The Real Housewives of Atlanta mom recently captioned a cute pic of her (already reading!) 3-year-old son, Ace Wells Tucker: "Some people don’t think you should kiss your kids on the lips but I made those lips! This is my baby boy I’ll shower him with kisses!"
And she's right. The topic of parents kissing kids on the mouth is one that often draws criticism. Remember the backlash when David Beckham shared a pic on Instagram where he was kissing his daughter on the lips?
Or, even more recently, 25-year-old Colombian singer Maluma shared a Mother's Day snap of him kissing his mom — and many of his 42 million Instagram followers had questions. (His rep later told US Weekly that it was a "cultural thing," and that "the photo was truly a [sign] of genuine affection,” adding, "In the Latin culture, as in many other cultures, kissing your parent on the lips is normal.”)
So, are the questions just coming from cultural differences, parent-shamers, and people simply not minding their own business? And, if you see nothing wrong with it but are confronted by critics for a kiss, what should you do?
Many relationship experts simply advise ignoring the trolls.
Relationship expert Andrea Syrtash told Personal Space kissing your child on the lips is more than fine.
“There are plenty of non-sexual ways people show affection for each other,” she explained. “In some cultures, friends greet with kisses and hold hands. Any time you connect with your child through non-sexual touch and affection it releases oxytocin which makes you feel more bonded.”
“Lots of people mistake that show of parental affection for sexual behavior — which it isn’t intended to be," relationship expert April Masini added. "Kissing children on the lips is often misconstrued.”
OK, no snap judgments, got it. But is there any danger in giving your kids a smooch on the mouth?
No more risk than kissing anyone else.
According to the American Sexual Health Association, "Approximately 50 percent of the adult population in the United States has oral herpes, typically caused by herpes simplex virus type 1 (HSV-1). Most people contract oral herpes when they are children by receiving a kiss from a friend or relative."
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