Jul 6, 2017

International celebrities the past few months have drawn flak over posting photos of them and their children kissing on the lips and it’s about time we took a stand.

There is nothing wrong with kissing your child on the lips, people—and the fact that netizens now have a tendency to sexualize affection between parent and offspring is disturbing.

In June, former professional football player David Beckham caused quite a stir online after posting a picture of him kissing five-year-old daughter, Harper, on the lips. While some netizens criticized Beckham for the (public) display of affection (with others even tagging the gesture as incestuous), others were quick to defend him, saying that parents kissing their children is perfectly normal.

Kiss for Daddy ❤️

A post shared by David Beckham (@davidbeckham) on

The same thing happened to his wife—former Spice Girls member Victoria Beckham—last year, when she posted a picture of herself giving Harper peck on the lips.

In a recent live streaming on David’s Facebook account, he addressed the issue and told critics that he and his wife just want to make their children feel safe and loved.

Happy Birthday baby girl 🙏🏻💕 We all love you so much 💜💜💜 X @davidbeckham @brooklynbeckham kisses from mummy X

A post shared by Victoria Beckham (@victoriabeckham) on

“Having children is the most special thing in the world,” the father of four said.

Former child star Hilary Duff also earned negative comments online after posting similar photos with son, Luca, late last year. But Duff fought back immediately and told bashers to “click a quick unfollow.”

A post shared by Hilary Duff (@hilaryduff) on

While some seem to be sure that parents kissing their children on the lips is a no-no, experts say otherwise.

In an article on livescience.com, Dr. Alan Manevtiz, a clinical psychiatrist at Lenox Hill in New York, confirmed that “intimacy between parents and children has a positive effect on a child’s development.” He added that affection is integral in the formative years of a child and helps create a “happy childhood.”

But Manevitz is also quick to say that parental techniques differ, and that a parent would and should know what is appropriate in his or her family.

Sydney Child Psychology Center’s Dr. Fiona Martin, in a previous report published by Daily Mail Australia, supported Manevitz’s statements, saying that a father or mother kissing his or her child effectively communicates love between offspring and parent.

“Anything that promotes emotional connectivity is good. It’s certainly not inappropriate to kiss your child,” she added.

Maria, 47, who has four children and is based in Manila, agrees that kissing her children came naturally, especially when they were younger.

“I remember them greeting me and their dad that way until their toddler years, but I have no particular memories when it stopped,” she recalled.

What Maria does remember, though, was her husband’s growing concern that their children might eventually greet other people in the same manner. The solution was constant communication with their children and making sure that the kids understood the evolving constructs of affection as they grew older.

At the end of the day, though, it’s all about respect—respect for parenting techniques and respect for each other’s social media feeds.

And if this doesn’t ring a bell, take a cue from Hilary Duff and “click a quick unfollow.”

Read more:

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Rainy day activities for your kids that don’t involve an iPad

Parenting in the digital age, when and how

TAGS: affection child psychology david beckham family hilary duff kiss kissing parenting parenting techniques parents parents kissing child on lips parents kissing children on lips pyschology victoria beckham