Is it wrong for parents to kiss their kids on the lips? This uncomfortable debate, now preoccupying parent blogs, was triggered by an exchange on the syndicated advice column Dear Margo (penned by Ann Landers' daughter, Margo Howard). An advice-seeker who identified herself only as "Want My Husband's Lips for Myself" complained that her spouse kissed his 5-year-old daughter (from a previous marriage) on the lips, something she considers a "sexual gesture and very inappropriate," but which her husband insists is harmless and natural. Is lip-to-lip parental affection creepy?
The wife is the creepy one: We'll have to side with the father in question here, say the editors of the blog Mother Talkers at Opposing Views. There is nothing "odd in the slightest" or "sexual" about a mom or dad kissing their children on the lips. It's a perfectly natural way for "affectionate families" to express themselves.
"Kissing your kids on the lips — OK or creepy?"
It can be sweet up to a point: Kissing a tiny tot on the lips is one thing, says Monique Batson at the Beaumont Enterprise. "I kiss my younger children on the lips" all the time — but not my 10-year-old. "Once he hit a certain age," I started finding it "unsettling," so I started giving him a peck on the cheek or forehead. At the same time, I'll always regret the day I started rejecting my grandmother's lip kisses. "I thought I was too old or too cool," but it hurt her feelings.
"Should parents kiss their kids on the lips?"
As long as the child is comfortable, it is fine: It's worth noting that the advice-seeker is not the girl's biological parent, says Sandy Maple at Strollerderby. Perhaps she feels threatened by her new husband's love for his daughter. She should just be patient — "somewhere around the age of 5, my own girl began turning her cheek when I leaned in for a smack." It's important to respect your children's wishes if and when they do the same.
"Should dads kiss their daughters on the lips?"
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