“My kids can kiss or not kiss... it is up to them”: our readers respond to forcing affection this Christmas


In an article we recently published titled Our kids won’t be kissing any family members they don’t want to this Christmas, we addressed the fact that by forcing your little ones to kiss an aunt or uncle they don’t want to this festive season, you could very well be sending them the wrong message about physical affection and consent.

Our article was inspired by the Girl Scouts of America post where they wrote, “Telling your child that she owes someone a hug either just because she hasn’t seen this person in a while or because they gave her a gift can set the stage for her questioning whether she 'owes' another person any type of physical affection when they’ve bought her dinner or done something else seemingly nice for her later in life." 

Our readers had mixed responses to this story though. Here’s what they had to say.

"It's not about sending the wrong message, it's about how messed-up society has become"

Samantha highlighted the harsh reality of the world we're living in, saying we now need to explain things like "bullying, puberty, peer pressure etc. How do you tell your child to no longer trust his or her own aunty or uncle??? Or you can no longer sleep over at your own family's house? How very sad that we now live in such a world."

"I need to roll my eyes at the things we can't do as a parent"

Nicole disagreed with our article, continuing, "This is getting ridiculous. Wow we are living in a time where the government is making it ok for children to do as they please... next children don't have to listen to their parents. Children don't have to do what they don't want to."

"It's culture man"

Sibusisiwe continues and explains that in her family, "Abogogo even pull you in as they shake your hand for a kiss! It's culture man! Come on!"

"I hated kissing my uncle"

One user said, "I endorse that. Also had those few uncles with wet lips and wandering palms. And parents who never believed their children. If my kids are not comfortable, I respect that."

While another user took issue with the snor:

"They can hug who they want, if they want"

"There is nothing wrong with young girls and boys extending a firm handshake and a friendly smile"

Robyn explained the point that the original article was making was that your kids shouldn't be made to believe that they owe someone affection or have to let them into their personal space. She continues: "If you have a naturally affectionate child who wants to hug and kiss, then let them continue doing so."

But, she continues, "If someone makes your child uncomfortable, they need to be allowed to establish boundaries early in life – there is nothing wrong with young girls and boys extending a firm handshake and a friendly smile to say thank you!!!"

Malema says no too

In a similar story we published in which Julius Malema posted an image on Instagram of his family with the caption, "Let’s avoid kissing other people’s kids on the lips please," our readers had similar responses.

"Our mouths have bacteria and the baby's immune system might not be able to resist an infection"

Ernestine continues, "... or drink from the baby's bottle when testing the temperature of the milk. Our mouths have bacteria and the baby's immune system might not be able to resist an infection, so better to be safe than sorry."

"I kiss hug squeeze my kid all the time and she is perfectly fine"

Natasha continued, "Soon SA will be like the USA: all sick because they live constantly in sterile environments and kids don’t get to build up any antibodies. We have worse things to worry about than kissing, bloody hell! You're more likely to get murdered or raped than die or get sick from a kiss!"

But most of them agreed with the politician, even if it was in a humourous way

How do you feel about having the kids not kiss any relatives they don't want to this Christmas? Tell us by emailing to chatback@parent24.com and we may publish your comments. 

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