“Urghhhh Mummy, Daddy, stop kissing, that’s gross.”
Well, thanks Roo, wait till you ﬁnd out what happens after kissing in order to get to the point where you get someone living in your house, calling you mummy and daddy and eating more snack food than a bear preparing for a long winter.
I was chatting to a friend the other day about the whole “you shouldn’t be naked around your kid” saga that gets brought up every so often like an unwelcome relative at a family do (team neked up in herrree obvs. Seriously, they came OUT of me. Pﬀt.) and she said that she wasn’t really fussed about being naked in front of her kids but her but what she found odd was when people were really aﬀectionate in front of their kids, they are going to end up scarred. I couldn’t wrap my head around this AT ALL.
To clarify, we’re not talking about necking each other IN the buﬀ, I think we all agree that this is highly unlikely to be a positive course of action in front of our children – though on a side note, I’d love to know what people do when your kids innocently waltz in whilst you’re going at it and poor daddy has to drop down and pretend you’re a human version of a breakfast bar, or pirouette away like a prima ballerina in her ﬁnal stages of black swan. I mean, those little buggers don’t knock do they?
I digress, so back to aﬀection in front of kids.
I’m all for it. I really think that smooching and cuddling in front of children is important and perfectly healthy. Oh they see the odd cheeky bum squeeze? Is it going to scar them? Absolutely not. I’m not talking about a full make out session, but I do think that there is something to be said for kids seeing that their parents love each other and are aﬀectionate. In a world where divorce rates are the highest they have ever been and EVERY child has a friend (or is the friend) whose parents are no longer together, right from the toddlers at Edith’s old playgroup to Reuben’s class, I think there is something to be said for a bit of aﬀection and hearing your parents say they love each other.
There is, of course, a line , keeping it PG is vital but I feel like I will always maintain that side of my relationship in front of my kids, whether they are at that jealous toddler stage, squeezing in between us and shouting “you no kiss my mama/daddy!” (Depending on which one of us last gave out the chocolate) to that teenage stage where they will no doubt make vomiting noises. It’s also something that is supported by psychologists – and we all know that you can’t argue with the mind doctors because, ya know, they know shit.
I was reading an article on She Knows about kissing in front of kids last week and they included a quote from Amy Morin who is a licensed clinical social worker and outpatient therapist that said “I think it is very important for parents to show aﬀection in front of their children. Despite kids’ protests that it’s gross, witnessing physical aﬀection between their parents reassures them that their parents love one another. It also helps teach kids about love, marriage and aﬀection which can prepare them for their future relationships.” Which pretty much backs up what I have always thought – it’s healthy!
So what is appropriate?
To me, appropriate is kissing, cuddling, the odd cheeky bum squeeze coupled with a giggle and a “behave!” As opposed to a come hither glance and ﬂash of tit. It’s a “gosh you look beautiful/ gorgeous/ﬁt” today, it’s leaving notes that say I love you and it’s sharing that part of your relationship in a manner that shows it’s diﬀerent to other relationships.
In the same way that I think it’s ok to bicker in front of your children, we are not talking full out slanging matches, but bickering. It shows the human side of a marriage, the reality of it and hopefully that coveys to our kids that two people can make it work but it is hard work with both perks and drawbacks. I feel like my mum and dad’s absolutely appalling divorce and horrible attitudes towards one another, especially on my dad’s side, really aﬀected me and made me push for aﬀection in all the wrong places.
I’m sure that’s not the case for everyone, but I do think it’s important to have an open forum about your relationship and one way to do that is to display aﬀection.
What do you think?