It's Okay to Kiss Your Kids!
I tell my kids I love them every day because I do. I tell my kids that I am working on my temper and my patience too because I am. I'm human and I make mistakes and I'm okay with admitting it to my kids. I want them to learn from me, by example, by words, and by action.
So if you see me negotiating with my kids, stop judging. If you see me hugging or kissing my kids, stop judging. Every parent-child relationship is different, and what I want my kids to know, without a doubt, is that they are loved.
We live in a very judgemental society.
Lately I've been seeing random news 'articles' about well-known people being criticized for kissing their kids on the lips. Of course there will always be trolls and dissenters, but why mock or demean an innocent moment?
Confession: I kiss my kids on the lips. My husband does not. It's what we are each comfortable with. And I don't think there's anything wrong with either choice. Or with posting it on social media.
My parents are wonderful role models. They have their flaws--who doesn't?--but the underlying motivation behind all of their actions is love. And that's the KEY word, ACTIONS. I have at times felt that my parents didn't support me and whatever I was doing at the time. In high school, they didn't want me to try out for cheerleading, but for three years, they went to many of the games.(Certainly all the basketball ones, especially as in my sophomore year, the boys were State Champs. As a side note, I went to an all-girls school and cheered for the corresponding all-boys school, another thing my folks had a problem with.)
When I decided to double major in undergrad and took five years to complete my degree, they supported me and paid for my tuition and living expenses. When I then decided to get a Masters in Creative Writing, they voiced their concern over such a degree, but also supported me. And when I finally decided that I WAS interested in Medicine after years of saying that I wasn't, they also supported me even though at the time they were both on the verge of retiring and they were already disenchanted with the 'business' side of medicine. (My parents are very generous and tried to help us out with med school tuition but by that time I got married, Mr. Bookworm and I decided that we would take out loans instead.)
Most importantly in my life, when we decided that I would carry my second child to term, despite the likelihood of her being born still or only living for a short time, they were there for me every step of the way. Now that's not to say that they agreed with all of my decisions. Far from it. But they voiced their opinions.....and then supported me in their own quiet and not-so-quiet ways. (I've not talked to them directly about it but here's my take on it: my mom who is very religious and Catholic was on my side because I chose comfort care and against termination. With Macy's diagnosis, termination is a common choice, but it just wasn't the right choice for Mr. Bookworm and me. My dad, I think, was just concerned over my own health and what this difficult pregnancy would mean for his own child.)
That's the kind of legacy that I want to leave for my children. The knowledge that they are loved unconditionally, and that Mr. Bookworm and I are here for them for the long haul.
Now, back to kissing....yes, I'll continue to kiss and hug my children. Because I love them and that's the way I show it through action. It may not work for you and your children. But it works for us, and that's what counts.