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Kissing kids & boundaries

Discussion forum for parents in Australia


Kissing kids & boundaries

STEP PARENTING / kissing / boundaries

I am a mum of a 9yo girl, I have had partners since her father in which did not have their own children.
Recent years I have been with a man who has his own children, both the same age as my daughter. boy oh boy is this a whole new learning curve !!! I don’t mean myself becoming a step parent, I love these kids so much.. but differences in parenting creates the biggest stress on relationships and has me questioning

I don’t feel that I am the most affectionate parent. I love my baby girl, I love our snuggles, I love our girly days and mother daughter dates.. we talk about everything openly.. but my boundaries are things such as my bed is my bed. I’ve never been a ‘co-sleeper’ and I’ve come to realise that I’m no longer comfortable kissing my daughter on the lips. It’s a personal thing.

My partner kisses his daughter on the lips. The girls are now beginning to go through the pre-teen / puberty (‘budding’ boobies/ being emotional / showing interest in boys and so on)

I brought up with my partner his opinion on what age you should stop kissing your kids on the lips.. it turned into a massive fight and as I’m sitting here writing this I actually had no idea on how much of a controversy this was/is.

I am aware of how personal this choice is.
I’m wanting opinions.

My personal opinion is that I would not be comfortable kissing my dad on the lips or having anyone else kissing my daughter on the lips.. I would find it weird to see my partners mum kiss him on the lips.

we stop breastfeeding at a certain time, we stop wiping our kids bums, we stop dressing them. hopefully we stop picking up after them and doing their washing at some point too !!! So is kissing your kids on the lips something that we should stop at some point too? What age, if any?

I’d also like an opinion on the psychology of this topic too..
why does it make me uncomfortable to see my partner kissing his little girl on the lips. It’s not jealousy. It’s his baby girl.. why don’t I personally like kids kissing on the lips above 8?
No one is in the wrong on either side in my opinion. I just want more knowledge on the topic.

TIA. x

Re: Kissing kids & boundaries

Hey @AusQldMum 

Thank you for posting this experience and posing this very interesting question. We see a lot of posts on the forum from parents who are in blended families and are navigating the diverse parenting styles and views with their partners - you are not alone. 

It's lovely to hear how much you love all the kids in the family and are able to talk about things openly. It's also great that you have been able to establish firm boundaries and it sounds like that is something you really value. 

Sorry to hear this conversation with your partner turned into a big fight, I think you're right that it is very much a personal choice. What I'm most interested in, is how his daughter feels about it? Affection with children is a beautiful way to show love and it can also teach physical boundaries where kids learn that their bodies belong to them and are empowered to reject physical affection when they don't want it.  It's important that children are comfortable to say they don't want to engage in physical affection and have that choice respected. I can't say if there is a specific age when this affection should cease, do you feel it makes sense that the child should be the one to decide this for themself?


Thanks again for asking this question, I'm also really keen to hear other parents thoughts on this Smiley Happy



Re: Kissing kids & boundaries


Just from a personal level, I grew up with a Maori mum who kissed me on the fact many of my relatives on her side did that. While I would sometimes find it gross, it never made me feel uncomfortable. I kissed my mum on the lips until the day she died. I think I used to with dad sometimes too, but all I remember was it was not an issue for me. I have two sons (14 and 11) both of whom I kiss on the lips. But they initiate it. And sometimes they dont want to kiss on the lips. It's completely led by them. But my mum was affectionate and so am I so this doesnt feel weird to me. Totally understandable that it might to you, plus our society has decided that kissing on the lips is a sexual or romantic act, and that any affection shown by an adult to a child can be questionable (so SAD)...even if from a parent. But so many cultures do it.
But I would agree with letting the child lead that.

Hope this helps!