TV host Piers Morgan, known for his unvarnished comments, called it “creepy” that David Beckham kissed Harper, his 7-year-old daughter, on the lips. Morgan acknowledged it to be “sweet,” but he also described it as “weird.”
This display of devotion between a father and kid has sparked discussions all across the world. To some, it may appear strange, but to others, it comes naturally.
Dr. Charlotte Reznick, a child psychologist, issues a strong caution against this form of kiss, claiming it confuses children and could be detrimental to their development.
The controversy was sparked more than ten years ago when Henry Connick Jr. was seen kissing Charlotte, who was eight years old at the time.
When Reznick, a former UCLA Associate Clinical Professor of Psychology and child and educational psychologist, posed the question, “If you start kissing your kids on the lips, when do you stop?” in reference to the legendary kiss between the crooner and his daughter. It becomes really perplexing.
Reznick used the example of a 6-year-old girl who received a kiss on the lips from her father, saying the girl might go to school and express herself by kissing peers, which is just as innocent as kissing her father, putting her at risk of being a “se&ual harasser.”
Children might link kissing with sexual or romantic interaction between parents, according to best-selling author Reznick. When mommy kisses dad on the mouth and vice versa, she said, a youngster might wonder, “What does that mean when I, a little girl or boy, kiss my parents on the mouth?”
Aside from kissing a child on the lips, Reznick reminds parents to be conscious of practices like tight swaddling, force-feeding, or aggressive tickling, that can cross the lines of personal boundaries and allow intrusion from others.
Some business professionals disagree with Reznick and claim that kissing youngsters on the lips is a common way to express affection. According to psychologist Dr. Paul Hokemeyer, “It’s important that parents keep and maintain boundaries with their children, certainly, but in terms of expressing affection this feels within the realm of normal.”
And some famous parents concur with Hokemeyer.Viewers are given an insight into Tom Brady’s life both on and off the field in the documentary Tom vs. Time about the renowned NFL quarterback. One memorable moment isn’t Brady winning his sixth Super Bowl, but rather when his son John “Jack,” who was 11 at the time, walks into the room where he’s receiving a massage.
John asks his dad, “I was wondering if I could check my fantasy team.”
“What do I get?” Brady replies, summoning his son to plant a kiss on his lips. As Jack walks away, Brady says, “That was, like, a peck.” John returns and leans in for a longer smooch.
On the internet, there were conflicting responses to this snippet.
One person wrote, “Tom Brady is one of my five favorite people (including family members), but him making his son come back and kiss him on the lips for a longer time because his first lip kiss wasn’t long enough is some very very disturbing #content.”
Another defended him, “So now we have a stopwatch on kissing is own son. I would be far more worried about the parents who show no love or affection to their own children.”
Brady and his ex-wife Gisele Bündchen, according to a source are, “just loving, super affectionate people. It’s so sad that the kiss is ‘a thing’ because they are such good parents.”
Brady isn’t the only one who has drawn criticism for kissing their children.
David Beckham received criticism for kissing Harper, his then 7-year-old daughter, on the lips in a video that his wife Victoria posted online.
In response to the kiss on Good Morning Britain, British journalist and television personality Piers Morgan jumped in and stated, “It’s very sweet but why would a father kiss his daughter on the lips. Don’t get it–creepy. Weird. Then you post that for the world–you posted that for the world, why?”
In 2015, defending a similar photo, the retired soccer player explained, “It’s how I was brought up, and it’s how we are with our children. We want to show our kids love and we protect them, look after them, and support them, and we’re very affectionate with them.”
With the exception of a throwback photo taken on his son Romeo’s 19th birthday in which Beckham is seen kissing a younger Romeo on the lips, Beckham hasn’t uploaded any recent pictures of him cuddling up to his daughter or kids.
For comedian Gabrielle Union, it was a miraculous moment when she tweeted a video of herself kissing her newborn daughter on the lips. Union was overjoyed to finally have her daughter in her arms after numerous miscarriages and issues with infertility. Union and her husband, former NBA player Dwayne Wade, had their first child, Kaavia James, through surrogacy in 2018.
Some fans expressed their happiness for the couple, while others advised her to exercise extra caution when kissing a newborn on the lips.
Union replied, “If you think I waited this long and went through (all this) to put my baby in harm’s way… you got another thing coming.”
Kourtney Kardashian is another parent who has frequently faced criticism for kissing her kids. She stated in a 2020 interview, “No matter what it is that I am doing, someone has something to say, good or bad. The worst, though, is when people I don’t know give unsolicited parenting advice. No one knows my kids better than me, I’ve got this, I’m good, thanks.”
Celebrities like Jessica Alba, Khloe Kardashian, Victoria Beckham, and Hilary Duff have also come under fire from mommy shamers who believe it is improper to kiss youngsters on the lips.
Regarding Reznick, she advises, “If I had to answer when to stop kissing your kids on the lips, it would be now.”