There has recently been an uproar about Victoria Beckham kissing her daughter on the lips. And the people complaining about it aren't the only ones who are absurd; check out this ridiculous article. Someone seems to think that parents should not kiss their babies on the mouth, because it can be "sexual" or "stimulating." Well, look at this:
1. People are hypocritical. In this article, a woman says that kissing kids on the lips is creepy, but "raspberries on their bottoms" is fine. Um, hello? Just because you like kissing your child's butt and I like kissing their lips, neither of us is weirder than the other. When your kid is asking his high school girlfriend to blow raspberries on his butt and mine is asking for a kiss, who's going to be made fun of by all his girlfriend's friends after they break up? Yeah exactly.
2. Parents do loads of things with kids that sexual partners will later do, e.g. backrub, bath, hugging, laying with them in their bed, holding them close and cuddling, and, yes, kissing them on the lips. Why is a backrub or a bath or a cuddle okay and a kiss is not? If you love someone, you're physically close with them. If a kiss feels stimulating, so does tickling, backrubbing, head scratching, back scratching, and everything else physical, including breastfeeding. The child can derive physical pleasure without this being inappropriate or strange.
3. I bet that having positive physical experiences with a parent actually sets a child up to be comfortable giving and receiving physical affection, and is stored as a positive subconscious feeling about physical love in relationships. In fact, many people that I see in counseling have difficulty expressing physical affection to their partners, and relate this to their family not being very physically affectionate.
4. In different cultures, people even kiss friends on the lips. Unless they all follow this with intercourse, the case could be made that there is a distinction between kissing sexually and kissing non-sexually. Oh wait OF COURSE THERE IS.
5. What the F is this woman talking about when she says really any of the following things:
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."
I reiterate, should we stop touching our children in any pleasurable way because it "might be stimulating"?
Also, there is a quick fix for this hypothetical sexually harassing 6 year old girl. It's called, "Honey, we only kiss people on the lips when we are grownups in love, or they are family." I am betting this 6 year old girl doesn't run into the bathroom on playdates, disrobe, and ask her friend's parents to bathe her. Why can't she learn distinctions about kissing? Oh right, because she is a made up example. Also, who is going to place her in the role of sexual harasser? I mean, the teacher would be like, we don't kiss our friends on the lips. And she would be like, okay. If she flips off the teacher and continues to attack the other children with kisses, then she needs to see a made up psychologist.
Also, here is the answer to what it means when Mommy and Daddy kiss and then Daddy and daughter kiss: Daddy loves Mommy. Daddy loves daughter. If Daddy is making out with Mommy like Rizzo and Kenickie in the backseat of the car at the drive in, I am hoping the daughter doesn't get the same kind of kiss. Thus it is even clearer. Daddy and Mommy kiss like grownups, and Daddy and daughter kiss like family.
Of course, as soon as your kids pull away or show that they are not comfortable kissing you on the lips, don't kiss them on the lips anymore, like with the shower story. And if they try to open mouth kiss you, unless they are nine months old and super adorable, don't let them. Even baby Levi isn't allowed to French kiss mama now that he is 1 year old, even though he is extremely handsome wandsome and the most adorable baby in the world, see Exhibit A below.
Anyway, that is what I think. What do you all think, my devoted readers?
Awaiting your replies, The Serial Baby Kissing Blogapist Who Has No Remorse.
This post was originally published here on Dr. Psych Mom. Follow Dr. Rodman on Dr. Psych Mom, Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, and Pinterest. Order her book, How to Talk to Your Kids about Your Divorce: Healthy, Effective Communication Techniques for Your Changing Family. Learn about Dr. Rodman's private practice here. This blog is not intended as diagnosis, assessment, or treatment, and should not replace consultation with your medical provider.