Experts Weigh in on the Issue of Parents Kissing Children on the Mouth
“It is normal and healthy to show affection for your children. You are communicating to your children that you love them.”
At one point or another, we have seen parents kissing their children on the mouth. There’s not much to it but good old affection between parent and their child.
Yet when Victoria Beckham posted an Instagram photo of her kissing her daughter on the mouth, with a caption that says, “with a loving message that said "Happy Birthday baby girl...We all love you so much...Kisses from mummy X,” the whole Internet eagerly voiced their opinion.
In an earlier Asian Parent story, most parents seem to be perfectly okay with the act.
Mum R. Gosh says: “We kiss on the lips as we did with our parents. I want My LO to feel my love and affection for her. In fact, she always kisses me on the lips too. And it is co cute who can resist?”
Meanwhile, mum Stephanie G. says “I don't get it. They are your kids. Why can't you kiss them on the lips? But I understand that once they reach a certain age they start to feel shy (especially boys) and it becomes socially awkward to kiss mummies or daddies on the lips. You should do it as long as it lasts you! They will outgrow it soon.”
In terms of professional opinion, however, experts seem to be divided on the issue.
Dr. Charlotte Reznick, a psychologist at the University of California UCLA, says parents kissing their children, such as a 'peck' on the lips, may cause confusion.
"If you start to kiss your kids on the mouth when they are young, when do you stop? It's extremely confusing," Reznick said as per a Family Share report.
At five or six, children become aware of their body and sexuality. Dr. Reznick argues a kiss can stimulate and confuse them.
“They see their father and mother kissing on the mouth, and then Mum and Dad come and do the same with them,” the Family Share story said. “It's enough to confuse any young mind about the roles, feelings, emotions and feelings.”
For Dr. Fiona Martin on the other hand, she completely disagrees with Dr. Reznick; the doctor from Sydney Child Psychology Centre thinks that it’s absurd that a parent’s kiss would be considered sexual.
"It is normal and healthy to show affection for your children. You are communicating to your children that you love them," Dr. Martin explained to a local Australian paper.
Furthermore, she says that no documentations whatsoever has proved that kissing children on the mouth has caused any problems later on.
Echoing Dr. Martin’s statement, Dr. Heather Irvine-Rundle says that Dr. Reznick’s claim is laughable.
"It does not take into account relationships that are safe and trusting,” she said. “There is nothing sexual about kissing a baby on the mouth."