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Sunday, 17 July 2016

It's Just A Kiss

I usually don't comment on news stories, but this one got under my skin. A lot. Social media has been buzzing this week over a picture that Victoria Beckham posted on Instagram, showing her giving her 5 year old daughter a kiss on the lips. It was her daughter's birthday and a very sweet picture -  a mum quietly celebrating her daughter on her birthday.

A photo posted by Victoria Beckham (@victoriabeckham) on

In my world, this is a pretty common sight. Just a parent and child having a "lip kiss." Of course, "the internet" disagreed, and many faceless commentators had to leave their two cents, saying it was disgusting and inappropriate.

It floored me. With so many sad stories in the news lately, people choose to pick on this? Why can't we celebrate love and parenthood?

This is not the first time this kind of story has met with internet outrage, and, sadly, I know it won't be the last. At some point, before becoming a mum, I don't think I gave it much thought. Now, I have a very affectionate 2 year old, who will stop mid-play or mid-walk to motion for me to kneel down for a "lip kiss" and hug. Even as I was typing this, he ran over, had me kiss his hand and then gave me a little kiss. He also gives major hugs, cheek kisses (where he pushes his cheek to mine and makes a kiss sound) and likes every boo-boo kissed better. He's affectionate, and lip kisses are part of the deal.

"Lip kisses," as they are referred to in my house, are pretty common with kids. Growing up, my family were big huggers. Kisses were always on the cheek. We hugged a lot, but didn't kiss on the lips. If it's not common in your house, it's okay. It doesn't make one family better (or worse) than another.

At the end of the day, it is important that children feel loved, safe, accepted, supported, and are cared for. That looks different for each child and each family. Take the child's lead. If they prefer to give high fives to show affection, go with it. If they like lip kisses, then go with that too. If you're not comfortable with that, then try something different. Most importantly, don't hate on one family just because they do things differently than you do. Be one of the hundreds of supporters who commented after the negative posts, celebrating and supporting this expression of affection between a mum and her daughter. Celebrate the love. Look for the good.

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