There is a very funny thread on Twitter of a father who recounts when his six-year-old daughter confesses that she likes a boy, that she loves him and that although they “still” have not kissed on the mouth, other schoolmates from her age yes they have.
It is normal that as parents we hyperventilate and choke on our food when we realize that, suddenly, our little angel who is just learning to read, thinks of kissing another child on the mouth . It is normal? How should we react if we find ourselves in that situation?
Why do children kiss on the mouth?
Although it scares us because we see it as something “for adults”, it is normal behavior among the little ones . They imitate what they see grown-ups doing on TV, in the street, or parents at home, but they don’t do it with the same intention that a kiss on the mouth has for adults.
When two children of the same age kiss each other on the mouth, they are not doing anything wrong. They do it from innocence, from curiosity and it is a natural part of their affective-sexual development . The psychologist Mamen Jiménez points out:
“Children’s kisses do not have the sexual and erotic component that they have for us adults, and that is very important for us to be clear about when assessing these behaviors.”
A token of special affection
For children, kisses on the mouth are a sign of affection for a special person .
“Think about what you and your partner do at home, what is the model that your son is having in this regard. Most likely, he has seen you kiss, so he will understand the kiss on the mouth as a sign of affection to a person who is important to us.”
Just as we kiss them (sometimes on the mouth), hug them and show them our affection, when they begin to interact with other children we are no longer their only referents of love, and special feelings begin to emerge towards their peers.
And even if at four or five years old ( even twelve ) she comes to tell you that she has a boyfriend or girlfriend, don’t be scared: it’s not a relationship as we adults interpret it.
It is also important to point out that if our son or daughter gives a kiss on the mouth and we allow it, it does not mean that we are promoting sexual precocity in the future. Since they are little they are curious about it and it is normal for some children to have stages in which they explore their sexuality by kissing other children, or even touching each other .
How to react as parents?
First of all, it is positive that our children feel that they can trust us and tell us about it. Second, we must think that if we get angry we are sending them the message that they are doing something wrong. And as we have commented before, it is not .
If we scold them or forbid them, we will only ensure that the next time they do not feel confident to tell us their intimacies, or lie to us, and over time, both things will end up affecting communication with our children.
What we can do is accompany them in this stage of their development, without judging and sending them messages of normality . It is also not necessary to encourage them, but it is necessary to maintain an understanding attitude.
“Without being invasive and without making it an event (it is better to educate on a daily basis, through games, conversations or natural situations) it is convenient to explain to them, for example, that they should not force another little friend to give them a kiss if he doesn’t want to, that he must always respect others…”
We must also observe some influences that our children can receive. There are children who, due to being more exposed to certain television programs, YouTube channels, or some children with cousins or older brothers, may show an early interest in these topics.
As parents, it is important that we control that what our children consume is in accordance with their developmental age to prevent them from “burning stages” and living their childhood with the innocence of this stage.
When should we worry?
- If the child is forced by another to give kisses on the mouth, or to do something he does not want.
- If the age difference between the children is very wide (let’s say more than five years), since the stages of development of sexuality are different.