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To be confused about kissing my son

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Sa88yt1ts Wed 09-Nov-16 21:50:26

My son is 11, year 7. He is massively loving- full of hugs, loads of "I love you"s and still very into kissing. He is lovely and I know I am very lucky that he still thinks I am too!

However, he is increasingly sexually aware and I am beginning to feel a little bit uncomfortable with his (sometimes slightly discomfiting) physical contact.

Tonight we were watching a TV programme together on the sofa and he kept trying to kind of drape himself over me. This was actually more annoying than worrying, as he was a bit belligerent with it and kept blocking my view! But he would have laid pretty much on top of me if I'd let him.

At bed time, I went to give him a kiss, on the mouth as normal, and received a lips open mouthful of slobber. When I recoiled and told him off, he got really upset, kept apologising and said he was yawning. I obviously said he should have turned away until he'd finished, to which he said he didn't want me to feel rejected!

I am 99% sure it WAS a mistake, but it has made me feel really uncomfortable.

He is really sensitive, pretty immature and, like I said, very loving (not just to me!)

What do I do? Stop all physical contact? If so, how do I do that without it feeling like a massive rejection? Particularly as I will carry on hugging and kissing his younger sister.

Or put it down as an error and carry on as before? I am well aware that the time I have left with him as an innocent buddy is running out and that one day I will miss his hugs and kisses. I also really don't want to force my adult understandings of physical affection on to him before it is anything even vaguely sexual for him.

What would you do?

MistresssIggi Wed 09-Nov-16 21:57:13

Why is it all or nothing? Ask him to sit beside you, arm around him, as it's more comfy than lying on you. Start kissing him on the cheek.
You have the right to personal space as much as him. Withdraw entirely from him and what are you teaching him?

MapMyMum Wed 09-Nov-16 21:58:24

I think maybe he doesnt realise the difference between a kiss between a mum and son and between gf and bf. I wouldnt have told him off for the open mouth kiss tbh, just pulled back and said thise types of kisses are for boyfriends and girlfriends or husbands and wives... i think he just needs guidance as he is starting to become aware of it all. Dont get cross, if his hands go somewhere they shouldnt just move them and say you mustnt touch/kiss mummy there etc.

DrE678 Wed 09-Nov-16 21:59:25

I was going to say much the same. You probably just need to adjust how you express physical affection. I stopped kissing my DCs on the lips when they were starting school but I don't think there's anything wrong with it. I think he's at an age now when a cheek kiss and a cuddle will be more comfortable for both of you.

MommaGee Wed 09-Nov-16 22:01:07

Agree with above. Nothing will screw him up like a total retraction of affection. I'd carry on as before - fairly sure annoying drapiness is just annoying teenagerhood. If it happens again then talk about appropriate kisses / not wanting his slobber

OlennasWimple Wed 09-Nov-16 22:04:56

DS still lies on me when he can, but he's too heavy to do it for very long. It's completely non-sexual confused The only time I say he can't is if either of us aren't dressed (eg if he tries to snuggle up in bed in the morning)

I doubt your DS was trying to snog you, but if you feel more comfortable just start kissing him on the cheek

e1y1 Wed 09-Nov-16 22:07:40

Yeah, wouldn't go down the whole withholding everything route.

But would definitely stop kissing on the lips now, it would be a kiss on the cheek.

Cuddles and so are fine, explain to him whilst you're happy to have cuddles with him, draping himself over you is not ok.

Sa88yt1ts Wed 09-Nov-16 22:12:38

I have been talking about appropriateness with him, but I'm not sure it's going in. And yes to the not needing to be a 100% cut off- I absolutely do not want that.

I guess one of my concerns is that he be inappropriate with someone else, perhaps in school (he is quite cuddly with his friends too).

He talks to me a lot- erections and sex etc. I'm glad he does this but it means that I am well aware that he is heading towards sexual awareness.

Thanks for your replies. You've made me feel better already!

SpunkyMummy Wed 09-Nov-16 22:17:19

Maybe get advice from a therapist? I'm not suggesting your son needs therapy. But maybe you could get advice on what's normal, how to deal with this etc.

Lemon12345 Wed 09-Nov-16 22:17:58

I always found it odd to see parents kissing children on the lips anyway, but I guess it's just something that my parents never really did (that I remember). I suppose it's similar to some people thinking boobs are purely sexual, I sort of think as on the lip kisses as something intimate between partners.

I would start kissing him on the forehead and cheek where possible. Maybe start to do the same with DD too if you are worried he will feel rejected. I see nothing wrong with cuddles and hugs, or even huddling next to each other on the sofa under a blanket. Now sure what you mean by him draping himself over you. Did he just want to be close? I'd encourage him to sit next to you in a comfortable way. There is nothing wrong with saying 'that's not comfortable for me because of x, if you want a cuddle why don't you sit here' and you pick a more suitable position for him and you.

Some people are just naturally more tactile. My MIL and DP are much more touchy feely than I am used to, at first I found it odd, but just because I don't feel the need to huddle up to my family on the sofa doesn't mean they can't.

And try to not react in a cross way to anything inappropriate. He sounds like a sensitive and caring lad, and like you have a very close relationship. If you are able to point out things and he will take note of it then I think it's more likely he will open up in the future about other things, again going of DP and his talks to MIL vs me and my lot.

crashdoll Wed 09-Nov-16 22:20:58

It sounds like you're suggesting your son is being inappropriate with you. I may be reading this wrong. Just because kids act grown up and are grown up, doesn't mean that they don't still want to cuddle their parents.

ClopySow Wed 09-Nov-16 22:21:11

My 14 and 15 year old sons still come and lie all over me sometimes on the couch. The withdrawal of some physical affection has absolutely come from them and i have taken my cues from them on what they feel comfortable with.

I don't think you should worry and definitely shouldn't withdraw. An immature 11 year old is still a kid. But if it's annoying, there are subtle ways of reclaiming your space.

YetAnotherHelenMumsnet (MNHQ) Wed 09-Nov-16 22:22:33

Hi all,
We do understand why this post has drawn some reports (don't think the name helps tbh) but we are inclined to give this poster the benefit of the doubt.

Bertucci Wed 09-Nov-16 22:24:05

I think kissing on the lips is weird, but maybe that's me. Dh and I kiss only each other on the lips and everyone else is cheeks - always has been.

My dcs are 14 and 18 and still drape themselves over us, especially when watching tv. They will automatically put a head on a lap or feet on a lap, or just lie up against us. Perfectly normal, and nice, in our house. They think nothing of wrapping their arms around either of us if we're just standing in the kitchen - I think it's nice.

Sa88yt1ts Wed 09-Nov-16 22:27:02

Whaaat??? I did just see my title in most aactive and thought I would raise my eyebrows at it! But come on!

I'm asking whether I should be setting tighter restrictions on cuddles and affection. How is that even vaguely dodgy.

Apart from the name thing...yeah, could have changed that! Soz.

user1475439961 Wed 09-Nov-16 22:29:28

It's lovely that he tells you he loves you & is still affectionate, however I have a 12 year old who would be mortified if I talked to him about sex and errections. I think boundaries occour naturally with regards to these issues. Its like when potty training, you go from using a potty in a park/shop/anywhere to going to the toilet in private & locking the door. When we grow up we become aware of others and ways to behave that appropriate.
Gently tell him it's ok to have a hug at home, but it sounds like you need to teach him & be clear on appropriate & acceptable behaviour in public.

Sa88yt1ts Wed 09-Nov-16 22:32:28

He talks to me user. I am just the parent he asks questions of- I refer him to his dad when it's something I can't answer but otherwise think he should feel comfortable asking me things if he wants to.

Sa88yt1ts Wed 09-Nov-16 22:35:29

Didn't finish that message. Sorry.

I like that we have a relationship where he can ask me about things he is interested in. I am much more comfortable discussing the difficult stuff than his dad, so I'm glad he feels he can ask.

MapMyMum Wed 09-Nov-16 22:41:12

Just keep reminding him of the boundaries and he'll get there flowers

WeAllHaveWings Wed 09-Nov-16 22:45:36

5ft 4in ds(12) still climbs all over me and we hug and kiss freely, but it's never been on lips. He does get told off for climbing on me but that's because he's all boney elbows and knees and it hurts.

His kisses and cuddles have never felt inappropriate in any way, and I hope they continue for years to come! He used to be cuddly with his friends but they have naturally stopped, replaced with wrestling, as he got older, again I never considered anything would be inappropriate.

Ds(12) knows all about puberty and is becoming sexually aware. But none of that would relate directly to me his mum, we can still kiss and cuddle and be affectionate without it being sexual. It's an important part of him feeling loved and secure.

Why do you think your ds could be inappropriate with you, or are you overthinking this? Ds(12) will talk to me about anything he wants to know, but doesn't talk about sex a lot, discussing it too much/too can often make it into too big a deal that it could become a problem, imagined or real.

FATEdestiny Wed 09-Nov-16 22:46:15

Nothing in the op strikes as sexual. I have a son the same age.

The lolling all over you is just annoying attention seeking and I'd tell my son in no uncertain terms to get off me because it wasn't comfortable. Then get him to sit next to me instead, maybe a little neck tickle for attention.

If the mouth open kids thing happened I'd assume mistake. I'd say "urghhhh that's horrible. Kids nicely or not at all" and that would be that.

Confutatis Wed 09-Nov-16 22:52:44

Boys have moments of doing wonderfully stupid things. Lips open mouthful of slobber sounds like one of those! Please don't worry - all your instincts are ok and the advice above is spot on. Don't lose that lovely affection you both have; once gone, it kind of evaporates forever.

StarBears Wed 09-Nov-16 22:59:02

I would probably start kissing him on the cheek, and if he tries to drape himself on you in a way that makes you feel slightly discomfited in some way, just say something like "Gosh, you're getting so tall and heavy! Come on, sit next to me instead" or whatever so you're not rejecting the contact but you are making it more less bodily intimate but still close.

I do think as they get older it's up to us to very subtly guide with things like body contact etc. Also to teach them (again, subtly) about signals and respecting someone's boundaries. Even though you are their mother, it doesn't mean you have to let your 11yo lie all over you or you are being "cold" or "pushing him away" or "not showing affection". After puberty, generally speaking, full body lie-downs are not usually between mother/son or father/daughter relations, so as your DS is on the cusp of puberty, it's not a bad thing to just edge towards what's appropriate, and comfortable to you, while still remaining close.

Sa88yt1ts Wed 09-Nov-16 23:02:09

Oh I am definitely overthinking it! He just loves me and sometimes goes overboard with his expressions of love. He is the same with gp and dh, but less invasive of their personal space. I was not suggesting there was anything sexual in it, beyond the fact that I feel a certain discomfort now he is older.

Thanks to all of you- your advice has made me feel a lot more relaxed about it all. i just want to find ground where he feels loved and safe but I don't feel swamped or uncomfortable.

PuppetInParadize Wed 09-Nov-16 23:14:45

I have a very affectionate 18 yo, OP. Last time the 21 yo was home from uni, he lay on the couch with his head on my lap. So 2 very affectionate sons. grin A few months ago i had the eldest (26 YO) leaning in for a shoulder to out his head on. I've never kissed anyone except lovers on the mouth, never the children when they were small. It's how my mother was too. Some families do lippy kisses though - it seems DH was brought up that way. He doesn't do it now though.hmm Nothing of what you've said in your OP is odd. It's quite normal for DC, just as it's quite normal for children not to show their mother affection. I have one of them too - ds2 hates hugs and kisses. I respect that just as much as the ones who like a 'mummy cuddle'. smile

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