While it may be common in Hollywood for celebs to kiss their kids on the lips, Indian parents feel it’s really not their thing.
Asking your child for a proper kiss when they give you just a peck is understandable, but if the kiss is on the lips, the child is asked for a repeat and it continues for too long, then isn’t it inappropriate?
Quarterback for the New England Patriots, Tom Brady, who is married to supermodel Giselle, has been receiving a lot of criticism and hate for asking his son for a second longer kiss on the lips, which lingered uncomfortably on, before letting the child check on his fantasy football ratings.
The problem here is not a kiss on the lips, especially as many parents in the West do it. Actress Hilary Duff has been snapped giving her son a kiss on the lips, Kobe Bryant does the same with his daughter, Heidi Klum, David and Victoria Beckham, Jennifer Lopez... the list is endless. So, why the hate for Tom? It’s the idea of Tom Brady asking his son for a second peck on the lips in the midst of a massage that comes across as uncomfortable to a few. On the other hand, the same act would be deemed cute if the other person was a love interest.
So, how do Indian parents feel about kissing their children on their lips? Pia Desai Pasricha, the admin for Mommy A-Z, a Facebook group with over 10,000 members, says, “Different things work for different families and it’s not our place to judge necessarily. However, it can feel uncomfortable for people who are not used to it.”
And what are her personal views on the issue? “As a mom, I’m not sure I would be entirely comfortable but that’s probably because it’s not something that is the norm for me,” says Pia.
Reacting to the Tom Brady incident, Arundhati De Seth, jewellery writer and daughter of Shobhaa De says, “It’s kind of weird because the kid is 11 years old, but to each, their own. It’s better they hug and kiss than hit. I am not sure how “healthy” or “unhealthy” it is. But there are a lot more terrible things going on that we can focus on than this.”
Dr Monika Reddy Flendalen, mother of a baby girl and a Consultant in Diabetes and Endocrinology, Imperial College Healthcare NHS Trust, London says, “As a doctor, I don’t have any concerns about a peck on the lips between a parent and their child and most of my colleagues would agree with this. However, as a parent, I think it’s a bit unnatural, and personally my affection towards my own baby consists of lots of hugs and plenty of kisses on the cheeks and forehead.” She adds, “Perhaps it all comes down to one’s own upbringing when it comes to views on what’s right or wrong with respect to parental affection.”