I Kiss My Children on the Lips – Get Over It

The minute my kids could kiss, my world changed. They were about 8 months old and gave the best, slobberiest open-mouth-attacks. It was pure love. They figured out how to express pure love for Mama – and did so with gusto. And, after all the hard work Mama puts in to their love and care and sleeplessness, it’s the sweetest, heart-melting reward.
Recently, Victoria Beckham came under fire for posting a picture on Instagram, kissing her 5-year old daughter. People attacked her feed saying it was sexual. Even etiquette experts weighed in saying one should only kiss their partner on the lips.
This is the most ridiculous thing I’ve ever heard. Kissing your child is not sexual. There’s nothing remotely sexual about it. It’s pure, pure love. I created you. I raised you. I am so, so proud of you. And I adore every inch of your being. I am going to kiss you — straight forward, head on. I will lift your chin and plant one on your mouth – like a mean it. None of that cheek, air-kiss nonsense. I will also kiss your forehead, your ears, your nose, your neck, your hands, your toes and all of your boo boos. And I will kiss them numerous times, whether it’s to soothe you, greet you at the end of a long day, cheer you up, help you sleep, remind you that everything will be okay, express my pride, or just out of total joy that you are mine.
Now, I’ll admit that I recently cringed a little when I saw my MIL kiss my husband on his lips. And my friend’s dad kisses him on the lips too. Both of these “kids” are nearing 40. And both “kids” feel weird about it (probably, more so when questioned), but it’s their parents who have directed this affection. Okay, I thought, at some point, I’m going to have to start kissing my “babies” on the cheek.
But right now, they are 8, 6 and 2, and a kiss on the cheek would be like giving them the cold shoulder.
My babies are growing. Too fast, at times. And soon, it’s not going to be cool to show your mom so much affection. I’ll show up at school events and get an eye-roll instead of leaps into my arms. I’ll be asked not to hold their hand in front of their friends. They’ll put themselves to sleep, without my backrubs and cuddles. One day, they’ll view kissing as romantic, get self-conscious and start giving me a cheek. And I’ll take it.
But right now, I’m holding on to the innocence of the very pure bond between a parent and child. And anyone who disagrees can kiss my… cheek.



  1. I Kiss My Children on the Lips – Get Over It
    Sara | Thursday,July 28.2016

    Someone once told me that the way we unconditionally love our babies sets them up for being able to receive and give love as adults, in their adult relationships. If they feel comfortable with affection, in a non-sexual way, they will be able to feel comfortable in their bodies, receiving affection, as adults. Having been born of a ‘cold fish father’ who’s profession it was to rehabilitate sex offenders (you can imagine how much intimacy he felt comfortable with – almost zero), and having had to deal with that imprinting in my life, I took this to heart and gave myself permission to cuddle and snuggle and kiss all 3 of my babies. It was glorious to be able to feel snuggly with them. I loved it, they loved it. And though at times I felt unsure of myself, I knew I was providing them a foundation of love and care, grounded in healthy touch that respected boundaries. Sometimes I wondered if I was being appropriate by holding them so much, or my just allowing myself to enjoy being close to them. I asked myself if this was wrong, or if I was harming them in some way. I guess these questions came because of my own upbringing and the discomfort my father must have felt with my brother and I as little children. I just sat with those feelings, deeply questioned myself and my motivations, and then tried to focus on the feeling of unconditional selfless love. Took a breath, and allowed the truth to surface. Sometimes the truth was ‘back off’. And I believe that at times our emotional needs can supersede our children’s needs and get in the way! I don’t want to be a parent who’s emotional needs come first in my relationship with my kids, so in those moments I was the one responsible to back off and just allow them to be in their own energy, without my influence. I found the impulse to be physically close to them naturally abated as they got our of their baby stage – like around 3 or 4 years. They struck a new level of independence, and thus our closeness developed a wider berth. Now my oldest son is 8 and being really close to him does make me a bit uncomfortable. I have to honor those feelings and give him independence. I’m not going to push cuddles on him, but I leave it open for him to still receive them, if he wants. Sometimes he does, sometimes he doesn’t. Parenting is so hard – especially when you take the time to contemplate and considering WHY you do things the way you do them. But it’s so important to have awareness and be always questioning our motivations. We were all raised in perfectly imperfect families, and there is always room for us to grow. Thanks Katie for this conversation. It’s important! We are raising the adults of tomorrow. They deserve the best of us, and they deserve 100% of our care and attention.

  2. I Kiss My Children on the Lips – Get Over It
    Ellen | Thursday,July 28.2016

    My mother in law kissed my 3 month old son on the lips, I did not confront her. Next day we got with him in the hospital with severe respiratory infection .Don’t kiss your kids in the lips, not only because of possible infection but because it is wrong, let him/her get first kiss in the right time with right person don’t steal it from your child.

    • I Kiss My Children on the Lips – Get Over It
      Lesley | Sunday,July 31.2016

      We are very affectionate with our son and vice versa but I have to say, many of the kisses on the mouth I’ve witnessed have seemed very aggressive and possessive, i.e. an emphatic ‘you’re mine!’ from a parent or grandparent or in-law. It’s all in the spirit of the thing, and too often control enters into it. A demonstration of possession. I don’t think kids should be man-handled beyond their wishes. Let them determine their comfort level re squeezes and kisses. And the germ thing is really not to be discounted, especially with infants. It’s a huge indicator of ego (‘I’m germ free’, ‘I will do what I want to MY grandkid’, ‘My wishes supersede those of the parents’) and possessiveness that a grandparent/in-law would kiss an infant on the lips.

  3. I Kiss My Children on the Lips – Get Over It
    Rewa Sharma | Thursday,July 28.2016

    its so cute

  4. I Kiss My Children on the Lips – Get Over It
    Heather Parris | Friday,August 05.2016

    Parents tend to focus on many unnecessary things, we caught on fire this topic of if its appropiate to kiss a child on it’s lips. We have to realize there are many different cultures we live in. What is acceptable to you may not be acceptable to me, to each his own, however my concern is that adults put their lips in various places on the human anatomy, and I am speaking frank here. So when parents do things like that they need to be mindful when thinking of kissing children on the lips. Some adults carry the herpes simplex virus unaware, someone commenting earlier said the child had respiratory issues so we need to think practically. In my culture few parents kiss babies on their lips but as the child gets older, we find its inappropiate.

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