A Psychologist Explains Why It’s Better to Stop Kissing Your Children on the Lips

Family & kids
3 years ago

Some time ago Victoria Beckham posted a pic of her kissing her daughter Harper on the lips and wishing her happy birthday. It caused a heated discussion in the comments on whether it's acceptable or not. Doctors say, children must feel loved and safe in the family environment. But kissing on the lips is not the best idea to express parental love.

Here at Bright Side we tried to figure out, why this way of expressing love is so hotly discussed and what opinion children’s psychologists have.

It can shift the kid’s understanding of personal boundaries.

The lips and the mouth are the personal boundaries of a kid’s body, as psychologist Charlotte Reznick explains. When you kiss a child on the lips, you show them that their body border is open and that someone can intrude into their territory with no problem.

This also includes tight swaddling, force-feeding, and aggressive tickling. Thus, invasive parents can increase the risk of their child developing a “victim syndrome” with the inability to say “no” and manage their own personal boundaries.

It’s unsanitary.

Doctors, and especially dentists, warn that there are a huge number of microbes in our mouths that may not infect adults, but can be transmitted to children and harm them greatly. And since the child has a weaker immune system, Charlotte Reznick clarifies, some dangerous infections can enter their body through saliva.

The child may start kissing other people on the lips as an expression of sympathy.

The child may start behaving the same way you taught them at home, but outside the family circle — kissing other children or adults on the lips as a way to express sympathy. The psychologist points out that, even if it was an innocent gesture on the part of the parents, children learn things by mimicry. So they might try to repeat the same gesture with others, without realizing the intimate implication of this gesture. This is why she recommends only kissing the child on the cheeks or on the forehead.

Do you think kissing kids on the lips is acceptable? If yes, until what age? And is a parent-kid kiss on the lips ok, if they’re different genders? We’d be happy to hear your opinion in the comment section below!

Preview photo credit Leonid Mamchenkov / flickr

Comments

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I used to kiss grandma on the lips so I could try her lipstick on. But I never got kisses from any family members on the lips. I think hugging is very important and a kiss on the check is ok. No, parents should not kiss their kids on their lips. forehead or cheek is fine. Also explain the deep affinity that you are showing is just for them. They should know that they can not be kissing other people on lips or any other place until they are in an committed relationship with that person. Hugs are for everyone and are ok at any and all times.

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Theres nothing wrong with kissing your children on the lips. I’ve been doing it for over thirty years and they never got any diseases.

Comment with image on Bright Side
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I'm turning 27 soon, and I still peck my mom on the lips when saying goodbye. The article has some good points, but frankly it seems like it deliberately doesn't talk about the positive ones, and downright ignore them, which makes the article biased and one-sided👨‍⚖️

I have never, as a child or adult, kissed someone inappropriately. That's something you as a parent need to teach your child, that just because they can kiss you on the lips, doesn't mean they can do that with everyone. You always need to reach your children about boundaries and consent, no matter how you show affection. If you can raise your children properly, kissing them on the lips or not won't affect their behavior towards others. They'll know the difference if you do it right.

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I don't see why people are making such a fuss abiut kissing your child on lips.
As for the psychology of a children , they aren't aware that kissing on lips is any defferent than kissing on forehead or cheeks...

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