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Kids kissing in playground

(10 Posts)
user1483531176 Wed 04-Jan-17 14:37:50

Hi all

This is my first post in Mumsnet, so I hope I'm posting in the right place.

I was hoping to get some opinions on something that happened in the school playground this morning.

My DS is aged 6 and is a very affectionate and tactile boy. He has many friends at school, including a little girl called Charlie who he refers to as "his girlfriend". He has told me in the past that he and Charlie hold hands, hug and kiss at school, but never really thought anything of it and assumed that it's all innocent due to their age.

Anyway today is his first day back at school since the Christmas holidays and when we got to school he was running around catching up with all his little friends, including Charlie. When he saw her, he ran up to her and gave her a cuddle, at which point Charlie's Mum came running over as said to DS, quite sternly "NO kissing. Hugs are OK, but NO kissing".

I was a little surprised by her tone (just short of shouting), so I asked her what the problem was. She informed me that DS has been kissing Charlie on the lips and she was clearly upset about it. My first thought was that she was overreacting a little, but I accept that if she is uncomfortable about it, then it should stop. So, I asked her if she'd like me to have a word with my son about it. She then informed me that she has already spoken to the teachers about her concerns and she was dealing with it.

I was a little taken aback to be honest, particularly about the fact that she'd taken it to the teachers without speaking to me first. I'm not particularly close to Charlie's Mum, but we chat sometimes in the playground and have often joked about the little romance between her daughter and my son, so I was a little surprised by her reaction to what is surely innocent, playground kissing, albeit on the lips. There is certainly no suggestion that it is anything other than that.

I will have a word with DS and explain to him that kissing should be kept within the family, and that he should only hug/hold hands with friends, but I wondered if I'm missing something? Is Charlie's Mum overreacting, or does she have a point? Also, should I seek to have a private word with her to find out if there is something more to the issues (e.g. It's actually Charlie who is uncomfortable, rather than her Mum), or should I let sleeping dogs lie?

Any advice or opinions would be gratefully received 😀

Clandestino Wed 04-Jan-17 14:39:23

Either the child has a contagious disease and in that case it shouldn't be out in the public anyway or the other Mum is a bit of a nutcase.
Children play together, hug, may even kiss. She was nuts.

user1483531176 Wed 04-Jan-17 14:52:03

Thanks Clandestino. That was my first reaction too. 😄

But part of the reason it's been bothering me is that Charlies Mum usually seems very level headed and reasonable, not your average nutcase. That's what made me wonder if there's something more to the issue. But if so, then why didn't she say so? Perhaps she thinks that DS is the one with the contagious disease? Or maybe she thinks that lip kissing is inherently sexual?

Either way, it's good to know that there's at least one other person who doesn't think that DS kissing Charlie on the lips is grounds for discipline, which is kind of how she made me feel.

Figure17a Wed 04-Jan-17 14:54:14

Children involved were a bit older but at the last school I worked at police were involved (by girl's parents) after 2 9yos were found "snogging" at school.

AFAIK, no action was taken but police visited boy and his parents to "offer advice". Some parents at school still talk about the boy as some sort of sex pest. sad

If it was making her dd uncomfortable, I think mum has done the right thing. I'd always advise talking to school rather than parent about things that happen at school.

Pigeonpost Wed 04-Jan-17 23:39:16

Blanket no kissing policy at my DS' school. DS2 (aged 5) gets all wide eyed and serious when he tells me X kissed Y and broke the rules.

user1477282676 Fri 06-Jan-17 08:09:39

It's a common rule in many schools today OP. It helps keep things clear in case of blurred boundaries.

In my opinion it's quite right too. Children don't need to kiss each other on the lips. Perhaps the little girl had told her parents she didn't like it.

user1483531176 Fri 06-Jan-17 11:16:26

Thanks for all your responses. Sorry I haven't replied before now.

Just to be clear though, there is no suggestion that the little girl was uncomfortable with DS kissing her on the lips. The romance is a mutual thing between them (not just DS crushing on her) and and the little girl has always been happy to receive DS's attentions.

However, some of the stories above have got me a little worried. I had no idea that lip kissing amoung little kids was such a minefield in school. I do not want DS to get labelled as a sex pest!

I think part of the problem is that we've never had the discussion with DS about appropriate vs inappropriate kissing. Not because we're neglectful parents, but because we thought he'd had it sussed already. DS is an affectionate boy and we are lip kissers within the family, but although DS is tactile, he's never really been much of a kisser outside the family. He will happily hug or hold hands with other kids, but he rarely kisses them. On the few ocassions that he has kissed another child (that I've witnessed), its only ever been when they are upset, and only ever on the cheek. So we just assumed that he'd made the distinction for himself that lip kissing is for family, cheek kissing is for other people.

However, I think he has made a slightly different distinction which is "lip kissing is for people you love" and "cheek kissing is for other people". Unfortunately, in his 6 year old mind his crush on Charlie IS love (he believes they are going to get marrried smile ), which is perhaps where he has decided that the appropriate way to kiss her is on the lips.

Anyway, we've now had a good discussion with him about boundaries and appropriate kissing. We've explained that lip kissing is only for family and grown ups that are married (not exactly true, but we need to keep it simple grin). We've also explained that he should never touch someone without gaining their permission first (he needs to know to respect others' personal space).

His school does not have any anti-kissing policy. I did speak to DS's teachers to explain that Charlie's Mum is against the lip kissing and ask that they keep an eye out to prevent it. They agreed that they would, but they did not seem in any way bothered that the lip kissing had occurred.

God, why is raising kids so complicated! grin

Limewithorange Fri 06-Jan-17 11:31:11

Firstly I would raise issues with the teacher and not the parent. I don't want a slanging match with anyone on the school grounds.
Secondly, I'm not sure why you're suggesting sexual overtones or reasons to why the other mother wants to stop the hugging?
Thirdly, the issues here are about boundaries, ur son may be lovely and sweet and caring OR he could be the annoying little boy who is always invading other children's space by hugging stroking and kissing other children. Other children who are not able to speak up for themselves and tell ur boy to please stop it.

Speak to you're boy and explain expected behaviours and if ur struggling to do this there will be a parent liaison teacher at school who can help you.

user1483531176 Fri 06-Jan-17 12:38:23

Well, I wasn't suggesting sexual overtones. They're 6! The 'sex pest' comment was in reference to Figure17a's story about the two 9 year olds and the resulting reputational damage that schoolyard kissing did to the boys reputation.

Also, I understand why approaching teachers is more desirable in most cases than approaching parents. However, I was a little disappointed that the mother in this case chose this route as we do know each other, and I'm not the 'slanging match' type, but fine.

Finally, I HAVE spoken to my son as I explained in my previous post. And yes, the disussion did focus on boundaries, personal space, asking permission before touching others etc. He seemed to understand. However, I actually have no idea exactly what the Mother's issue was because she didn't take the time to explain it to me. I can say that on many ocassions she has watched indulgently while the two kids hold hands, hug and chase each other round the playground, so she's not against physical contact between the two per se. But I would have welcomed some explanation as to her exact objections, because if DS IS the annoying kid who is alway invading others space and its causing a problem, then I would really like to know.

user1477282676 Fri 06-Jan-17 12:39:32

It's not a "romance"

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