Once and for All: There's Nothing Wrong With Kissing Your Kid on the Lips

A slew of celebrity moms have been shamed for sweet pics of them kissing their kids. How did a little innocent expression of love get twisted into something else?

mom and kid kissing
Photo: haveseen/Shutterstock

Celebrity moms get flack for just about everything they do—whether they breastfeed or don't, whether they vaccinate or don't, whether they post a lot of pictures of them or don't. But the one I still can't wrap my head around is shaming moms for kissing their kids on the lips. Victoria Beckham, Hilary Duff, and Olivia Wilde have all faced criticism for posting pics of chaste kisses on the lips with their kids.

But I say that's completely bunk. The very first thing I did when I held my new daughters in my arms was shower them with kisses on their head and cheeks—and yes, on their lips. I've kissed my parents and my grandparents on the lips my entire life—and I still kiss my tween and teen good night. (My tween recently asked me to stop giving her a kiss on the blacktop to help preserve her cool factor, which I can definitely respect.)

I was never "confused" about what those kisses meant—and neither were they. They were always just a simple sign of love and affection, and nothing more. It's like when people try to sexualize breastfeeding—even though breasts are really meant for doing exactly that. And apparently, experts agree that a kiss on the lips is A-OK. Parenting expert and family therapist Alyson Schafer, author of Honey, I Wrecked The Kids responded with a simple, "Dear god! Kiss away!" when asked if we'd be messing up our kids by giving them a kiss on the lips.

And as for the concern about germs? Science says that you're no more likely to spread germs kissing than you are shaking hands, or touching somewhere where your child sneezed. And man, they seem to sneeze everywhere. I do refrain from smooching if someone has the sniffles to help minimize the chance of spreading, but honestly, you're just as likely to catch a wicked cold from sharing close quarters with someone who's sick—or, you know, tending to a sick kid.

I'd be sad to live in a family where they don't kiss their kids. A quick peck on the lips to show a little love and affection to your kids? That's the way my family rolls.

Was this page helpful?
Related Articles