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Mothers fight back against controversial advice that kissing children on the lips is ‘too sexual’ with photos of themselves and their kids



Australian mothers have hit back at advice suggesting parents shouldn’t kiss their children on the lips, by sharing photos online of them doing exactly that.

Dr Charlotte Reznick, a child psychologist from Californian university UCLA, warned parents that an innocent peck on the lips could be confusing for their child in 2010 – comments that recently went viral.

The comments were originally sparked by an old photo of Hollywood star Harry Connick Jr pecking his then eight-year-old daughter on the lips.

Fighting back: Mothers have hit back at comments made by an American psychologist that it is wrong to kiss their children on the lips as it is ‘too sexual’ by sharing photos of themselves kissing their kids

Sydney local Carmen Bonny shared an image of herself kissing her little girl Anna on the lips shortly after she was born four years ago.

‘Those little lips are so kissable, irresistibly so…it is a way to show love and affection and as they get older you are given the opportunity to guide them into what is appropriate,’ Mrs Bonny told Daily Mail Australia.

‘I am so over people trying to label everything as sexual.’

Perth mother Kimberley Calveley shared a photo of herself kissing her little boy Noah.

‘It’s perfectly natural and loving to kiss your kids on the lips,’ Mrs Calveley told Daily Mail Australia.

‘My son was born eight weeks premature, so we didn’t kiss him on the lips straight away because we were concerned about germs.’

‘Those little lips are so kissable’: Carmen Bonny shared a photo of her kissing her little girl when she was born

‘But as he got older, probably around five months old, we puckered up for our little guy – we adore him, and he loves giving kisses.’

Sydney mother of two Annette Greenop sees nothing wrong with kissing her children on the lips.

‘It’s a ridiculous claim and shouldn’t even be up for discussion,’ she told Daily Mail Australia.

Victorian mother Sarah Johnson also shared a photograph of herself kissing her little girl Sienna.

Dr Reznick’s controversial comments came to light last week.

‘If you start kissing your kids on the lips, when do you stop? It gets very confusing,’ she said.

‘As a child gets to 4 or 5 or 6 and their sexual awareness comes about (and some kids have an awareness earlier – as when we notice they start masturbating at 2 or 3 sometimes – they just discover their private parts and it feels good), the kiss on the lips can be stimulating to them.’

The debate: American Dr Charlotte Reznick made the comments in 2010, which were prompted by a photo of celebrity Harry Connick Jr (pictured) kissing his eight-year-old daughter

‘Even if that never occurs to a child, it´s just too confusing! If mummy kisses daddy on the mouth and vice versa, what does that mean when I, a little girl or boy, kiss my parent on the mouth?’

Leading Sydney psychologists labelled the American doctor’s advice as ‘outrageous’.

‘It’s absurd really to think a parent kissing their child could be referred to as too sexual,’ Dr Fiona Martin from the Sydney Child Psychology Centre told Daily Mail Australia.

‘It’s normal and healthy to be affectionate to your children. It’s communicating to your child that you love them.’

Dr Martin said there was no psychological effects for a child who has been kissed on the lips by their parents.

‘It’s beautiful. Anything that promotes emotional connectivity is good. It’s certainly not inappropriate to kiss your child,’ she said.

Kim and North shared a tender kiss while out in Manhattan

‘(Advice like this) makes them confused as parents about what level of affection they should give their child.’

R.E.A.D clinical psychologist Heather Irvine-Rundle labelled the advice as outrageous.

‘It doesn’t take into account relationships that are safe and trusting. There is nothing sexual about kissing a baby on the mouth,’ Dr Irvine-Rundle said.

‘Usually the kids will find they want to grow up, they no longer want to have that intimacy with parents any more in public. It’s up to us as sensible parents to work out when is the right time.’

She said Dr Reznick’s suggestion that children may become confused about who they were allowed to kiss on the mouth was laughable.

‘You look at toddlers who breastfeed, they don’t walk up to strangers and ask to be breastfed by them,’ Dr Irvine-Rundle said.

‘It’s about being close to a person and wanting to connect with them.’

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