my now 3 month old baby on the lips, but usually only when hes sleeping and not drooling something about how calm and innocent he looks lol. To each their own I say but I don’t let anyone else kiss my son on the lips.
Definitely, to each their own, I truly believe that! We are from an old-school latino home too!