At What Age Should You Stop Kissing Your Kids on the Lips?

Image via Flickr/ Leonid Mamchenkov

As human beings, we seem to function well mentally and emotionally when we are receiving physical affection from our family and loved ones. We yearn for that sort of comfort — for that connection that comes through physical touch. 

One of the ways that we go about doing that is through kissing. Do you know why we kiss? I actually have no idea. There's a video that discusses some of the reasons why we may participate in kissing, but I don't necessarily buy his theories. Interesting video, though.


Every so often a story goes around about the specific age when you should stop kissing your kids on the lips. For me, it's been years since I stopped the nonsense of kissing my mom on the lips (even more time has passed since I last kissed my dad on the lips). It just felt weird.

So when is the right time to kiss kissing your kids on the lips goodbye? 

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Dr. Charlotte Reznick, an Associate Clinical Professor of Psychology at UCLA, thinks that age 5 should be the last year that your kids get lip-to-lip contact with their parents. “The kiss on the lips can be stimulating … It’s just too confusing. If mommy kisses daddy on the mouth and vice versa, what does that mean when I, a little girl or boy, kiss my parent on the mouth?… If I had to answer when to stop kissing your kids on the lips, it would be now.” 

I remember one time when my family and I were attending an outdoor show, and my then-3-year-old brother asked my mom if he could give her a kiss. She agreed, and he pulled her in and proceeded to rub his pursed lips side to side on her mouth. That's how he'd seen other people kissing, why would it be any different for him and his mom?

However, in the Yahoo! article, Proactive Parenting coach Sharon Silver said, “If one, or the other, feels weird about kissing on the lips then it’s time to stop, no big deal.” 

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So, you've got one expert saying that you should have stopped kissing your kid on the lips yesterday, while the other expert says that you should just wait until one of the smooching parties gets weirded out.

What do you think? Did you shy away from kissing your kids on the lips, or is it just like any other kiss? Let us know in the comments.





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At What Age Should You Stop Kissing Your Kids on the Lips?

Jace Whatcott is a self-diagnosed introvert who loves crossword puzzles, golf, and reading. Despite being a male contributor—one of the few on this particular website—he is not in unfamiliar territory. Because he is an English major, 90% of his classmates are females, so he’s not too worried about being a fish out of water. One of his favorite things to do is to raid local thrift stores for used books. He’s always looking for something to read, or for something to put on his endless to-r ... More

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  1. Profile photo of amber amber says:

    My husband and I agreed before our child was born that we would not kiss her on the lips. We kiss her cheeks, forehead, fingers and toes. The lips, however, we feel as though that is an intimate action reserved for intimate people. We have almost never kissed in front of anyone, only a few pecks, as that action is something to be shared with only each other.

  2. Profile photo of chi_baby chi_baby says:

    Good grief! In some cultures you’ll find old men kissing their old fathers in the lips as a sign of affection and it’s no big deal. Just don’t make out with your kids. As long as it’s a short peck, I see nothing wrong with kissing my children well into adulthood. I think a sick mind makes something so innocent and lovely into something grotesque.


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