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Monday, May 09, 2011

Motherhood Mondays: Do you kiss your babies on the mouth? Or your parents?

On this Motherhood Monday, I'd love to talk about kissing babies.

First, here's a little story: When I was sixteen, we went to visit my grandparents in England. One night, I was saying good night to my grandfather. "Good night, Dilly," I said, standing next to his armchair, and then I leaned over and gave him a peck on the mouth. We had always kissed my parents on the lips, and I figured that was appropriate. I thought it was just what you did!

"Oh, yes, uh, well, Joanna," he said, flustered and almost dropping his whisky. Then he pulled himself together and looked up at me. "You know, I always say, 'A man should kiss his father on the forehead, kiss his friends and family on the cheek, and kiss his wife on the lips.'"

Oh, I thought, blushing a shade of lobster red. Good to know. I was mortified! After that, I stuck to cheek-kisses for pretty much everyone (even high-school boyfriends, but that's another story).

Fast forward fifteen years: Now that I have my own baby, I can't help kissing him all over the face, including his slobbery mouth. I basically make out with him. :) Nothing feels better than drool-y kisses from a baby. It feels instinctual. And I remember seeing a French movie years ago where the mother kissed her five-year-old daughter on the mouth, and it seemed sweet and natural (and chic:).

Funnily enough, though, Alex feels differently. I remember the day after Toby was born, we were still in the hospital, and I turned to Alex and said, "Oh, you have to kiss him on the mouth, it feels so good, you have to try it," and Alex was like, "No, thanks, I'll kiss him right here...on the top of the head." I teased him good-naturedly but, a year later, he's still rocking the forehead peck.

So, I'm curious: Do you kiss your babies on the mouth? What about older children? Was there an age where you stopped? Have you ever kissed your parents on the mouth? Do you think it's lovely or entirely inappropriate? I would LOVE to hear your thoughts!

(Top photo of Toby; bottom photos by Anais and Alain)

587 comments:

1 – 200 of 587   Newer›   Newest»
naturally nina said...

I love this Joanna! My niece recently learned how to kiss and now all she wants to do is kiss everyone on the mouth. The first time she leaned in for a kiss with me, I hesitated... and then did it anyway. Now I cannot bear the thought of not doing it. :) It's such a natural way to show love. I can see how people have mixed feelings about it, so I say... to each his own. But for me, I cannot resist that little face looking up at me saying: "Keeeees!!"

Anonymous said...

I'm from a family of cheek kissers. I'm not a mother so I might feel differently if I have a baby, but I cannot fathom the thought of kissing family members on the mouth! However, to each her own. If you want to make out with Toby, then have at 'er!

Kristin said...

I wouldn't feel uncomfortable kissing my Mom on the lips, but we usually stick to cheek kisses. I definitely wouldn't kiss my Dad on the lips though, that would be VERY uncomfortable. I'll stick to kissing him on top of his bald head. :)

samantha hahn said...

yes mouth!!!! It's the best. I love when I get some "tooth action". That's what we call it when you get that little taste of those chicklets up front. We've been working on kisses and now he's started to lean in a bit and kiss back....with not so much of a pucker but more of an "oh" shape. I love it!

Sarah said...

as a baby and growing as a child, i always kissed my parents on the mouth, too. then as an adolescent and teenager i think i was too busy being a brat to kiss them much at all. but now, at 29, when we say goodbye, we still give a kiss on the mouth! while i can completely see why it would be weird to other people, i love my parents and love to be affectionate this way. it reminds me of how long we have been together as a family, and something we have always done. :)

victoria / cats dreaming in keylime said...

Oh good lord, always. I pucker up and close my eyes and wait for the smacks.

ppp said...

i ADORE telling my 18 month old daughter "give mommy a kiss!" and getting a big slobbery kiss on the mouth. NOTHING makes me happier.

Michelle said...

I grew up in North Dakota where we joke about the stoic German/Norwegian heritage...and we always kissed on the mouth. My parents were just here in town helping me out while I'm on bed rest, and when they packed up and left this morning, both pecked me on the lips. I also still kiss my brother and sister goodbye with a lip peck, and we are 32, 35, and 40 (I'm the middle child!) I most certainly kiss my son, Sam, on the lips =) I don't kiss any friends or colleagues on the lips, but most certainly family that I have known for 35 years (as well as my hubby and love-bug son!) Michelle


PS I do have a 15 year old step-daughter who is with us four nights a week, and I guess I do now only kiss her goodnight on the head...as a teen, she is a bit more easily grossed out lately! She does eat up kisses from Sam, though!) My husband kisses Sam on the lips, but I don't know if I've ever seen him pucker up for any of his seven siblings =)

andrea despot said...

i love that you've brought this up as i, at age 23, still kiss my grandparents on the lips! i grew up kissing my parents on the lips, though i don't anymore and can't remember the last time i did. but for some reason that's just where the kiss the lands when i go in to hug and kiss my grandparents - which i realize is a little odd, but if they don't mind then i don't! it's not like we're always kissing on the lips, it doesn't even happen every time i see them.

in fact, this past christmas when my grandma presented my boyfriend (now fiancé) and i with an engagement ring (yes, long story short, she "engaged" us!), i'm pretty sure she kissed him on the mouth at one point and i picked at him about it later on :P but whatever! maybe it's a generational thing, or maybe it was the way my grandparents were raised or maybe a cultural thing.

Anonymous said...

Funny timing. I have always kissed my son on the cheek or foreheadhe's 3-1/2). Lots of kisses and hugs at our house. But all of a sudden last week my son started to kiss me on the lips and it felt WEIRD. I never thought that would be my reaction and I'm trying to go with what he wants but it feels WEIRD.

On a related topic my son is very kissey/huggy and always hugs or kisses his friends good bye(boy or girl) and my husband is starting to wonder if it's time to ease him away from all the kissing. I think it's sweet, but it doesn't seem to be a common thing.

Anonymous said...

I would kiss my baby on the mouth. You are so right when you say it is soo good getting slobbery baby kisses (I also love how they give open mouth kisses when they are babies. lol) I would probably stop kissing my child on the mouth when they are around 5 or 6 or so. Idk, guess we'll see when the time comes.

SillyHeart said...

My parents kiss me on the mouth. Never really seen anyone kiss a baby on the mouth but all the babies I know are on my boyfriends side of the family. Hmmm...

H
ifzombiesweresupermodels.blogspot.com

when skies are grey said...

I come from a mouth kissing family I guess. And like Sarah up there, I probably stopped when I became a teenage jerk;) But for my son, lots of kisses on the lips, can't imagine otherwise <3

Mom of 3 said...

All three of my children kiss me on my lips. Randomly they will come over and say I need a hug and a kiss. My boys are 12 and 10 and my daughter is 5. I grew up in a very affectionate household.
At 12 and 10 I only give them a peck on their head in front of friends(don't want to be embarrasing mom!)But at home randomly and at night it is on the lips. I enjoy it while I can because I am pretty sure sooner or later that will not be the case. They will be kissing girlfriends and boyfriends and will probably think kissing mom on the lips is gross!

Sammi said...

Hi Jo,

I kiss my best friends eldest daughter on the lips, and her youngest daughter on the cheek, they are 6 and 2 and a half.. I never really thought about why I do that... I kiss *everyone* on both cheeks, having grown up in the Canaries its normal to do that. I just kiss people on the lips that I am very close with, I guess. Not my family though... Hummm... interesting post :)

Soup Maniac said...

I've always found kissing on the lips strange, but selectively so! I come from a family of people who don't even hug, much less kiss on the cheek, so it's all odd to me :)

Jane said...

I'm not a mum, but I have a lot of nieces and nephews. My little baby nieces (4 and under), I kiss on the lips whenever I go in for a kiss. They are obviously too small to care, and until they start to feel uncomfortable, I'll continue doing it!
One of my nephews, who is 12, started quite some time ago offering his cheek when I went in for a kiss, which is fine by me; he obviously was starting to feel uncomfortable about lips and that's understandable. However, his brother, who is 15, still occasionally goes in for a kiss on the lips, even in front of his friends, with me and my brothers! He really doesn't care, and while he doesn't I don't. I don't think it's particularly inappropriate to kiss family members on the lips, and I know this won't change with my own children. However, as I'm sure others will say throughout the comments, it's very much each to his or her own.

Great topic to broach though, Joanna!

Bronwyn said...

I'm eighteen now, and I kiss my parents on the mouth. That's been going on since I was little - I went through a phase of little French-style cheek kisses, but now that I'm going to college in the fall (and my family is really really close), it just seems right.
Lovely post! I'm glad someone else does this....

windeater.blogspot.com

Karin said...

My daughter (now age 9) has always been a full on mouth kisser. To the point where I felt like I had to finally say something when I got a long lingering kiss a few years back. Not to make her feel bad for it but know that its okay to kiss on the mouth but not make out with your mother! LOL

J-Bird said...

Mouth kisses all the way. It's so sweet and innocent. I can see how some would think it strange but I love love love them!

Alicia Stucky said...

It's funny: my husband wanted a son so badly the first time I was pregnant -- it was all he could think about until the day we got the sonogram back confirming that he was, indeed, the boy we'd been wishing for. But since my husband had only ever been the father of a daughter, he worried that he'd feel funny about kissing a son - regardless of how much he knew that he'd love him.
3 years later, he can't keep his lips off of that boy! And neither can I. Bitty baby smooches are just as good as it gets.

However, my stepdaughter and I are very, very close - and we've been cheek smooching since she turned about 7. Just an instinctual kind of shift, I guess. Although her daddy still kisses her on the lips.

Amy said...

This is so sweet, Joanna! I think it's perfectly natural to kiss babies on the lips, and I cannot wait to do just that someday with my own little ones! I grew up kissing on either the lips or the cheeks, but now go for more the cheeks with adults (with the exception of my ex bf's grandmother, who always kissed on the lips, the dear). I think that it's a sweet gesture for loved ones, especially the littlest ones!

johnny said...

despite reports that claim you can "transfer" cavities to your baby, I've never been able to resist!

link: http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/35989527/ns/health-oral_health/t/moms-kiss-can-spread-cavities-baby/

--r said...

my kiddo is two, and i still kiss him all over his little head (and just about anywhere he's got a boo-boo). my favorite spot to kiss is the ticklish spot on his neck. the squeal/giggle is the BEST PART.

The Tiny Team said...

I don't usually kiss him on the mouth, but when I do, I am not thinking about it, then I am shocked by the drool on covering my lips, like a new fancy lip gloss! My family never did it either, so it's probably just what you are used to as you grow!

But no matter where, I just love kissing my boy!

xoxo,
Amy

Mariana said...

In my family, we are cheek kissers. But my mother-in-law kiss my husband (HE IS 34!) and his sister on the lips (IN PUBLIC!) and I really don't like to see it. Also, she tried to do the same with me twice but I managed to avoid it hahahaha!

Marisa said...

I kiss my husband and children on the mouth, but no one else. Dry pecks only for the kids. I stopped kissing my mom on the mouth when I was probably 10. . . that feels about right to me. My daughter is 7 and she's not showing any desire to stop yet, but I'm sure it will come soon.

crabigail said...

I kiss my mom on the lips (I'm 32), but my dad on the cheek. I also kiss some of my dearest friends on the lips - I've never thought or known it was weird to some people!

Autumn said...

We've always been cheek kissers...we're definitely abundantly affectionate but I save the lip kisses for my husband. :) It doesn't bother me that others do with their families...it's just not something I think I'll get used to!

Nicole said...

I'm 23 and not a mom, but I am an aunt! In my family we have always kissed on the mouth. My mom, dad, stepmom, stepdad, nephew, niece, sisters, godmother...the list goes on. When my nephew was about a year old he loooved to give kisses, always on the mouth, always with his mouth fully open! It was adorable. I'm with you on the mouth-kissing; tell Alex to lighten up! :)

Deanna (Silly Goose Farm) said...

I kissed my parents and grandparents on the mouth when I was a kid, not as much anymore (except for my mom, just not as often). I kiss my son's slobber-mouth sometimes, and my daughter (2) loves to kiss with her mouth, but more often than not, she plays "Queen" and puts her hand out for people to kiss, or just leans in with her cheek (I think she has seen me do this). For the most part, I try to leave mouth-to-mouth kissing for my husband, since so much of my life and personal boundaries are given to others and my kids, it's nice to give him a special part of me.

Brigid C said...

So funny-in my mom's family, there are Lippers and there are Cheekers! Aunties, uncles and cousins all know who is in which camp. Getting lipped is when you have lip prints all over from the aunties of certain generation that are never without a full coating of lipstick! In general, I am a Cheeker except for hubby and kids:-) I will say that babies are kissable either way!

rachael said...

A friend's baby wanted a kiss recently, so I leaned over to kiss him on the cheek and he went for the mouth. It felt a bit awkward, but the parent's seemed to think mouth kissed were normal. I still give my father a quick peck on the mouth when saying goodbye.

DC Celine said...

so funny - my h and i were just talking. my 3.5yo kisses on lips (loves to), and h has started to retrain her for "nose kisses" w/ papa. "mouth kisses" remain for mama. if only i could get my 16mo to kiss at all - we're still in running hugs mode.

Sanja said...

I come from across the world and I've only seen kissing children on the mouth in American movies. In my country and pretty much all neighbouring countries (the Balkans) kissing on the mouth has exclusively sexual connotations. But, to each his own :)

Maureen said...

Oh goodness I guess I'm in the minority of commenters on this one - we are not mouth kissers in my family! We never really have been. I know my mom kissed her mom (my grandma) and her siblings on the mouth but we used to joke about that as kids, like "how weird would it be if we kissed each other on the lips like mom does with her brothers, eww!" and it never caught on to our generation. Now that my brothers and sisters have babies, none of them have done the mouth kissing thing. Of course when they're itty bitty and it's all the same to them, a mouth kiss might happen same as any other but its rare and not intentional. I'm not afraid of it or grossed out by it, per se, but it's just not a habit that I've acquired. Once we start having kids of our own, I'm faily certain we'll be in the Alex camp on this one :)

Amanda Blair said...

What an interesting topic! I kissed my parents on the mouth until I was a teen I think and then it just stopped naturally. It had more to do with thinking I was too cool to show them affection than anything else. I don't think it's weird to kiss your immediate family on the lips because they are your family! I think it just shows how close, loving and affectionate you are. Though, I don't think if you just stick to cheek kisses or forehead pecks, you aren't those things as well.

sarah Buttenwieser said...

in my experience (four kids 15 down to three) you have some serious passionate kisses to be planted upon you ahead with toby.

Christine said...

My mom and I kiss lightly lip to lip which is fine, but my extended family wants to too (cousins, aunt and uncle) and it grosses me out a bit. I try to dodge it with the cheek turn, but it doesn't always work. As for babies in particular, I don't think I'd go around kissing someone else's baby on the mouth, but if I had my own I wouldn't think twice about it. Great topic.

Christen said...

I do kiss my daughter on the mouth, she is a year old. It feels so natural to do it, yet the idea of kissing my mom or dad on the lips kind of makes me cringe. Ehk. Maybe I'm weird?

A.C. Ford said...

Total mouth-kisser here! I kiss friends on the lips, I kiss family on the lips, I LOVE to kiss the kids I nanny I on the lips (their parents are FINE with it)! I love it! My little brother still kisses me on the lips even though he's 13 now and it makes me so happy that he isn't too cool to be nice to his big sister :)

Jesse said...

my parents kissed us on the mouth as kids but we all sort of stopped when the teenage years hit. now it's usually just hugs and sometimes a kiss on the cheek from dad:)

Kj said...

I had a physical reaction to the statement about "making out with your baby"- ahhhh! That seems so ridiculously inappropriate and unhygienic. A simple peck is fine, but the slobber comments are revolting!

Chinouk said...

I'm 18 years old and I still kiss my parents on the mouth. I think it's a great way of showing love, so why stop at a certain age? I don't think there's an age-boundry at mouth kisses..

VLS said...

My brother and I grew up kissing our parents on the lips, even though we were not, overall, a very affectionate family. It always seemed normal to me though it probably mostly stopped in high school. I am 29 now, and my mom still likes to sneak one quick lip peck about once a year; same with my dad and my paternal grandparents.
I am expecting a little girl in August and fully plan on mouth kisses until they naturally wane. I do wonder what my French/Basque husband will think about kissing his little girl on the lips, though...

melanie said...

One of my most favourite things about my 2½ daughter is just how affectionate she is. She’ll give my husband and I great big kisses on the mouth, and there is truly nothing better. She has also perfected the Eskimo kiss, which is a whole other level of cuteness!

Sanja said...

And yes, I kiss my family and friends whenever I see them, on the cheek :)

Glenda said...

I kissed both my kids on their mouth till they were about 5 yrs old. Then it went to the cheeks.

I only remember kissing my parents on the cheeks.

Linnie Joy said...

We kissed on the mouth, still do, friends family, mumma, poppa, the WHOLE TRIBE...i think its a wonderful way to show affection and in no way sexual(unless you make it, or go at it with that intent!)

Joanna Goddard said...

these are such funny comments! KJ, haha, sorry for the gross-out! :)

Anonymous said...

great post! i kiss my babies all over their face but my four year old boy won't be satisfied unless i kiss him on the mouth, which i do!

Joanna Goddard said...

karin, that is SO funny :)

Haute Mama said...

. I still kiss my mom on the lips and kissed my dad on the lips until he died a few years ago. my boys (5 and 3) and I are all about the lip "smooches" - I get one everyday before I leave for work, when I return home, at bedtime and a few more bonus smooches if I'm lucky. I know because they are boys, there will probably come a day when they won't as readily offer up the lip action, so I am relishing it while it lasts.

Kelly's Adventures said...

My mom and Grandma and I still kiss eachother on the mouth from time to time (and I'm 26) we've always done it I'm sure!

I watched a movie where a brother and sister did that I thought "hhhmm that is odd" my brother and I will kiss on the cheek.

When I was a nanny for a little girl that I was pretty much rasing as my own when she wanted something like a peice of cake i would say "give me a kiss first" and then she would kiss me on the mouth!

People do it with dogs.

Heather said...

No mouth kisses for me or my family. Feels way too unnatural. And I'm with KJ - "the making out with my baby" comment made me cringe. Ew.

Annabelle said...

I'm 22 and I've always kissed my mom on the cheek (at least as far as I remember, I'm sure it was different when I was a tot) but my dad's always kissed me and my sister on the mouth. That's just the way his family is - he's 50 and still kisses his mom on the mouth!

France is said...

I'm not sure how i feel about it- i think it's sweet when i see mothers kiss their children but i think it's sometimes really gross when i see older children kiss their parents on the lips. it makes me uncomfortable. i'm pregnant with our first and i dont know if i'll kiss her on the mouth or not. i've nannied a bunch in my life and i LOVE kissing their chubby cheeks but to kiss a baby child on the mouth seems like a very special and intimate and innocent thing. what i'm sayin is, i'll try it but i dont know if i'll ever like it myself!

Bethany said...

Personally, I've always found it inappropriate for family members to kiss on the mouth. Maybe a peck is fine, but open-mouthed? I think it can lead to really unnecessary confusion and a lack of boundaries about intimacy for children. How do you handle that between your children, for those of you with more than one kid? Do you allow them to kiss each other on the mouth? If not, how do you explain that to them? And how do they learn to differentiate between a platonic kiss and a sexual kiss and what situations are appropriate for each?
If those of you who grew up with that survived it without having any confusion about sexual intimacy versus paternal or sibling intimacy, then to each their own.

Heather said...

We kiss my 3 year old on the mouth, I love his kisses. They are not slobbery anymore though! My 8 month old loves giving kisses, she grabs my face pulls it in and plants a big wet one right on my lips! It is one of my most favorite things : )

Anonymous said...

'making out' with your baby is not inappropriate! i love mouth kisses with babies because their mouths are so sweet and smell so delicious. while i don't kiss my parents on the lips (kind of a half lip, half cheek quickie), i LOVE to smell and kiss babies mouths. it's natural.

Isabell said...

I don't come from a kissing family or hugging but I LOVE kissing my babies on the lips! It just feels so good and they're so adorable. My daughter though it was normal and tried to kiss all our friends on the lips and at school too. We had to teach her that lip kissing was just for family and cheek kissing for school friends. My baby boy loves sticking out his tongue when i kiss his slobbery mouth! :)

stephanie j said...

i give my little nieces kisses on the mouth...i don't think it's weird! i also still get little kisses on the mouth from my mom, guess you're never to old in my eyes :) maybe it's different with boys??

Bridget said...

I've never even thought about this, but I guess I fall into the husband on the mouth, friends and family on the cheek category. Babies are another story though. They go in for a full mouth kiss and you have to oblige.

Ashley said...

I had this discussion with my husband last week. In my family we kissed each other on the mouth. Probably until I was a young lady. Then I switched to a cheek kiss for my uncles and grandpa. It just seemed like a natural progression. But with children, it's adorable! I love their slobbery kisses. I'm pregnant with my first child, and my husband has already declined a mouth kisses. I wonder if he'll change his mind when the baby comes. I think people tend to follow what their family traditions were.

Becky said...

Yes, yes, yes! I love kissing my baby on the mouth!

HOOTENANNY...Jennifer Jacks said...

I too love kissing my children on the mouth...especially when they were babes! My mom still kisses me on the mouth...and my husband too, of course...other than that its straight to the cheek.

Lady Grey said...

I come from a mixed family of cheek & lip kissers... either goes in my family and no one seems to mind. Although as a teenager I remember desperately trying to avoid my lip-kissing aunts!

I'd have no problem at all kissing my baby on the lips, and can see how that would feel completely natural.
xo

Libby said...

i never kiss my parents on the lips (they try though! my grandma always tried too but i always avoid it and go for a cheek!) but i kiss the 7 year old I nanny for on the lips and he also tries to "friendship kiss" me, aka french kiss. i made the mistake of teaching him what a french kiss is (not showing him, just telling him! and he says friendship instead of french!) so now he always tries to jam his tongue in my mouth and i scream! i also kiss my 3 year old niece on the lips because she is so cute and her kissies are the best! my fiance also gets lip kissies too ;) baby kisses on the lips are the best!

Eleanor Rae said...

I don't have children yet, but I would say I will definitely kiss them on the mouth when I do. I am 22 now, and still kiss all 4 of my grandparents, my parents and my sister on the mouth when saying goodnight/bye, or hello after a long time. We always have, it just feels like the natural thing to do. I think it's probably different with boys/men though, my boyfriend still kisses his Mum on the mouth, but is more likely to hug his Dad or shake his hand. xxx

Siri said...

I have always kissed both of my parents on the lips, but I realize now, at age 26, that I still kiss my dad on the lips, but not my mom. I have no idea why!

Laurel said...

I've wondered about this with other people's families, glad you posted this! I kiss my mom on the mouth, dad on the cheek, and those are really the only family members I kiss. I might kiss a friend I haven't seen for awhile on the cheek, or if I'm not going to see them for awhile, but other than that, kisses are reserved my parents and boyfriend (and my old family dog!).

Girly Notes said...

my parents used to kiss me on the cheek

but I don't know how I'll act if I had a baby maybe I'll act like my parents


http://girlynote.blogspot.com

Heather said...

I thought kissing on the mouth with a baby/child was weird until I had a child of my own. My husband and I both did, but we recently stopped doing it. he's almost 2.5 now and he started kissing uncles and kids at the playground on the lips.

Now we're instilling "cheek only" rule, even on us parents.

Emily said...

My family definitely only kisses on the cheek. It would be so weird to me to kiss any of my relatives on the lips. I reserve that for boyfriends. Although babies and little kids (as in, under the age of 5 or 6) are an exception, and definitely get kisses on the mouth :)

Bethy said...

haha my boyfriend's niece is almost 2 and just started kissing and gave me a big sloppy mouth kiss yesterday and i loveeeed it! baby kisses are the best.

i still kiss my mom on the mouth (at age 24) but not my brothers and sisters, though we hug like no tomorrow.

Melinda said...

I would say no to on the lips. Not because I think it's inappropriate socially, but because it spreads bacteria and viruses. My husband was kissed by his parents as a baby and contracted cold sores that way. Now he has them for life. I'd much rather go through my life without cold sores and I'm sure my future kids would too. Those pus oozing globs and scabs are super gross.

chelsey meyer said...

i plan to kiss my soon to be here baby on the lips, probably until they are old enough to choose not to, but i will probably also pull away at a certain age. Not sure what my husband will do, I don't think he will kiss him on the mouth at first but maybe the young toddler years when the kid will be doing what he wants. i know that ryan's mother still grabs her sons and grandson's faces and forces them to kiss her on the mouth and i find it wildly inappropriate and weird and even told her that she is not to do that to my son ever. I think it's natural for mamas to kiss on the mouth, i mean we did grow the baby, feel a deeper connection and they are sucking on our boobs but anyone else (other than hubs) is just weird.

liz @ bon temps beignet said...

I grew up in a cheek/forehead kissing family. I think it would be weird to kiss my parents on the lips. My sister-in-law (hubby's sister) kisses my niece on the lips which leads her to want to kiss everyone else on the lips, too. She has a perpetual runny nose, so it totally grosses me out. I can't say I'll be anti-mouth kiss with my own kids though, I do give our dog a big ol smooch on the snout... closed mouth of course!

Anonymous said...

i love this question you have raised!
i have always kissed my mother and father on the lips. it was only when i got married at 29 that i began to incorporate kissing my parents more on the cheek and the forehead. it just felt a little awkward to keep kissing them only on the lips.. i don't know if it was because i now had a man in my life or if it was because we now live so far apart and i've grown so much away from them.. but when i kiss them goodbye it naturally happens to just be on the lips. i was raised in a very secure and loving home that it was nothing less that pure parent-child love was the motivation for it. i understand that others have different feelings about it. i have wondered. no longer being naive to life, i sometimes think that my parents' home life and childhood experiences have made it possible for me/us to share kisses in such a pure way. this by the way, it exclusive to them. as for the rest of my family, i stick with kissing their cheeks/forehead and big hugs.

Libby said...

how does alex feel about showering in front of toby or going to the bathroom? my friends son is 2 1/2 and they're trainng him to potty train and her husband refuses to pee in front of her son even though he knows it will help. he also will not let him see him naked at all!

Daniela said...

I have a 3 week old baby girl, and today I kissed her on her little mouth for the first time! I never thought I would do it since I didn't grow up doing it and therefore thought it wasn't appropriate, but I couldn't help myself and now I can't stop doing it! It's the most delicious feeling in the world!!! I loved it!

becomingoneofthose.blogspot.com

Kelly R said...

I was cracking up at "I basically make out with him." Hahaha! I kiss my mom on the lips sometimes, I don't think it's a big deal. I also have an aunt and an uncle who like to kiss on the lips, which I am NOT a fan of - it feels a bit weird!

Brookfield said...

I will kiss my boy on the mouth until he asks me not to! I love his kisses! He kisses everyone on the mouth and was once very confused when presented with a grandparent's cheek.

I love his sweet little dry kisses, the slobbery ones, and the ones where it seems like he is trying to eat me...I will take them all!

Nina said...

funny, my son is 3.5 and kisses me on the mouth. he's just started it and its a little startling..it is to other people too and a couple people have said "oh ok" and kinda laughed uncomfortably and done it. I try not to act like its any big deal because hello HE'S THREE! and he's sweet. but we also give kisses all over, since he was born I have used "millions of kisses because he's delicious" as a way to get him giggling and non-grumpy and now he does it to me and we both love it.

my grandmother used to kiss me on the lips. it was a little weird because I don't think anyone else did (that I can recall) and I just remember thinking of her moustache and stinky smoking breath and stuff...kids ya know? but I don't think its an issue if people do it. I think the more my son is comfortable with his body and showing loving expression the better and the only way to learn that is to be around people who hug and kiss him. of course, that probably sounds bad and pornographic which is not my intention at all but his father had a huge personal space issue and hated anyone touching him (beyond sex) and I just don't want my child to grow into a man like that... I want one who is sweet and affectionate and loving, ya know?

Anonymous said...

I'm not a demonstrative person but my baby niece and nephew have elicited kissing orgies from me. However, I would never kiss either of them on the mouth because I get cold sores and kissing is how the virus is transmitted. I also would never kiss my parents but especially my dad on the mouth! However, in Europe I have been kissed on the mouth (closed peck!) by relatives of good friends, which was a bit startling, but endearing.

Micol said...

When i was a little girl i used to' kiss My father on the lips... Very closed.
I remember as a teenager an Old aunt, that i had never met before, giving me a mouth kiss which i still remember with horror.
Slobber, I don't like....but I don't have kids yet.
Once, i met a rock star who kissed all the girls on their lips. I was totally into that :-)

Amanda said...

I'm so glad you brought this up! I didn't grow up in the most affectionate household but I always kissed my grandparents goodnight on the lips - my grandpa always smelled like listerine, so of course that smell always makes me think of him, but I've also made my boyfriend switch to a different mouthwash!

As far as babies go, I couldn't agree more, there is nothing better than a slobbery peck from those soft, tiny lips! I was a little suprised the first time my little niece came in for a mouth kiss, but now I can't imagine anything else!

Cathi said...

When my kids were little, I kissed them on the lips, but now I kiss their cheek. My mom and my friends I kiss on the lips, though. My mom always tries to kiss her grandkids on the lips and they all turn their cheek (it's a running joke in our family that my mom is going after their lips..haha)....Great question! xxoo :)

jules said...

I love that you are posting about this.. I am 29 years old and I have always kissed both parents on the lips.. I never felt weird about it until I was a teen and my friends talked about how weird that was when they saw someone else do it. I think it depends on your family.. but I think especially with sweet little babies that it is totally natural and beautiful

Ashlae said...

I love that you posted about this! Coming from a family of German heritage, we all kiss on the mouth. Kissing is only romantic if you make it romantic - and it's only weird if you make it weird. I think it's completely natural to kiss the people you love on the mouth; just like it's natural to be intimate with your life partner. And for what it's worth, I think all the people who think kissing family members on the mouth is 'weird' or 'gross' really need to reevaluate their definition of those two words. And their relationship with their 'family'.

littlebyrd said...

I love this motherhood series. I still kiss my 6 year old son on the mouth...our daily kisses are so wonderful. I will do it until he tells me stop :)

Claire said...

I've always kissed my parents on the lips and now my husband and I both kiss my daughter on the lips. Mouth kisses are the best (especially when their young)... I know there will probably come a period of time when my kids won't want to kiss me at all, so you have to take advantage of the sweet affection while you can! :)

Heather said...

I cannot imagine not kissing my sweet son on the mouth! I've always kissed my parents and grandparents and siblings on the lips, both as a child and as an adult. Growing up I just assumed everyone did this! Fortunately, my husband's family are mostly lip kissers too, so I feel right at home!

KK said...

The only family member I ever kissed on the mouth as an adult was my grandfather. Everyone else is a cheek kisser. I can't really imagine giving my family mouth kisses, but I know it's just because I've never known different.

Foxglove Accessories said...

Great post! I always thought it was interesting how different people can feel about this. I've never been a mouth kisser with the family, but strangely my little sister is. I do kiss my 6-month-old on the mouth, but as she gets older I'll let her decide how she likes to be kissed. It's just whatever you're comfortable with.

Kate Schweitzer said...

I love this post! I come from such a close affectionate family that I've never really thought about it. I'm 22 and I still kiss both my parents on the mouth. It has never been strange or felt awkward....it's just something we have done every since I was little. We hug a lot and I hold hands with both my mom and dad all the time. I love how close my family is and I think having a lot of physical affection when I was growing up helped me a lot not only then but also now that I am married. It showed me what a good thing it is to touch the people you love.

jen said...

As a kid, I think I was a mouth kisser. Now I'm a non-kisser. Hugs work just fine for me. I do kiss my husband's grandmother on the cheek because she's 83 and expects it. Everyone else gets a hug. Though I love kisses from my nieces & nephews under the age of 8. Once they reach that age, I transfer to hugs & cheek kisses. I've never been very comfortable with kisses on the lips - not sure why.

Katie Richins said...

I come from a family with very little affection of any kind, but with my own kids it's a completely different story. My husbands' family is the opposite - the adult males still kiss their parents on the mouth here and there. I find it so sweet! After all - we are still our parents kids no matter how old we get! I'm very purposeful in giving affection to my kids all the time, and hope to keep that the norm for many years to come (my oldest is 9). I think many times kids who receive ample attention and affection from their kids have a much lesser desire to seek it from other sources.

Marissa said...

Both my parents always kissed us on the mouth when we were kids. It was when I got to the age where I wanted to start kissing boys that I decided I didn't like it anymore and made them stop. My mom was sad about this at first, but I think she understood. Now, it depends. Mostly we kiss on the cheeks, but sometimes there are lip kisses.

Ginny said...

Baby germs rock! Kiss away I say.

mymcmlife said...

I love this conversation. I don't have kids yet myself. I think I'll probably be a cheek kisser. My parents kissed me on the mouth when I was very little but we weren't big kissers in general from what I can remember. I haven't kissed or been kissed by anyone other than my husband since I was in high school. I think it all depends on what you and the other person are comfortable with. There is no right answer but obviously kissing someone who is not expecting it can be very awkward. I have a friend whose in-laws are mouth-kissers, even to their 27 year old son. My friend is very uncomfortable with her father-in-law kissing her on the mouth so she avoids greeting him at the door anyway she can!

DeeDee said...

I kiss my husband, my own kids, and a few select friends (mostly the gay men) on the mouth.

I remember feeling that deep desire to kiss my babies all over their little bodies!

Stephanie said...

I think its totally natural to give your baby kisses on the mouth. I even give my dog a kiss on her wet soft snout! Then promptly wipe my mouth. :) Haha.

I can't remember how long my parents did this with me, but now we kiss on the cheek. I also stick with cheek kisses for other adult family and friends. After getting married, unless its a child (or my dog) I kind of feel like my mouth is private property.

Anonymous said...

this is so interesting! i never consciously thought about it. My family actually isn't that physically affectionate (even hugs can be rare!) but I did kiss my mom on the lips until I was about 12 maybe? Neither of us stopped on purpose, it just naturally happened. Sometimes, if we kiss goodbye a lip kiss can occur, and I don't think it's weird, though usually we just do like riiiight to the side of lips. My dad only does cheek kisses, and those are sort of rare, too. I never, ever kiss my sisters, but I wouldn't hate it or anything, we just don't do it. Actually, I wish more people in the world kissed! Any kind of kiss as long as it's sweet :DDDDD

~kelly

Owl Tree Yoga said...

I think its totally lovely, and I love that you shared this! Thank you!

Anonymous said...

I've always, always kissed my son Sam (a soon-to-be four-year-old) on the mouth. His lips are just so sweet and luscious that I can't resist them. I get filled with glee and absolute giddiness when he puckers up and says, "Give me kiss." For me, kissing him on the lips comes quite naturally; it's instinctual. And because of this I've never given the matter any real thought . . . and don't plan on stopping until this feeling changes or he comes to detest mouth-kissing his mother.

Oh, and Dad mouth-kisses Sam too!

jake (the girl/mom)

Anonymous said...

Hey Jo. Great topic! I am 35 and was obsessed with Dynasty as a kid. When I was about 5 I asked my gran for a Dynasty kiss- closed my eyes and opened my mouth! It was so innocent but I still cringe about it! Cool with kissing my mum and gran on the lips- once I know the boundries :-)))

Jessi said...

i come from a family of mouth kissers. i still kiss my parents, brother and sister... smack dab on the lips.

in fact, my sister kisses my husband on the lips... and NO its not weird. its an intimate way to show love (and intimacy isn't always sexual).

i kiss my best friend on the lips as well, we've know each other since we were 6. he's a member of the family...

honestly, variety is the spice of life... so its nice to hear testimonials from other families... but for me and mine... smoochy smoochy!

love,

Jess
finnpuppy@gmail.com

Ms. Smiley said...

I am not a mommy, but my favorite thing to do is kiss my friends little girl. It really is such a warm fuzzy feeling because babies love is so open and honest. Love it!

Anonymous said...

I think there are a lot of family type things that come up once you have your own kids (being naked in front of them and/or siblings). Not there yet-- but trying to figure out what we'll do is stressful! I guess I came from a pretty non-affectionate family so even cheek kisses are weird for me from my parents! I think I'll leave mouth kisses for their romantic loves and cheeks and foreheads for us! Hopefully we can always continue that, even after they are married! But this is such a personal issue, I think each family is different, but not wrong.

Sara Szatmary said...

You know... I come from an extremely no-touch kind of family. As a reaction I am so super snuggly with my man that I may cut off his circulation at times. I could never imagine even kissing my parents on the cheek, but I have a feeling my future children are already doomed to be kissed incessantly for all their days.

I love these posts Joanna. So thought provoking and lovely.

Tim said...

I was raised a cheek kisser & always loved blowing raspberries into the checks and necks of my son and his cousins. No relative has ever tried to kiss me on the lips & I think I might pull away if they tried. these lips belong to one woman only, not even my mother can kiss them.

With that said, I don't think it is gross or inappropriate at all. If you are a kisser, more power to you. Go for it! (Except for me)

Anonymous said...

I'm 23 and kiss my mom on the mouth and my dad on the cheek. We're from a fairly rural southern town where hugs are given freely to all but apparently kisses are not. I stopped in middle school/ early high school when someone saw me greet my dad with a customary peck on the cheek (I cringed to think what they would have thought of me kissing my mom!). I started kissing my parents again when I was a senior in high school and was surprised to find I had missed it and how sorry I was I had stopped. My brother kisses both my parents on the cheek, as does my boyfriend. I think it's a normal form of affection with your own children.

Oriana said...

my mom & dad kissed me on the lips when i was little but once i was a toddler my mom said i would wipe them off & i didn't like them anymore . . . my poor parents :(

now i nanny for a one year old and she is such a little love bug . . . she gives kisses to everyone & everything. she gives me lip kisses & it's not weird at all, or gross. (well, sometimes)

Kate said...

My husband is totally the same as Alex. He always goes for our son's head or cheeks. Never lips. I kiss Luke's lips more times than I can count a day, which probably accounts for me getting sick as often as he does (oh pre-school - so many germs!) But every bedtime and school drop off has to include a big hug and a big kiss.

Lauren W. said...

Wow what an interesting topic.. I can honestly say I've never really considered this! But I am VERY surprised at the number of commenters saying they commonly mouth-kiss their adult family members! I suppose it really is what you were raised with that feels normal, because that would feel entirely ODD to me. We are a family of huggers and very occasionally cheek-kissers across the board (for the adult members.. I suppose babies and small children in the family get lip kisses!). The line about making out with your baby literally made my stomach flip it seems so uncomfortable, but I know you meant it in a purely motherly way.

All I know is if someone in my family suddenly laid a smackeroo on my lips out of the blue I would be so embarassed I don't know what I'd do! Probably turn bright red! :)

agirl said...

Open mouth baby kisses! They are the best. Kiss away!

I'm pretty sure I kissed my parents on the mouth when I was little (along with LOTS of eskimo kisses), but it's mostly morphed into hugs/cheek kisses now that I'm older. Although, the last time I saw my dad (when I had just turned 30), he wanted me to eskimo kiss him in public, and it really weirded me out. So he got a bear hug instead.

Ana said...

I can't imagine not kissing a baby on the mouth. Even those of my friends, but I think that's also a cultural think... I stopped kissing my mom on the mouth as I was a teen... that's natural. Even if it wasn't. I think it's beautiful.

BananaSaurusRex said...

When my toddler son used to grab me by the ears and plant long drooly kisses on my mouth, I thought: Kid! You gotta work on your technique!

LD said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Sunny Rising Leather said...

My mouth kisses were gender specific growing up: I kiss my mom and sister on the mouth, but my father gets a cheek kiss. He's such a gentleman, I always figured he'd be scandalized by a kiss on the mouth!!

As far as when I have children, I want to feel at ease with them, not worried about some sort of worry about something so pure and innocent as a kiss from a baby!!

cmf221 said...

both my husband and i grew up kissing all of our family members on the lips so it is very natural for us. my husband still kisses his dad that way. i think it's a shame for people to feel uncomfortable kissing loved ones (especially kids!) on the lips.

Big Mama Dana said...

Absolutely! I kiss Jack on the lips everyday - even if he mouth is hanging wide open! My husband used to think it's gross, but now I catch him doing it, too! I don't care what other people think - my baby doesn't think it's gross, he thinks it's love and it's not like I'm going to be open mouth kissing him when he's 16 - he's just a baby now!

Christina Rosalie said...

I have two little boys: a 2 year old and a 6 year old, and they both get kisses on the mouth... I imagine there's an age where that will change, but it hasn't yet. I agree with you: baby mouth kisses = the best.

Jessica said...

I love sloppy baby kisses!

I think that it's personal choice, and only you know what is/isn't appropriate for you and your family. I don't kiss my Mom, Dad or brothers on the lips anymore (at 26)...but we did as youngsters.

This was a great blog...I really like when you write about things that many people think about, but don't talk about.

lindsay said...

I think around 15 or 16 I stopped kissing my parents on the mouth, haha, and grandma. but I do kiss my 2 year old on her mouth about a billion times per day. :)

Tinkaterr said...

I absolutely kiss on the mouth!!! With my mom, with my grandparents, with my aunt and with my brother.

In fact one of my most fav wedding pics is of me kissing my brother on the lips, Hubs family totally think it's weird but not my side of the family.

I think it's lovely and natural in an age when we are so afraid of showing affection to allow our lips to be liberated with those we love the most!

x

JennyCash said...

i'm a lip kisser. my daughter and son (4 & 2, respectively) go for it instinctively. i've seen people shy away or make a face when my kids try to kiss them goodbye - no hard feelings, but i could NEVER turn them away like that!

my son is in love with me....always wants to snuggle, holds my hand at dinner like we're on a date, and is now starting to hold my head and kiss me for longer intervals at a time. i find nothing gross or weird about it (though i understand why others aren't into it).

look, once a child has had its mouth on your boobies multiple times a day, a little smooch on the lips is small potatoes.....

wonderousclusterf#@k said...

I am 26 years old and my grandmother still kisses me on the mouth. In my family, the women are all born mouth-kissers and tooshie-pinchers. Both my parents kissed me on the mouth when I was little. My dad probably stopped when I was about 5 and my mom probably stopped around puberty. Now we are all cheek-kissers, except for my grandma...she still leaves bright pink lipstick on my lips every time I see her (and I'm totally fine with that)!

katie | hip hip shoe-ray! said...

I make out with my 20-month-old son. Daily. :)

Elisa said...

What a great topic Joanna!

My parents are more the hugging type or handshake.

My in-laws are the one kiss in each cheek...something I initially thought uncomfortable..now feels natural

My little family of three: occasionally I ask Beli (my 3rd old) for a 'trompa' my Spanish slang term for puckered lips, and I kiss her on the lips. Only I do this, my husband prefers to kiss her on the cheeks. Most times I kiss on her forehead, her cheeks, her hair, her arms. she is irresistible!

Stacey said...

My four year old daughter and I kiss on the lips all the time. She also kisses her dad and grandparents this way. Recently on a flight over Easter she put both hands on my cheeks and planted a long kiss on my lips, moving her head back and forth a little. It was sweet and funny and we laughed when she stopped...then she did it again.

I say keep kissing Toby all over...he's too cute not to.

Kate at M is for make said...

I was just having this conversation with a friend the other day! My parents always kissed on the cheeks but I kiss my children on the lips. Before I would have found it strange but it feels perfectly natural. I do wonder what age it should stop and have tried to encourage my 6 year old to kiss me on the cheek at school, but it's hard to remember sometimes!

Lindsay said...

So funny you mention it. I think on-the-lips is sweet for young babes. But I was pretty surprised when I saw my boyfriend kiss his mom on the lips. Now that we've been dating for six years, his mom and I have started kissing on the lips too. At first it was super awkward, but now that I've gotten used to it I think it's sweet. Life is too short not to show affection for the people you love!

Mandy Sellers said...

I have a 5 month old daughter, and I give her kisses on the mouth all the time! So does her daddy. I will until she's probably around 5, because after that it seems a little strange to me.
My family never gave kisses, or really even hugged, so I'm not used to open affection like that. I of course won't be like that with my own child, but there's a point where kisses like that shouldn't happen in my opinion.)

I had a friend a few years ago who, at 20, was still kissing everyone in her family on the mouth and it weirded me out.

christa said...

I've always kissed my parents and grandparents on the lips. My sister and I kiss each other on the cheeks right now, but we used to kiss on the lips. My boyfriend kisses his family members on the cheek, but when he was younger he kissed their lips. Right now he kisses his little sister on the forehead.

When I have babies I won't hesitate to kiss them on the lips! When they get older I may transition to kissing their cheeks in public. Whatever they are comfortable with!

In a Certain Fashion said...

I always feel like my daddy's little little girl again when I kiss him him or bye on the lips. For a second I'm a toddler again and I think he can pick me up and carry me around again.

I can still feel and smell the last kiss I gave my grandma the last time I saw her before she passed away. She had such soft lips and I always had to give her two or three before I could stand to leave her. I just wrote a little bit about about her on my blog. Thanks for writing this piece, I hadn't thought about it much but now I'll make sure to treasure every kiss I give my love ones!
-Kate

Jenna Lee said...

I think love is love no matter how you kiss. I will most likely kiss my baby all over, mouth included. I kiss my close girlfriends on the mouth and my mother. My dads more of a hugger. It just all depends on how you enjoy showing love. Sometimes a soft kiss on the forehead is more loving than a wet kiss on the mouth, but both are wonderful.

leslie.conner said...

kissing babies on the mouth = definitely ok :)

Neus said...

I think it's really sweet, but in Europe (or at least in Spain) we aren't used to kiss in children mouth. Don't get me wrong, I think it's very nice, but the first time I saw I was a little bit shocked!

Abby said...

I feel weird kissing other people's babies at all.

But my baby? I kiss her lips a hundred times a day. I love it.

Jenny said...

I kissed my parents on the lips growing up but wouldn't do now - more of a just-off-the-mouth kind of affair! I'm not a mother but I don't imagine I'd think twice about kissing my child on the lips. Having said that, I never know what to do whenever I happen to kiss friends' babies/kids good bye - I find they naturally want to give you a slobbery one on the mouth and I don't ever want them to think there's any sort of a *reason* why they shouldn't or embarrass them or something. But then I worry that they're parents might think I'M weird if I do! I probably think about it far too much!

Merrilyn said...

My parents were very affectionate, but reservedly so, if that makes any sense. We absolutely did not kiss them on the lips. They weren't terribly kissy types, anyway. But I kiss my little ones on the lips, both my daugher (6) and my son (3). I never thought about, it just seemed like the natural thing to do. My husband doesn't really like to kiss my son on the lips, so he's teaching him to kiss him on the cheek. To each their own, I suppose. But kissing on the lips certainly doesn't bother me, and I will do it until they tell me to stop! :)

Carolina said...

Hi Jo!

I do plan to kiss my baby on the mouth! :-)
but I am pretty sure my husband won't... hehehe

About myself, I always, and I still do give a little moth kiss in my mom and dad! :-) they love it!
But they were always the only ones... I think I kissed once an aunt, more because I was half asleep, but she didnt say anything about it... I think because she is used to see me forever kissing my parents.
But my brother no! He stopped a long time ago with kisses... Is just forehead kisses and if u r luck, he allows a checky one ;-)

xx,
A.

Jessica said...

i'm almost a little shocked how many people agree with you that kissing family members on the lips is okay, and maybe I AM the weird one, but I do not think its appropriate to kiss a family member/child on the lips after a certian age. what age, im not sure, maybe once they know that you love them and can handle a cheek kiss and know it means just as much love as a lips kiss, but lip kissing should be reserved for romantic kissing only. in my humble opinion. but if it makes you happy then who am i to say its inappropriate.

The Palmers said...

I totally kiss my kids on the mouth. I still kiss my mom on the mouth, my husband thinks its gross, but its just the tiniest peck, and I kiss other kids if they want to kiss on the mouth, but babies that are not mine, I kiss on the forehead, or older kids neices and nephews on the forehead. My husband kisses our kids on the mouth too. Kissing your kids is a natural thing!!

Randi Hensley said...

I like this post!

As kids, my sister and I kissed my parents on the mouth. We innocently called people kissing on television a "twist kiss" and for a brief time would "twist kiss" each other and my parents (no tongue, of course!). As we got older, we naturally shifted to kisses on the cheek or forehead.

My best friend still gets mouth kisses from her parents and grandparents and I think it's super-sweet.

Erin said...

It's so funny you bring this up! My family has never ever kissed on the lips, and I've always thought it very odd and inappropriate when people do (other than a couple in love). I guess it just depends on how you were raised!

Lo said...

Oh boy. When my daughter was born, I was so nervous about coughs, colds and bacterial mastitis that I didn't kiss her on the mouth until she was a year old! I wish I hadn't been so anxious, though, because baby mouth kisses are the best/slobberiest/grossest thing ever.

My husband's grandparents are both proponents of mouth-kissing, which was weird for me at first, but now I think it's cute.

meghan said...

we are a family of mouth kissers. I kiss my 3 month old daughter and my 9 year old daughter both on the mouth. i still kiss my mom on the mouth, but my father is a bit more hesitant about that, haha, so we settle for cheek kisses! ;)

Rylee said...

I remember kissing my dad on the lips. not my mom. but I cant remember the last time I kissed them on the lips....at some point I think i felt too old.

but i love it. and I'll definitely kiss my kiddos on the lips!

Heather said...

I am 100% in the makeout category. Amen to baby kisses.

whitney said...

Love this!! when my aunt had her baby girl, ella, (who just turned 7 but is still a baby girl to me), i was 17 years old. So i was always more of an aunt-type to ella. My aunt is a single mother, and for the first couple years of ella's life, i played a very large part in raising her. I moved away to college, but I still do many things with her today...including mouth kisses. I always kissed her on the mouth...from day one...it just felt natural. When she learned to give kisses in return, it was always on the mouth. She kisses her mom on the mouth too. And still, at seven, everytime i ask her for a kiss or vice versa, it's right on the lips:) my sisters think it's weird, but i love that special thing i have with her:)

Nicole* said...

hate to disagree joanna but i am with alex on this one. against the mouth kisses. in high school i saw a friend kiss her mom and the lips and it grossed. me. out. i don't have a baby yet so maybe my opinions will change but right now i saw no thanks to kissing anybody but my fiance on the lips.

Kaitlyn said...

I guess I was never exposed to lip kisses as a child so to me it seems completely strange. Whenever I see people kissing their kids on the lips it weirds me out! Maybe when I have my own I won't be able to resist but for now it gives me the heebie jeebies!

Vivian said...

Both my parents were born and raised in Korea, so kissing on the lips is a definite no-no. In Korea, there isn't much kissing going around (in public at least), and you don't kiss a boy unless you're seriously dating him or married. I never kiss my dad or my brother at all. I should add that my dad is super conservative though, even for Korean standards.

Even as adults, my brother and I still kiss my mom, but only on the cheek :).

Kharvey said...

This made me chuckle because it's a common discussion in my family. My mom's side of the family always kisses me on the lips and I hate it! They always get a head turn from me and a kiss on the cheek. They said I've done that since I was a baby. I prefer to save lip kisses for my husband.

Lindsay said...

This isn't my story, it's actual my ex-boyfriends, but it's a neat one to share. When he was growing up, his touchy-feely family would kiss, kiss, kiss. One day, though, after realizing that his mom and dad would kiss on the lips so differently, he decided that it was no longer the time to kiss his mom on the lips. Interesting, no?

I'm excited to see what happens when I'm a momma.

Kristen said...

I often wonder if people who watched me for 15 minutes straight would freak out at how often I kiss my children...on the lips, the cheek, the head. I can't get enough! Love this post!

HiLLjO said...

OMG not kissing your children on the lips is WEIRD!!! The distinction one puts on the inappropriateness of kissing your child's mouth compared to kissing your spouse's mouth is the gross thing.
Our babies are our flesh and love. If we can't kiss them because it's mildly incestuous or something... we're all in trouble!
I'm an only child and my parents and I were incredibly close! We always kissed on the lips and sometimes we still give each other mouth-pecks goodbye. I'm 23 now and it's just the way it's always been.

Chessa! said...

I kiss Lucia on the mouth on the cheek on her leg, her neck, her head, her belly...she's my baby and I'm her mom and I think it's perfectly fine and we love it! She loves to take her dad by the ears and bite his nose - we think it's a kiss and it was cute when she had only gums but now she's got 7 teeth and sometimes she bites down... although she doesn't bite when she slobbers my face with kisses. A spouse kiss and a parent kiss are completely different and I think that just like anything else you teach your child the difference or hopefully they will infer it from their own parent's behavior.

I'm not sure what my husband will do when she's older - probably no kisses on the lips if I had to guess but she's not even a year old right now and she's very affectionate with us. I think that babies are smarter than we give them credit for. She doesn't go in for wet kisses with people she's just met - she saves those for us or her grandparents.

It's usually a hug and kiss on the cheek with my parents. We're big huggers in my family - I'm always hugging my mom and my dad. Lucia loves to hug too - my husband and I hug every night when he gets home from work and when I go to her room in the morning to get her, Lucia stretches her arms up and the girl wants a hug.

Part of it may be cultural or just what you're raised with but I think everyone should hug and kiss more. Of course I'm raising Lucia to keep her hands to herself (especially since I get so nuts when random people feel like it's ok to touch my baby) but with people in your family and close friends - to me it is perfectly normal as long as the other person isn't uncomfortable.

Annie said...

I loved that you said, 'I basically make out with him...'

I kiss my husband, daughter, son, mother, and father on the lips...My brother is the one in our family that prefers cheek kisses.

Keep on keepin' on the lip kissing. :)

Sharon said...

I kiss some of my grandchildren on the lips (their choice). Actually it was they who initiated this way of expressing love to me. My own 2 daughters started kissing me (mostly goodbye) on the lips not long after they became mothers. It took me by surprise at first (we were always "cheek kissers"), but I soon realized this was their way of expressing supreme love for me at that given moment and each moment it happens! No we are not a family of "lip kissers" to one another, but when it happens you know it is expressing something wonderful and felt from deep within. Thank goodness there are no protocols when it comes to this question! It is a good one and I have enjoyed all the responses!

She's crafty, and she's just my type. said...

I come from a family of non-kissers. Not even cheeks. So when I met my (now husband's) family, they all kissed my cheek and I was mortified! Confused! A little weireded out! But now, 8 years later, I love it. Our little family + baby are big kissers. I do kiss my baby on the lips occasionally, but I don't think she likes it ;) I force the love anyway!!

J said...

I've always kissed both my parents, and even some of my siblings, on the mouth. Sometimes we give each other pecks on the cheek or forehead instead, but no one is uncomfortable with the idea of regular old kisses. After all, it's just an affectionate peck, not a romantic smooch or anything! I don't know if it's necessarily a cultural thing - my mom is the one who really started up that habit and she was born and raised in Korea, which is quite conservative. I was so surprised that people are so uncomfortable with it in America as I've done this my whole life and will do it with my own children someday. :]

jenny said...

In my own personal opinion, I think kissing babies on the mouth is ok, however the slobber does bother me. Haha! But when they get to be ready-for-school age I would think that would be an appropriate time to stop.

But it might be different when it comes time for me to have kids of my own!

I love hearing your thoughts, though. Opens my eyes!

Lemons Lover said...

My dad's entire side of the family still give kisses on the mouth. I never really thought about it until at my wedding I noticed my dad, uncles and aunts always lean in for the mouth kiss. I guess it was always just natural,but now that I'm older (26) it feels a little weird. Then again if they aren't self conscious about it why should I be?

Brittany said...

Well I don't have my own baby, so that's a pretty big grain of salt, but I have to say no, not for me! My parents were not lip kissers with us, and I do not plan to be lip kissers with my babies. Honestly I know people who got cold sores as children from their parents (including my human sex professor in college), and (it's possibly not true) I read somewhere (that I think was legitimate, but maybe not) that the majority of early-childhood cavities are caused by sharing drinks and food with their parents. The bacteria from the adult mouth gets into the sweet little innocent one and boom! cavities. So not only do I not plan to kiss them on the lips, I don't plan to share drinks or food either. But it goes both ways. Kids are always sick so I'm not looking to get their drool directly into my mouth if I can help it. Maybe I'm the weird one!

Anonymous said...

I have a 5 1/2 months old that I ALWAYS get drooly kissed from. I love it! I never have given it much thought, it just seems natural to do so.

Anon_NC said...

My Mother-In-Law passed on the herpes virus to her son, my husband, when he was a little boy via all the kisses on the mouth. It wasn't until LAST YEAR when my husband had an outbreak and she lamented that she'd passed it to him b/c it was "genetic" and her own daughter had to explain to her mother that she'd inflicted her son with Herpes b/c of her kissing him when she had an outbreak. She still refuses to believe it.

I understand the love between a mother and a child, and I think kissing on the lips is fine and natural (although my family are cheek kissers) - but I dread the day when my MIL kisses my babies on the lips...

Shannon said...

I smooch my baby on the mouth, my sisters and I peck on the lips, and of course my husband gets it all. But aside from that there is a lot of cheek kissing in my life. But I probably offer my cheek to more people than most.

Sally said...

I kiss everyone (ok, well not EVERYONE!) on the mouth; my boyfriend, my mother, my brother (who is 10 years older than me), my nephews (age 5, 3, 0), my sister-in-law (who is 10... I've known her since she was only 8 month old)... I wouldn't miss it for the world! To mere there is NOTHING sexual in these kisses (Ok, well maybe my boyfriend from time to time ha ha) - it's just LOVE! :o*
aaand my boyfriend does the same; he kisses his brothers (age 18+19) and his sister, our nephews (my brothers children) on the mouth - i can't see the harm - it's natural to us!

Anonymous said...

Where i come from, is considered innapropriate,unless you are kissing someone that you are romantically involved with and i agree. Also i have seen adults that are smokers, kissing their babies on the mouth and what people don't realize is that adults carry in their mouths bacteria that can harm a baby's sensitive immune system.

Tori said...

I'm now 20 years old and I nearly always kiss my mother on the lips when I see her after a long absence or before I leave for a long while.

My dad, not so much, especially now that I'm older. But we've always all been very affectionate with lots of hugging and cheek kisses.

I kiss my grandparents on the lips too, ha this seems strange to say now that I think about it. But when I see them I'm just so overjoyed it feels like a natural greeting. I guess that, how you feel, is the barometer.

Katherine said...

No time reader, first posting bc I have a story you that might make you laugh/smile/cover your eyes. I am a mouth kisser to everyone, my husband, 12 year old son, friends, whoever lets me in there, and because my family were all mouth kissers, it has always been very natural. The first time I met my mother-in-law, a quiet, deep Southern woman who had raised 2 brooding sons and only had brothers, upon leaving I kissed her on the mouth. You would have thought I punched her in it. She did not touch me again for 2 years, not even to hug, and in the 12 years since, I get the slap on the back hug occasionally.
It's just not for everyone!

goose and bear said...

What an interesting discussion! We're total mouth kissers in my family and it feels completely normal. But I definitely have to tell my kiddos those kisses are for family only, and we kiss friends on the cheek - especially after some interesting encounters at play-dates :)

acp said...

i have never kissed my parents on the mouth but i kiss MY kids on the mouth all the time!

Eliza Jane said...

Hi Joanna! Just wanted to give you the proper source for the picture of Anais. She's one of my best friends, and her mother is one of my mother's best friends, so I was super excited to see this picture pop up on your blog! I know you originally got it from Glamour, but Anais actually has a blog, where I know the picture has popped up before, at some point. Her blog address is http://through-greeneyes.blogspot.com/, if you just want to source it thoroughly. :)

Anonymous said...

Hi! I have been reading your blog for quite some time now, but never commented until now.

I am from Norway, and here it is not usual to kiss any family members on the mouth. Not being used to it, I think it is a very strange thing to do.

Really like your blog!

cassy said...

I LOVE this post because this is just like me. My parents and I have always kissed on the lips. And I love kissing my babies on the lips. It IS instinctual for me as well.

I recently was talking to my friend about kissing my mom on the lips still and how my husband thought it was weird, I assumed she would agree with me that it was not weird, that it was normal... but she did not.
I felt like even more of a weirdo. So THANK YOU because now I know I'm not alone :)

I love how you say you practically make out with your baby because mine is 11 months and she is just learning the kissing and they are always with her mouth open. But I love it! It will be sad when we get to a day when our kids no longer want to kiss us on the lips..

Anonymous said...

As an 18 year old who only a few years ago was kissing her parents on the mouth, I didn't see anything wrong with it. As I got older however, it became uncomfortable for me and kissing on the lips becomes a whole new meaning. I think as long as everyones comfortable, it's fine. However, when asking my friends about this, most of them had been kissed on the cheek and thought it very odd that I use to kiss my parents on the mouth.

Baftani said...

I grew up in family were kissing was not common at all. neither one of my parents kissed us. they loved us very much but there was no kissing ever. So growing up I found it strange when friends kissed their parents on the lips. But now I have a 10 month old and I can not stop kissing her on the lips. it is the best and most natural feeling ever.

Love your Blog by the way

Jenni said...

My parents kissed me and my sister on the mouth until we were about 12 -- then we switched to kissing each other on the cheek. I remember my dad making fun of my mom for initiating cheek kisses, but it stuck.

Nancy said...

I used to kiss both my parents on the lips but, now, as an adult, it feels awkward and unnatural, so I don't do it anymore. But my baby girls are delicious, so I devour them!

Samantha said...

My family was always very affectionate, but we never kissed on the lips...always just hugs, "I love yous," and cheek kisses. Because of this, it always looks a little weird to me when I see parents kiss their children on their lips, even though it is sweet at the same time. I am not a mom, but when I do have children I can't imagine kissing them on the lips. I'll just stick with tons and tons of hugs. :)

Nicole said...

Same here. My niece is a sweet-as-pie toddler who loves to give hugs and kisses. When she kisses me, she goes for the lips and it seems natural. I think it's once we get older that all those negative connotations of kissing and their intentions come in to play.

anna said...

That's so funny, I was just thinking about this the other day. I have two boys and we always kiss on the mouth--in fact they insist on it. I suppose at a certain age it will stop, but for now I am just going to enjoy it!

Marianne Eee said...

In my family we don't kiss at all, we hug. Here in Norway it's quite rare to kiss a child on the lips, at least in public, as I have never seen it! I was sure that I would not kiss my baby on the mouth, but I was wrong. I found his teeny-tiny wrinkly mouth absolutely irresistible, and I kiss him all the time (but also on his cheeks, nose, forehead, you name it).

I had to laugh when I read a comment saying that a slobbery baby mouth was gross. I thought so too until I had my own baby. It's funny, but nothing about him grosses me out - his saliva seems clean like water to me. And I used to hate seeing children with food all over their faces - but I think my son is absolutely adorable. Clever mother nature ;)

Sist and Sist said...

never were any mouth kisses in my family but i think it's ok for each person to decide on their own.

Jessie said...

the only people i kiss on the mouth are my husband and daughter. love slobbery baby kisses too! anyone else gets the cheek and that's it!

My name is Caroline said...

I'm so with you! I have to kiss little Julip on the mouth! It is the sweetest and I cannot wait for her to kiss back! But, my husband Dustin kisses all over her face except the lips. Maybe it's a man thing!

*** KITSCH *** said...

I love when my little boy kiss me on my lips!
I kiss him too on his little kiss...

Emokitty said...

My mom friends and I call it "mommy make out" and kiss the little buggers. They're the most kissable creatures on earth. Do it while you can.

layersandlayers said...

I LOVE this post! My family kisses each other on the lips -- everyone! Three sisters (25, 23, 21), parents, grandparents, aunts, cousins (female cousins only).

In my opinion, lip kisses are special and they help to cultivate love and affection among loved ones. But if it doesn't feel natural... it shouldn't be forced (this is my husband's voice jumping in on the conversation).

I recently found a photo of my mom on her wedding day, kissing her dad square on the lips. Seeing a photo makes a father-daughter lip-lock a little bit funny... but I just can't help but love it!

Lip kisses for life!

Dani said...

I was just reading an a thing in People magazine about Amy Pohler kissing her son. Ohhh i love kissing my little boys slobbery mouth. It's only for me to do and that is why us mother should enjoy it! They grow up so fast so why not smooch them while we can. My son Freddy is 9 months now and all i want is to kiss his mouth and smooch his cheeks.Great post Jo!

WoWo said...

I lol so hard when you said you practically make out with your baby because I'm the same exact way! My hubby kisses our son on the lips too. In fact, my son really adores one of his "teachers" and tried to kiss her and she offered up her cheek. He was really confused and tried to maneuver around to her face! I had to tell her he's not familiar with the "cheek kiss" yet!

Dani said...

sorry or all the spelling errors...oops

Lindsey said...

My family is big on hugs. We almost never kiss. And when we do, its an exaggerated, silly forehead smooch. My boyfriend's family kisses often though, sometimes on the lips, sometimes not. So when they first kissed me hi and bye, along with the hug I was used to, I felt incredibly awkward, and still do 5 years later... haha. Sometimes when I have a loud burp, my boyfriend will say "Kiss your mother with that mouth?!" to which I always respond, "I don't kiss my mom!!" I wonder what we'll do with our own kids, when we have them...

Tracey said...

As long as there's no purposeful tonging going on i say mouth is the best! When a 4 year old tries to tongue you for fun it's not pleasant...but it makes them laugh!

kristin said...

awesome post! my daughter hadley is five + she thinks it is hilarious to stick her tongue in my mouth when we kiss :P i'm trying to curb that habit. otherwise, i kiss her on the mouth/cheek/nose/head as often as i can!

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