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Should children be "made" to give goodnight/goodbye kisses?

(33 Posts)
whatdayisit Sat 23-Aug-08 19:44:58

My Ds1 (7yo) has always had an aversion to overt shows of affection and even as a toddler was never really one for lots of kisses and cuddles. Now at 7 he positively hates it.

We've just got back from a few days with my sister and her 2 DS's age 1 & 2.

My DS1 was asked to kiss her 2 boys goodnight and refused. My view is that this is perfectly within his right and he shouldn't have to kiss someone if he doesn't want to. Similarly, he needs to know that he doesn't have to accept kisses he doesn't want and that if someone doesn't want him to kiss them he mustn't.

My sister's view was that he was rude and unkind and that he needs to learn that sometimes he needs to kiss someone to be polite.

What do you think?

ruddynorah Sat 23-Aug-08 19:46:42

no i agree with you. just saying goodnight with a polite smile should suffice.

dilemma456 Sat 23-Aug-08 19:47:20

Message withdrawn

MissisBoot Sat 23-Aug-08 19:48:29

God - learning to kiss someone to be polite - thats awful.

No one should be able made to kiss anyone regardless of their age.

feedmenow Sat 23-Aug-08 19:48:32

I agree with you too. Some children (and adults too!) just aren't "kissy". My ds is a bit like this, everyone knows and most people just joke with him about it!!

Mutt Sat 23-Aug-08 19:48:38

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

MrsMattie Sat 23-Aug-08 19:48:44

No. I hate it when relatives are trying to force their kids to give me a kiss/cuddle goodbye. Poor things!

FromGirders Sat 23-Aug-08 19:49:03

No, children should not be made to kiss all and sundry. I was as a child, and make damn sure that the same isn't inflicted on my dcs. If they don't want to kiss someone, I ask them to blow a kiss or wave instead.

cocolepew Sat 23-Aug-08 19:49:17

Teaching a child to kiss someone to be polite hmm. I agree with you.

llynnnn Sat 23-Aug-08 19:49:34

i agree too. i think its important that children realise that its ok to not want kisses from people you dont feel comfortable with and the same with giving them.

kisses are an intimate show of affection and should only be used where both parties are comfortable

nowwearefour Sat 23-Aug-08 19:50:15

i agree with you completely. for that reason i never ask to kiss my friends' kids as then hard for them to say 'no'....

AMumInScotland Sat 23-Aug-08 19:50:46

No! How can we teach them that it is their body and they can decide what is ok and not, and to make a big loud fuss if they are uncomfortable with the way someone is touching them, but at the same time say "if certain people want to kiss you then you have to agree"

Ceolas Sat 23-Aug-08 19:52:23

Looks like you have a clear consensus here. I agree with you and the others.

tiggerlovestobounce Sat 23-Aug-08 19:54:16

No. It is his choice if he wants to kiss someone or not. Saying hello and gooby are things that I think they should do to be polite, but not hugging or kissing. They should decide what happens to their bodies.

cat1978 Sat 23-Aug-08 20:01:40

I agree, I don't think they should be 'made' to kiss someone if they don't want to.
Plenty of time for kissing when he gets older lol wink
I'm sure if your son really wanted to kiss them good night he would... I know myself (I'm a stubborn so & so) if someone tells me to do something I don't want to do it makes me even more determined not to do it.

I don't think that you have to kiss someone just to be polite, besides 1 and 2 year olds like to kiss everyone (well I know my 1 year old does) she might see things differently when her 2 are your sons age.

cocolepew Sat 23-Aug-08 20:04:22

lol@ Tiggers 'hello and gooby'
<<checks spelling>>

tiggerlovestobounce Sat 23-Aug-08 20:09:31

OK, OK, was just trying to type quickly!


JackieNo Sat 23-Aug-08 20:11:51

I'm with the majority on this one - don't force kissing, but do strongly encourage, nay insist upon, a polite 'goodnight'.

whatdayisit Sat 23-Aug-08 20:17:05

Wow - thanks everyone, I'm tempted to send her this link, but suspect it might not be accepted graciously grin

In her defence, my DS was rude in that he didn't just refuse the kiss and say goodnight, it was more "yuk, get away", but he did have the child shoved in his face (she has holding her Ds1) I need to find a better way for him to deal with these requests.

What would you have thought if it was, say, an elderly aunt who had just given him some spending money and wanted a thank you kiss? Or Grandma at bedtime?

Yes cat - the implications for when he get older are exactly it. That's why I have taught my boys that no always means no, rather than have another try and that if someone doesn't want to be touched/kissed you mustn't touch them. Also that they have the right to not be kissed/touched.

Mutt Sat 23-Aug-08 20:20:45

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

keevamum Sat 23-Aug-08 20:32:55

Just to totally disagree with everything that has been posted so far. I come across so many of my friend's childrens who don't kiss for the same reasons as you have stated and I agree I would never force a child who didn't want to to give me a kiss and have taught my own children that that is totally unacceptable.

However, I brought up my children to kiss people hello, goodbye and good night in order to be polite and I have talked to them about how they may hurt someone's feelings by not giving them a kiss by way of greeting and quite often as in the case of elderly relatives/ widows /widowers they may not receive much pysical affection through the course of their day and this small gesture often means a lot. I know that because my children will always kiss hello and goodbye that they actually get quite hurt by other children who don't do kisses as it can feel like a personal affront.

I do feel that although I can see your argument but I also feel a lot of people use the same argument as a bit of a cop out rather than addressing the issue and talking about the manners that are involved in greetings/farewells etc. Can you maybe teach your children another way to say goodnight give the cousins a nice hug instead and just say they prefer hugs so as not to offend in future. It can look a bit rude when children so actively avoid any contact especially with family, in my opinion.

cyteen Sat 23-Aug-08 20:32:59

I'm totally with you whatdayisit - it should be the child's choice and it's really important for them to understand the whole concept of personal boundaries.

One of my clearest childhood memories is of our upstairs neighbour laying friendly pressure on me to give him a kiss - nothing dodgy, just a peck on the cheek type thing, but it still made me very uncomfortable as I wasn't a demonstrative child at the best of times. I really didn't want to but thought I should, as he was an adult. Afterwards my mum, who was there and (I think) watching to see how I'd handle it, asked me how I'd felt and made it clear that no one had the right to make me do anything of the sort if I wasn't comfortable with it. It's crucial for kids to understand that they have rights (and responsibilities to others) in this way IMO.

keevamum Sat 23-Aug-08 20:34:34

Also saying Yuk is being rude in my opinion.

whatdayisit Sat 23-Aug-08 20:39:47

I agree Keeva, I said he was rude in his reaction, but I still don't think he should have been made to kiss. He should have refused politely, but isn't it rude to demand a kiss?

Suspect none of your children have the severe aversion to affection my DS1 has. It's not just that he doesn't want to kiss them , it really makes him quite distressed. DS2 is much more cuddly and likes to give kisses and that's fine too, but he also knows he mustn't kiss someone who doesn't want it.

AMumInScotland Sat 23-Aug-08 20:40:21

I think the rule would have to be the same whoever it is. With Grandma etc who you see regularly, you can explain why you're taking this line. It's trickier with relatives you don't often see, specially if they aren't around a lot of small children who they'll have been through this with. Maybe if you know you'll be around relatives like this, you could suggest he shakes hands if he doesn't want a kiss?

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