Do you kiss your children on the lips? And how do you usually react when you see a grown man or woman still kissing their parents on the mouth?
According to Dr. Charlotte Reznick, author of The Power Of Your Child’s Imagination, the lips are an “erogenous zone, and feel-good chemicals that are associated with sexual arousal – including serotonin and oxytocin – are released through lip-kissing.”
Therefore, she said it’s wrong for parents to kiss their children on the mouth—at any age—because it’s excessively sexual. Dr. Reznick, a child analyst from UCLA even warns parents that “a pure peck on the lips could cause a confusion for their child,” the Parent Herald reports.
“Children thrive on being touched on their forehead, cheeks or hands. The lips are different because they have more nerve endings and are more sensitive to stimulation,” she said.
“As a child gets to four or five or six and their sexual awareness develops, the kiss on the lips can be stimulating to them.
“In the event that you begin kissing your children on the lips, when do you stop? It gets exceptionally befuddling,” she said.
Unsurprisingly, Dr. Reznick’s remark caused a furore online. While some people agreed that it’s odd and creepy to see parents and children kiss on the mouth, others say it’s completely normal. A prominent analyst even called Dr. Reznick’s recommendation “ludicrous.”
Dr. Fiona Martin from the Sydney Child Psychology Center (SCPC) said: “It’s truly silly to think a guardian kissing their child could be alluded to as excessively sexual.” Emma Kenny, another psychologist, said, “I am entirely against the sexualisation of children, but this is completely different and shouldn’t invite criticism.”
In an article by the Daily Mail, several parents and their children stood firm on their convictions and said none of them will ever stop kissing the other on the lips—no matter what others think or say.
Cheryl Leach proudly admits to giving her 5’4″, 16-year-old son a full kiss on the mouth.
She grew up kissing her own parents on the lips as well. And for her, a peck on the cheek would just be a casual motion.
“Kissing on the lips shows more affection,” she said.
The mother and son’s kiss only lasts for a second or two. But if Jordan is in a happy mood, he kisses his mom longer and even adds a “mwah” sound.
“It is ridiculous and pathetic that people are making out this is something sexual,” Leach said. “I don’t care what people think. I will never stop kissing Jordan on the lips, and he will never stop kissing me either.”
Leach was “furious at the insinuation that there’s something untoward about her kissing her teenage son.”
“I will carry on kissing Mum when I’m an adult,” Jordan corroborated. “I’ve done it for such a long time that I just see it as normal.”
“My mates say ‘aah, cute’ sarcastically – but it doesn’t matter to me what they think,” he said.
Jordan’s girlfriend, Daisy, is also unperturbed by the mother and son’s habit, even though Cheryl and Jordan also hold hands in public.
The 42-year-old mom from Swindon said she and her son developed a special bond when Jordan’s father abandoned her when she was pregnant.
Now that Leach has remarried, she also kisses her eight-year-old daughter Ella, and seven-year-old son Kaydon, from her spouse Darren.
Her 44-year-old husband does the same with their daughter, Ella.
Leach admitted, though, that her husband isn’t as loving with her as he is with their kids.
Apparently, the couple doesn't kiss a lot.
“In his eyes, he doesn’t need to kiss me to prove he loves me. It upsets me, and perhaps this is why I kiss the kids more. I can go for days without kissing Darren – but not without kissing my children.”
Dr. Reznick disagrees with Cheryl’s opinions. “A teenage boy is more aware of his sexuality than a child, so I wouldn’t recommend a mother kissing him on the lips,” she said.
“I don’t see what all the fuss is about,” a 34-year-old daughter named Jocelyn Miller said.
Jocelyn always gives her 61-year-old dad, Ian, a kiss on the lips.
“It’s my way of showing how much he means to me . . . Until I was 13, Dad would come in to my room every night to kiss me and tickle my arm until I fell asleep,” she added.
Jocelyn, who admitted to being a daddy’s girl, said she also kisses her mom on the lips, but not as often as she does with her father. She also said they don’t kiss in public.
“I don’t think it’s perverted at all, but it’s a private gesture and I’m aware some people think it’s odd.
“I’ll kiss Dad on the lips to thank him for support. We kissed when he was helping me get over a break up with an ex-boyfriend and before we left for the church on my wedding day. As a little girl I’d always kiss him on the lips and in my mind I’m still his little girl,” Jocelyn said.
Her husband, however, is dumbfounded. “He says it’s up to us . . . but to him, lip-kissing is something between adults who are attracted to each other.”
When Ian was asked why he kisses his daughter, he became very emotional. He said, “I love her so much. I couldn’t love her any more than I do. Oh, I’m getting tearful now,” he says. But Ian said he doesn’t kiss his 24-year-old son on the lips.
“Perhaps it is something to do with Jocelyn being of the opposite sex,” the dad said.
A 61-year-old mom named Barbara claims that she kisses her 35-year-old daughter Amanda, 26-year-old son James, and her grandchildren on the lips as well.
“I have kissed my children like this since they were little. I think it stems from my parents dying when I was in my 30s.
“I didn’t tell them I loved them as much as I should have, so I was determined to show affection towards my own children,” she said.
Consequently, Amanda Hewlett, Barbara’s daughter, also kisses both her parents and children on the mouth, and she sees nothing wrong it.
“I do it all the time, although it is obviously not a smooch and lacks the passion and intensity of a kiss I’d share with my fiancé,” the 35-year-old mom said.
“I don’t want my kids growing up thinking they’re not loved. They would be far worse off without this kind of affection, and I think it’s sad and pathetic that anyone believes otherwise.”
How about you? Do you think it’s appropriate for parents and children to kiss on the lips? Share us your thoughts.
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