We’re excited to share this post written by Eden Strong from YourTango.
Recently, writer Sabrina Rogers-Anderson wrote an article titled, “Kissing Kids on the Lips Could Be Confused as Sexual? Ridiculous!” in which she states:
“Let me get this straight: when my 2-year-old leans in for a slobbery kiss, I’m supposed to push her angelic little face away and explain to her that she’s being ‘inappropriate?’ Should I follow this up with telling her that her skirt is too short and I don’t want her listening to that slutty Rihanna’s music anymore?”
Um, well, I’m going to fill in that answer for you: Yes.
This is what you do instead. You tell your daughter, “We don’t kiss on the lips,” you plant a kiss on her cheek, you change her into an appropriate length skirt, and then you turn off whatever slutty music she’s listening to.
I’m not, have never been, and never will be a parent who kisses my kids on the lips and to use Rogers-Anderson’s own words, I think it’s ridiculous to do so.
Lips are for lovers. Period.
I don’t kiss my friends on the lips, I wouldn’t greet my boss with a kiss on the lips, and I don’t want my children greeting their teachers with a kiss on the lips. So why on earth would I teach my children that it’s OK to go around kissing people on the lips? I won’t.
Rogers-Anderson says that kids should know the difference between what they’re allowed to do at home vs. what they’re allowed to do in the real world. But the truth is, when you expose your kids to something at home, the more comfortable they are sharing it in public.
It’s called desensitization, and it’s a well-known effect of exposing children to things like sex and alcohol at such an early age. By the time they’re older, self-imposed “limits” don’t register as limits at all.
I don’t want my child kissing other children and, furthermore, in a culture full of sexual predators, I don’t want there to be any confusing boundaries when it comes to what is and isn’t appropriate behavior.
Don’t get me wrong: I kiss my kids all the time, all over their little heads and cheeks — just never on the lips. And no, it’s not mean or harsh, or any of the other things Rogers-Anderson seems to fear.
My kids aren’t being deprived of affection; they’re just being taught a more appropriate way to express it.
(Hell, if I let them my children do everything they wanted to do to me, they would’ve pulled out all my hair and poked out both of my eyes at this point.)
It’s not unlike when I tell my 4-year-old son who shamelessly runs through my room naked that yes, he can absolutely come snuggle with me in bed . . . as soon as he puts some pants on. I’m not rejecting him; I’m teaching him healthy boundaries.
Just because they’re kids doesn’t make it OK. What you teach them now is what they learn from in the future.
I love my kids, I love to kiss my kids, but I won’t be kissing them on the lips.