Exchanging kisses with my parents in my childhood was a sign of love and affection in our closed knit family. The idea of being anything else other than family bonding has never come to my mind. I am trying to pass on the same affection value to my kids as well.
My kids are 3.8 years and 7 months respectively, and I kiss them all the time. My infant baby doesn’t mind the strawberry kisses at all; turns out whenever I am kissing him, he ends up in a hilarious giggle. My toddler on the other hand loves to return back the kisses whenever he gets one from me, my husband, our infant and even our dog. His favourite place to return the favour is surprisingly our “eyes”. My favourite kissing area and time are nose, cheeks, eyes, corner of the eyes, when they wake up in the morning, when they do something super cute, at bed time and for no apparent reason. This warm cosy kissy feeling is unmeasurable, I am sure all parents can connect to this feeling.
Scientific researches and studies have established the fact that, showing love and affection towards your child helps in their mental development, self-esteem and self-confidence. Also kissing releases the “love” hormone known as “oxytocin”, which in turn releases two more “feel good” hormones. These hormones helps in overall wellbeing of the family and bonding between parent and child.
When it comes to kissing and physical touch, your child is the sole decision maker and has every right to accept or deny it. Since it’s their body and their comfort level should be given the utmost priority. Ultimately it boils down to the way a child has been brought up, cultural dynamics, family dynamics and also the age of the child. It depends upon a family, how they want to show the love to their children and also how comfortable your kids are receiving it.