Since I learned that kisses are asked (not imposed), I feel that my relationship with children is even healthier.
When I ask a child if I can give you a kiss, their faces light up. Their gaze connects with mine and the brightness of their eyes connect me with my inner being. It gives me calm and they feel taken into account. Also, frequently, they agree to give them, or to give me, a kiss.
Why? I guess it is because they are inspired by my question. Because it turns them in an active part and above all, it gives them the power to make the choice if they want or not to give or receive that kiss.
Sometimes I have found people who speak of education, values and their perception about kisses. A lot of people tell me that you have to kiss your family. As something established, traditional, and without questioning the pros and the cons. I cannot disagree more with this.
Why I am against forcing children to kiss
I’ll tell you why:
Education. How do we see education? Often, as a society, we remain confident in the concept of “education” transmitted to us by our parents or grandparents. A concept in which adults should usually be afraid of (because although disguise of respect; in many cases what traditional education conveys is fear of authority).
I prefer to be an example and show that people need to be respected, all equally. Whether it’s children, adults or any other living thing.
Recently, I saw how a mother yelling at his son when he was climbing urban furniture. She yelled and treated him badly, by saying: “Urban furniture has to be respected” And yes, I agree, you must respect urban furniture, but what is to respect urban furniture? I think that who designed these stairs was confident that children would climb them up and down the railing. Because children are an active part of the city. And child-friendly cities are much more enjoyable for everyone. What clearly is not respect, it is screaming for respect.
Forcing children to kiss family. There are a number of groups within the family that have real ugly, evil and terrible people inside. And if they are not, perhaps children, at that time, finds something they don’t like: his look, his energy, his smell, his clothes, or simply something they don’t want…This is what children perceive. When you require them to give or receive kisses, what are we teaching them? That others decide for us when we should give up our body. Today, it is a kiss, what would be tomorrow? Many times, we don’t realize it, but the unconscious receives this message and it doesn’t know how to separate “my mother said yes” from “my boyfriend who forces me to have sex says yes”. Wouldn’t this be the same message that receives the unconscious?
Do we prioritize education over respect for our children?
Values. What is the value that we are teaching our children when we force them to give or receive kisses, whoever it may be who asks or demands? We are teaching them that it is more important to give a kiss to the grandfather, the uncle or the cousin, that their choice about whether they want or not to give kisses.
Sometimes we force children to give kisses to grandparents who smoke, smell bad, speak to them shouting, or that simply have just annoyed them. And yes, maybe our children love them very much, but from there to getting closer to kissing them when the adult wants to, there is a big step.
Why don’t stop to listen and let our children choose? What makes us as adults to not respect that choice?
This issue, however, goes much further. It’s about respect in everyday life. It’s about being an example. It’s about listening and sharing. And, above all, it’s about letting children choose and don’t force children to kiss. Later, we want them to be autonomous in their adult lives, but the first important decisions about their bodies are made by us, adults.
All I can tell you is that I think it’s a vital decision. Do not force children to kiss or to receive kisses. I think it shows how much is the child taken into account. And, above all, I think that it is a very deep message that can have a great impact in their adult life. Because #NoMeansNo, and a kiss on the cheek can be the greatest invasion in their body. Or maybe that kiss is the greatest gift received. But that they choose it for themselves is much more respectful that if it is chosen by others.
My experience as a mother tells me that it is wonderful to give the children the ability to decide. In addition to that, when they are allowed to choose whether to give or not kisses, and they decide mostly that not, when giving it heart, the other receives it as a much nicer gift. Because everything that is real and comes from the heart, is full of real love.
And, as we seek that the world is governed by love, let’s kiss more, but only if we want to.