Kissing your kids on the lips

Sara - posted on 07/27/2010 ( 23 moms have responded )

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Dr. Charlotte Reznick, author of The Power of Your Child's Imagination: How to Transform Stress and Anxiety Into Joy and Success, a child and educational psychologist, and Associate Clinical Professor of Psychology at UCLA (and often The Stir advisor), says she sees the downside of kissing your kids on the lips all too frequently.

"The answer is in your question," Reznick said when asked for the perfect age. "If you start kissing your kids on the lips, when do you stop? It gets very confusing."

She gives the example of a 6-year-old girl kissed on the lips by her father. It's completely innocent on both sides, but when the girl goes to school and tries to kiss her classmates on the lips -- equally innocently -- she's placed in the role of "sexual harasser."

"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," Reznick explains.

"Even if that never occurs to a child, it´s just too confusing! If mommy kisses daddy on the mouth and vice versa, what does that mean when I, a little girl or boy, kiss my parent on the mouth?

"If I had to answer when to stop kissing your kids on the lips, it would be now."

Taking it out of the realm of a parent's sexual thoughts -- really, Harry, you can kiss us any time -- she makes some excellent points. And I'm willing to bet it's making a lot of parents rethink their at-home habits.

Do you kiss your kids on the lips?

What are your thoughts?

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[deleted account]

Wow really!

How pathetic people need to get a life there is a HUGE difference in abuse and general affection between parent and child. Seriously how can these people justify their jobs!

Krista - posted on 07/27/2010

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Anybody who interprets an innocent peck on the lips as sexual really needs to find a better hobby. Our society cannot seem to separate affection from sex, much to the detriment of common sense.

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23 Comments

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Stifler's - posted on 07/29/2010

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Sexual harassment is going a bit far. I don't kiss my kid on the lips but seriously.

[deleted account]

Terri that is understandable that your hubby was frightened of hurting your daughter - babies generally are scary things and seem so fragile when you are not used to them :-)

ME - posted on 07/28/2010

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I kiss both my kids on the lips, I still kiss both of my parents on the lips...there's nothing strange about it...I think this is silly...

Terri - posted on 07/28/2010

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I kissed my dad on the lips til I was 23. My kids all kiss me on the mouth and I wouldnt have it any other way. And Toni, my hubby actually had problems changing my daughters nappies when she was a baby. He felt a little uncomfortable doing it at first, but got used to it once he overcame his fears. More that he didnt want to "hurt" her when wiping as it's such as sensitive area lol.

[deleted account]

Caitlin I read a post the other day where the mom said that she changed their daughters nappies and her husband only did their sons because he felt uncomfortable dealing with the girl - That is messed up IMO he is their dad there should be no judgement of him dealing with things that need doing, that is not abuse! Some people just over-think things.

Sharon - posted on 07/27/2010

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I do not kiss my kids on the lips. So its a non issue for us.

I do the see the school thing happening, although here, the child is taken aside and told taht kissing other kids on the lips isn't allowed.

Caitlin - posted on 07/27/2010

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I most of the time do the cheek kiss now, i've never been a fan of kissing on the lips, but I odn't kiss my daughter on the lips just for her safety (food allergies).. I kissed her on the lips once after eating something and had her lips swell up because I didn't brush my teeth and wash my face. That's the only unhealthy thing about it IMO..

They can say anything these days. Next it will be that if your dad changed your diaper when you were a baby it's emotionally scaring to them somehow..

Charlie - posted on 07/27/2010

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I still kiss my parents on the lips , im not confused .

How ridiculous .

Jennifer - posted on 07/27/2010

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i kissed both my parents on the lips every night before bed until i was 14 or 15 and now i do still on occasion when greeting them...i never experienced any confusion.

kids are smarter than apparently these people give them credit for.

Shelley - posted on 07/27/2010

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Lets stop attacking good parents who show their children healthy physical and emotional effection and start putting the freaks who abuse young children away.

[deleted account]

Aw, that would be horrid. I love to give my daughter a peck on her sweet little baby lips! If someone told me what I was doing was wrong it would hurt. I feel like it is an acceptable means of communicating affection to your family. Plenty of other countries greet family with kisses, why aren't we allowed?

Ashley - posted on 07/27/2010

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This is ridiculous. I kissed my Mom and Dad on the lips when I was a child, GEEEE I think I even kissed my brother on the lips when I was little. I still kiss my Dad on the lips at special occasions. ie. Christmas, my wedding, the birth on my son. I dont think I was ever confused. I do recall a time I came home from school and told my Mom I kissed a boy and she told me that I shouldnt do that because these boys have germs and they are on your lips and when Mommy kisses you good night your giving them to me. lol. It was always really only okay to kiss family on the lips because we all had the same germs. But hell I kiss my son all the time. Hes only 8 and a half months and he now sucks on my bottom lip. Its funny and I will never stop kissing him. Not until he says "MOM!!!! Stop your embarrassing me!" Even then I still might. lol

[deleted account]

Never kissed my parents on the lips... Never will.. but what the heck is the problem with it?

It makes me feel uncomfortable to do it but that is my own feeling and I would not judge anyone who does it. It's not sexual, it's not stimulating; it's a kiss. I was just raised in a way where we kiss our partner/spouse on the lips not anyone else... it doesn't bother me if other people do it with their kids.

I would be more worried about spreading viruses like HSV 1 than any "arousal" or confusion about the intent. this study is a waste of time.

Tara - posted on 07/27/2010

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LOL, I often wonder why they do these "studies" in the first place. Are they really that desperate for grants etc. that they can justify spending money on these "studies". LMAO.

I still give lip kisses to my mom. I will keep kissing my kids on the lips, but ironically they only kiss us on the lips, everyone else gets a cheek kiss lol. They have never been taught to do either or. They just make those choices.
I'm fine by the way, not confused and certainly not sexually dysfunctional as a result of my lip smacking exposure.
lol still laughing.
Tara

Mary - posted on 07/27/2010

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It's studies like these that create the confusion.

I grew up kissing my parents on the lips...and at almost 40, I still do. It was never "confusing" or inappropriate, or "stimulating". Of course, it was never suggested to me that this was somehow wrong or even remotely sexual. (there was also an absence of any type of abuse, sexual or otherwise, in my life, so perhaps this is why kissing my parents on the lips was not a scarring ordeal).



My husband and I both kiss our daughter on the lips. Thus far, she has not run around kissing anyone else, although I will confess that she does try to "pet" people she meets if she likes them, and says "nice, nice", the same way she does with our two dogs. Perhaps there needs to be a study about this behavior....

Charlene - posted on 07/27/2010

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I'm 20 and still kiss my mom and dad on the lips!
Not a big deal IMO. Now, if Gracie becomes uncomfortable with us kissing her on the lips, for what ever reason, then we obviously won`t force her to do it.

Morgan - posted on 07/27/2010

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I am 26 and I still kiss my dad on the lips, and like sara I am not confused and never was!!! I will kiss my Addilynn on the lips until she tells me not to, which I really hope is never!!

Sara - posted on 07/27/2010

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I'm 32, and my mom kisses me on the lips...I'm not confused, nor have I ever been.

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