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Pete

Cheek only! It's the Dutch way.

The Other Pete

We're ok with the lips when they're young, but as they get older, we encourage the cheeks.

Hilary

Pete, I wouldn't say it is the Dutch way - maybe the Dutch immigrant way... The Dutch (read, some of our family) laugh at our reservedness and tell stories of how, when visiting Canada years ago, their children had to wear a bathing suit (gasp) in the hot tub. They kiss their loved ones smack on the lips whether children or adults, boy or girl. My husband's family, on the other hand - kisses air a la 'dawling' high society kisses - and only as a greeting.

Our children? Lips or cheek - whatever the moment brings. I don't like to hinder their spontaneity, though I suppose at some stage we'll have to have a think about this!

nicolien

Well, I feel I have to comment, what with being Dutch and having grown up in the Netherlands and all that... We (four kids at home) used to kiss our parents on the lips well into puberty, and I still feel oddly reserved now that we have somehow 'grown up' to three kisses on the cheeks. And brothers and sister still get kissed on the lips.

However, 'strangers' (even uncles, aunts, etc.) would always be kissed on the cheeks - although I can't remember if my parents actively taught us that, or if it just happened this way! And I have no idea how representative my family is for 'the Dutch way' of doing things...

Marin

I'm now 20 and my brothers are in their teens, and my family still kisses on the lips. I guess it might skeeve other people out, but the habit's been decades in the making so it doesn't bother me. It's also not like we're doing it all that often, either. Like whenever I leave to go back to school, which is, what, four times a year?

I hope that's not weird.

Rachel

I grew up in a fairly emotionally reserved home. Not a lot of I Love You's or hugs/kisses, and it was something I wanted to be different in our family. Our kids are fairly into giving hugs and kisses, and I love it. Now that Ethan is getting a bit older, he's become a little more shy about it all, especially in public. But Arden is definitely a full-on mouth kisser (which I'm totally OK with, except when it's strangers/non family) and she gives us lots of hugs and kisses every day.

Sheri

Adam usually just kisses me on the cheek. When I kiss his cheek, he wipes them off *sniff* he's growing up. For other adults, he usually gives high fives or hugs, rarely kisses to anyone but me.

colicmommy

EW! sorry, but EWWWWW!

That's a big NO, I do not kiss my children on the lips nor do they kiss anyone else on the lips.

Hubby was born in the Netherlands and moved over to the US when he was 23. We go visit his relatives now and again, and I'm very skeeved out by the fact that I have to kiss them all on the cheeks three times, even though I don't even know them. EW EW EW. I kiss my husband on the lips, that's it. My kids on the cheeks and temples and hair and chubby little arms and elbows...but not the lips. And, if I had my way, I wouldn't kiss ANYONE ELSE EVER!

You can see that Puritan background now, can't you. :)

celeste allyn

I think we have had this conversation before.
As the "auntie" I have never encouraged kissing on the lips with the children.
I am not dutch and I did grow up in a household where this was not seen much less encouraged.
Setting a boundry is more my thing.
I love to kiss against their head or their temple but not on the lips.
I don't want to encourage this physical contact and have the children growing up thinking it is expected of them.
And that goes for hugs.

KC

I have a thing with kissing my baby on his lips. I can't resist, really. It's totally sweet.

I suspect I won't as he becomes a toddler, because that baby-ness will be gone.

My girl and I are cheek kissers and Eskimo-nose kissers.

Matthew Collinge

Lips, cheek, it just depends on the kid, and the situation, but I don't think they are kissing anyone but Mom and Dad on the lips, or anywhere else.

Lisa G

I'm okay with them kissing me and their Dad on the lips, but that's about it. Cheek kissing and hugging for others is enough.
I don't feel there's a one size fits all approach.

Tessa

We've never made a rule or even talked about it with our kids, but we happily kiss on the lips within the immediate family, and the cheeks for extended family and others. We share germs in so many other ways that I don't worry about the occasional mouth to mouth contact. And I love those peanut butter scented smoochies. :-)

Medstudentitis

When we were growing up we (my sister, brother and I) always kissed our parents on the lips and close family friends. As we grew up I think we all figured out on our own how comfortable we were with these demonstrations of affection. I still kiss my mom on the lips but not my dad or any close relatives. I just felt what I was comfortable with when I was ready... your kids probably will too.

In contrast, we never said "I love you" to each other when I was young, although we were very much loved. It just wasn't something that we said. Now I've started saying it to my Mom because it's important to me. I think we all eventually work out what we need.

Laura

There is nothing I LOVE more than a huge sloppy kiss from my kids.....lips, cheeks, nose...wherever it lands it totally ok with me!

Liana

I don't think I've ever kissed my mom or dad on the cheek or lips. I give them hugs though. My dad in particular is not very affectionate so I thought it was kind of cute the other day when they came over and I hugged my mom and my dad was standing next to her, waiting for his turn. Some things have changed since the wedding...

I'm Korean background.

diffgo

my mother's family all believe in kissing on the lips within the family, no matter the age, for even a mix of genders. and it isn't a big sloppy wet one, but rather an approach straight on, eyes open, quick peck, smiling. within our clan, it is perfectly normal and not at all weird--cousins, siblings, parents, aunts, uncles, old and young.

i have tried for years to figure out the origins of this obviously different tradition, but we're a mixed up american bunch of mutts so it has been hard to trace!

and admittedly we don't do this outside the family; you learn from a young age that outsiders aren't as affectionate. i like it and miss it, especially since my mother has 11 siblings and she relocated to an area far from her family.

they are also very warm in manner and sweetly touchy-feely in general, and though we aren't latin, i do have to restrain myself in polite company if i'm not close to the individuals. frankly, i see where a lack of physical affection affects people's mood, and it makes me sad. but our reunions sure have a lot of sugar, so we get our fill while we can ; )

in all, i suppose the little ones learn their boundaries in such moments, so lines must be drawn. gather ye kisses while ye may!

Mark

I kiss my 6 year old sons (they are twins) on the lips...it wasn't a conscious decision really, it just happened. While on of them simply pecks my mouth, the other one lingers a bit and kisses my mouth for around 4 seconds. At first I thought it was a bit inappropriate, but sooner or later he will realize it himself.

mark

I love my kids' kisses...they love wet open mouthed kisses and I always take them...they are only 1 yr old twins so I do realize though one day that they are going to stop so I always try to get as much as I can :)

Tinkerbelle

Hmmm.......

Well, here is the thing, I WAS brought up with the kiss on the lips thing. Don't get me wrong, we still kissed cheeks and all that other stuff but a kiss on the lips was an acceptable hello. This also applied to my Aunts and Uncles because we were close but never to my cousins cause we are around the same age and well, kisses for cheeks seemed more appropriate. However I recently read a book and it said something along the lines of "...yeah, but I wouldn't kiss my grandmother on the lips." and that statement got me thinking, is this how others were brought up or is it different? I mean form what I've read here it seems okay for little children and their parents but what about when those children grow up and how about other members of the family?

I am unsure what the norm really is...

chad

I don't mind kissing my kids on the lips, however I realize how some may not like it...for example, my wife is only a cheek-, forehead-, belly-kisser, etc, but I don't mind kissing on the lips. My 3 year old is very big on open mouth kissing, which I don't mind, but he is one to completely plaster his face on you and not let go till you pry him off. At home I don't mind, but in public I do try to enforce a rule that that is only for home. Sooner or later however he will stop, so I don't mind his big slobbery messes for now.

dawn

i believe it is totally inappropriate to kiss children on the lips.Kissing lips is for couples only

Lauren

Parents seem to think their children will only kiss them on the lips. What happens when their precious baby kisses their adult friends on the lips? Or their little kindergarten classmates? It certainly won't feel "normal" and "appropriate" then.

I should thank all these "loving" and "emotionally aware" parents for making it a bit harder to determine when a child is being molested or sexually abused. "Sarah, your daddy kissing you on the lips is normal.."

David

Lip-kissing doesn't seem weird to me. My brother, sister, and I all kissed our parents on the lips as kids and still do. Now that we are adults with kids of our own, when we see them its generally a quick peck morphing into a warm hug at greetings and goodbye.

Julie

I think cheek kisses are fine at any age. I'm not sure how I feel about lip-kissing children. I come from a hug and cheek kiss only family. I don't have any children myself yet, so maybe I am not able to speak to that. But I will tell you this... The sight of my 32 year old fiancé kissing his Dad on the mouth is totally disturbing to me. **shudders**

Concerned

What is the child never kissed her father on the lips and all of a sudden at the age of 6 wants to kiss him on the lips? She said it is because she sees her mother kiss her boyfriend. I want to point out that the parents are not together anymore so the mother has a new boyfriend. All of a sudden the daughter is displaying rather sexual behavior with the father. I tried to point out that his daughter is a little too old to be acting that way but he gets very defensive about it.

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About

  • I'm a Canadian doctor with four kids. I spend most days in Vancouver and nights in the quiet of Deep Cove. I value idleness and reflection, which means I work part-time and we're often out of milk.
  • Credentials: BSc, MD, CCFP
  • I do not represent my employer or institution.
  • FreshMDblog AT gmail DOT com

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