When I check the statistics on my blog I find that a number of visitors have googled something akin to "is it safe to kiss babies on the lips". So, in case you have not read this post, here it is again.
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 singing...it'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 thing...how 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!