Wednesday, February 18, 2009

The Dangers of Lip Synch - Or Please Listen to Your Grandmother

Lip Synch? That's about singing, isn't it? Well....yes. But this post is not about's about kissing. And more to the point it's about teaching your children to NOT kiss! At least to Not kiss on the Lips.

When I was small we visited my grandparents maybe 4 or 5 times a year and the "goodbye" at the end of each visit meant an obligatory kiss on the cheek. Since Grandpa was old and whiskery and gruff and had a full bushy white mustache, this was an intimidating prospect. Grandma wasn't much less intimidating...she was such a quiet person and busy with household tasks and did not laugh and sing with us. She was an old woman, stooped and bent, not the happily interactive Gramma of today. But at the end of each visit we dutifully allowed them to give us a quick kiss on the cheek which we surreptiously wiped away with our shirt sleeve.

We were never asked to kiss an adult on the lips. However, we did have one relative who insisted on a goodbye lip kiss. I hated that. Lip kisses are never dry. For a small child that is a bit Uuuuugh! And I am convinced that the cold sores (fever blisters) that I suffered with for years were a result of those kisses.

What is my point, you ask? I am dismayed that today's young parents actively teach their infants and toddlers to give a quick buss on the lips. It's cute! Little Baby learns quickly and Mommy and Baby laugh together as Baby kisses on request. Believe me, you can get just as much fun out of teaching Baby to kiss you on the cheek! Do It! Forgo the Lip Kiss!

Here's my take on it. First...kissing on the lips should be relegated to the appropriate time of life. (I hope you are conservative in teaching your children about what is "appropriate".) Kissing on the lips is a sexualizing do you teach your infant or toddler it is appropriate to kiss this person and not that person? (We have a friend whose 5-year-old has been reprimanded by the school for kissing his classmates! And now Dad and Mom have to tell him that kissing is not appropriate on the school grounds!)

Secondly, kissing on the lips does run a minor risk of transmitting STDs such as herpes...not to mention transmitting colds and viruses. You can click here or here to read more about that...the risk is minimal, but it is still a risk. Are you willing to consider that risk to be so minimal as to not worry about it?

Thirdly, how do you know that the third cousin on your mother's side who happens to be visiting your home for the week is not a potential/active offender? A high percentage of child molestation is perpetrated by someone in the household, whether friend or family. Do not offer up your child as a willing/unwilling participant in a kissing game!

As Mom and Dad, you are the protector of your children. Be Wise!

This is your Grandmother speaking!


Cat Rocketship said...

How in the WORLD did this come into your mind?

But yes, I've always been a little grossed out by families who are so friendly in their smooches. It's weird. It's creepy.

I'm glad our family practices nice, distant cheek kisses.

Forrest said...

Very good counsel. I (we) agree.

However, my boys and I use to mow our next door neighbors yard. She was a dear 70 year old (Christian) woman who thanked me by planting a tight lipped kiss right on my kisser! I was about 38 at the time. I didn't have the heart to tell her I didn't really like it. She loves me like a Grandson.

P.S. If we ever meet in person "Grandma" Whitestone, PLEASE don't plant one on my kisser! A friendly handshake will suffice.

WhiteStone said...

Forrest, a friendly handshake sounds super. LOL. A healthy sense of appropriate 'distance' is a good thing.

WhiteStone said...

Well, I meant that comment to be thusly....Forrest, a friendly handshake sounds super. And, Cat, a healthy sense of appropriate 'distance' is a good thing.

yiddle said...

hugs are good. kisses can be...creepy. and of course just as i type this, kitty just planted one on me and now i have cat fur stuck to my freshly lip-balmed lips. blech.

Laurie M. said...

Wow, I never thought of it that way. I was raised in a very aloof family. So when I raised my kids, we kissed on the lips. (They never kissed others like that, just mom, and maybe their Italian grandma and aunt.) When they got older, around puberty, that stopped on its own, without thought or discussion. I wouldn't dream of kissing either of them on the lips now. I have some dear friends in the Lord who kiss on the lips. I don't mind it at all. It feels like kinship - so accepting.

(Oh, and anyone with a cold sore shouldn't be kissing anyone, particularly babies). An infant under the age of one month can die from a first time exposure to the herpes virus.

cinnamongirl93 said...

Hmmmm, interesting. I never thought of it before. I remember a couple of uncles that always wanted a kiss. I never felt comfortable about it.
We are a hugging family.