Mumsnet has not checked the qualifications of anyone posting here. If you need help urgently, please see our domestic violence webguide and/or relationships webguide, which can point you to expert advice and support.

Relative, cold sores and kissing dds

(32 Posts)
QueenMolotov Tue 12-Jan-16 17:13:58

I posted before Christmas on this subject (in Chat and Children's Health). I feel that it is perhaps a relationships issue now, as I need help with dealing with a family member.

Basically, I have a close family member who gets cold sores. She insists on kissing my dds on the lips (which I have never liked). She has never kissed them with an active sore (obviously) but before Christmas, she kissed them on the lips and a couple of hours later, a cold sore started to develop (redness, etc). She said it was probably nothing as she couldn't feel tingling, however, I texted her the next morning as I'd been very worried and she said it had developed overnight.

Anyway, the girls didn't show any symptoms of primary herpes simplex (feeling unwell and mouth ulcers), thank goodness, so I'm confident they dodged it this time.

We saw her once over the holidays where I asked her to only kiss them on the cheek from now on. She can't feel them coming on, so that's the only solution I can see working. I have avoided her until today (I have felt very upset). We saw her today and she tried to kiss 3yo dd2 on the lips! Dd2 being so young must have forgotten me saying not to kiss her on the lips anymore so I shouted out "Cheek! Cheek!"

And now I'm annoyed again and don't want to see her, although am relieved I stopped it happening (no sore present but that's not the point here).

I feel pissed off in that she doesn't seem to take on board the fact I don't want her kiss my dds on the lips. She seems oblivious. I feel I have to keep watching her, which makes me look neurotic. But I think I'm in the right about this.

Please, does anyone have any advice/tactics for how I can make her stop?

Hissy Tue 12-Jan-16 17:16:56

Stop her kissing your kids!

Tell her NO! It's not mandatory and you're not comfortable.

I'd go fucking batshit actually, why give a kid an incurable fucking virus?

Tell the dc no more kisses and they are fine to say no.

Tell the relative no more kisses and that's final.

Hissy Tue 12-Jan-16 17:20:45

Ask yourself... If you were this woman and a parent asked you not to kiss their kids on the fucking lips, would you be "oblivious" to this?

Would it slip your mind?

No. And it isn't here with her, she's ignoring you and just doing what she wants to and your kids are the ones who are going to catch this shit from her.

Be clear, go nuclear if need be.

honeysucklejasmine Tue 12-Jan-16 17:22:27

Agree with pp. It's not on. Do your best to stop her.

Whatdoidohelp Tue 12-Jan-16 17:33:22

Just ban kissing full stop. There is no need. The fact that she has "forgotten" says it all. Absolutely no respect for you or your kiddies health

TheGoodEnoughWife Tue 12-Jan-16 18:26:17

Yep, just say No.

Bizarre that she would want to! I get cold sores and am careful when I have one but then I don't kiss anybody's children on the lips - not even my own children!

Cold sores are horrible :-(

SpuriouserAndSpuriouser Tue 12-Jan-16 18:35:19

Can you talk to the relative again about your concerns? Really try to make her understand?

Don't feel that you are being too neurotic, the relative is in the wrong. What reasonable person carries on kissing a child on the lips, after the child's parents has asked them not to? Throw cold sores into the equation and it's even more unreasonable.

Twinklefuck Tue 12-Jan-16 19:03:45

If it were me, I'd hammer it home and make her see it's a no go area for her, she isn't respecting your babies so she gets blown kisses, if you see her attempt it again you'll be limiting contact.

It's infectious at its earliest stage and isn't just lips, I know a lovely woman who caught one in her eye when she was 2 1/2. The ramifications of that throughout her life have been huge. Also, there's a huge percentage of the population carry the virus but don't get the sores so you really do have to be careful!

I don't understand how anyone can take a chance around children, makes me so angry for you!!

QueenMolotov Tue 12-Jan-16 19:43:35

Thanks everyone for being so understanding and offering reassurances.

I feel my relative is being selfish, tbh. I feel she takes liberties by disregarding my feelings and requests for my dds. But I shall just stand firm and watch her, and insist upon this new rule. It's just a shame I feel it has to come to this; that I can't take my eyes off her. Luckily, my eldest dd is nearly 7yo and does listen to me (about this, anyway!) and protects her little sister.

goodnightdarthvader1 Tue 12-Jan-16 19:46:07

I don't actually get people other than parents wanting to kiss (their) children on the lips. Seems unnecessary intimate to me.

I'd ban the kissing completely. Hugs only.

Soooosie Tue 12-Jan-16 19:47:53

Tell her every time you walk in the door before she greet the kids 'remember kiss the cheeks, not the lips so DD doesn't get your virus'. Be like a broken record. If she ignores you, stop taking the girls

Yseulte Tue 12-Jan-16 19:51:08

Imagine how high eyebrows would be raised if a male relative insisted on kissing your dds on the lips.

The wrongness isn't just the Herpes virus, it's weird full stop.

Don't be afraid to take her on one side and read her the riot act if necessary.

ProfGrammaticus Tue 12-Jan-16 19:58:00

You are in the right and you need to be firm. Every time you meet her, remind her not to do it before she gets the chance. I don't see why you should pussy foot about her feelings, it's your kids' health at risk here.

Inertia Tue 12-Jan-16 20:05:31

I think you need to hammer the message every time.

You also need to prepare your children to cover their own mouths when Great Aunt Mabel (or whoever!) approaches them. If the adult is going to be totally pig ignorant about protecting your children's health, then you need to help them protect themselves.

QueenMolotov Tue 12-Jan-16 20:15:53

Yes, that's what I shall do: remind my relative (my auntie) as soon as we arrive or she arrives, only to kiss on the cheek. If I sound like a broken record - so be it. Dds obviously feel pressure from her to kiss on the lips in the moment as it were, so I need to make them feel well within their rights to refuse (and that they should refuse as DAunt gets cold sores but doesn't feel them breaking out any more).

Sometimes, my auntie collects them from school if I'm working, but that will have to stop for the time being. I do t trust her with this atm. I've mentioned it to DH and he is supportive so can probably fill in for now. There is a double-standard going on, not so much in terms of a gender issue as Yseulte suggested, rather, if it were my MIL who suffered cold sores and kissed dds as one was about to break out and now this, my DAunt would be raging.

SkiptonLass2 Wed 13-Jan-16 09:09:41

No kisses full stop.
You know what kids are like, a cheek gets rubbed and then they run their eye... Just no.

Why can't she just hug them? I'd never kiss someone else's kids, and especially not on the mouth.

Can you show her some pics of what Hsv can do if it gets in the eye? Google it.

aurynne Wed 13-Jan-16 09:10:48

To be completely honest, I would not be happy with her kissing your kids ANYWHERE considering how often she gets cold sores and how oblivious she is about them. I suffer from cold sores very occasionally, but I absolutely hate them, and I am the most obsessively careful person about them... I don't even let my DH come close to my lips in those times, let alone anyone else. I would fell unbearably guilty if I ever passed them onto anyone, especially a child. It would be mortifying every time the child got an episode.

How on earth can your auntie be so blasé about this??

SkiptonLass2 Wed 13-Jan-16 09:10:57

It's also a very good thing to teach kids that their bodily boundaries need to be respected and no one gets to touch them I a way they don't like. There are lots of resources online about this.

QueenMolotov Wed 13-Jan-16 09:38:52

aurynne, I think she is blasé because she doesn't understand actually how cold sores are passed on. She thinks that sores are only contagious once there is a weeping blister, or if you kiss on the side of the mouth that the sore is on confused I am made to feel like a neurotic, over-concerned parent if I mention the virus is active in saliva, that it can be passed on from the fingertips if they've been in contact with the sore. She will bite her nails for example, lick her fingers after eating and I have to constantly remind her to wash her hands when she has a sore. My DM (they're sisters) stopped her from kissing dd2 (then 2yo) when DAunt had an active cold sore last year. I heard my DM say 'Don't do that! You'll pass it on!' My ears pricked up then and I later learned what it was about.

There are other problems. As DAunt is getting older (she's in her early 60s) she is becoming more stubborn, cantankerous and grumpy. She doesn't really want to go out. She is retired and as my hours at work are patchy, we see her more than we did, say, 18m ago. These problems, combined with the cold sore issue, are making it almost unbearable for me to see her. We don't have fun and now I can't relax in her company. I find I'm making excuses not to see her.

I asked my DM yesterday if she could have a word with my DAunt as my DM also gets cold sores but never kisses dds on the lips. DAunt would probably listen to DM. However, DM refused.

Rachel0Greep Wed 13-Jan-16 10:21:14

No, no, no. There is no way she should be ignoring you on this, and I would be making that very clear, and not feeling bad about it.
I've lots of nieces and nephews, and wouldn't ever dream of kissing them on the lips.
I get cold sores from time to time, but even if I didn't, I still wouldn't be doing that.
Hugs, by all means, kisses, no way, from a cold sore sufferer.

CheersMedea Wed 13-Jan-16 11:27:27

Quite apart from the cold sore issue it is inappropriate to kiss children on the lips unless you are their parents in my view.

Cold sore virus is for life - why the fuck would she do that to a child?!?!
That would make me really REALLY angry. I wouldn't let her kiss them at all to be honest. Why does she need to?

I'd get more aggressive with her and say no kisses and unless she agrees then you and your children are going to be very busy until the day she dies.

Friendlystories Wed 13-Jan-16 11:51:12

If when you speak to her again to reiterate that she mustn't kiss your DC you're still getting the impression she doesn't fully understand the implications I would print some info out for her to read. In fact if she's lax about hand washing etc as you've said I would do it anyway. If she still doesn't take proper care with it once she realises the risks I'm really not sure I could let her be around my DC at all in your shoes. That might sound extreme but she would be knowingly exposing your DC to risk and that just wouldn't sit right with me.

SoThatHappened Wed 13-Jan-16 12:23:58

my mother had really bad cold sores all my life. She kissed me, I shared cutlery with her, drank out of a cup she's drunk out of, etc ...as you do with your DCs. She wasnt the greatest with hand hygeine, or precautions when having a cold sore etc.

I have never once had a cold sore.

I wouldnt let her kiss them on the lips but maybe it isnt that hard to catch given I never had one. I dont know though.

MantaRayBay Wed 13-Jan-16 12:29:40

Aren't some people asymptomatic?

Anyway she sounds like she doesn't care. To be honest I would be tempted to go NC!

SoThatHappened Wed 13-Jan-16 12:32:15

Ive been in long term relationships and if asymptomatic, none of my partners have ever developed cold sores either?

But to do it deliberately is really bad.

Join the discussion

Join the discussion

Registering is free, easy, and means you can join in the discussion, get discounts, win prizes and lots more.

Register now