parents

He's a grown man, he kissed his mum on the lips and the internet went crazy.

My parents never kissed me on the lips. They were affectionate but they just didn’t express it like that. When my Aunty kissed me on the lips while saying “goodnight” during a sleepover when I was just a kid, and then proceeded to give each of her children a big smacko on the lips too, I was shocked but also thought it was hilarious.

In my family, it just wasn’t done.

To kiss or not to kiss on the lips? Parents and children alike have been debating its appropriateness for years and now new controversy has been stirred by a reality show in the UK which showed a grown man kissing his mum on the lips. Some saw it as sweet, but others were left feeling uncomfortable.

Confessions: The first thing I thought when I saw my baby:

Firstly let me quickly explain who these people are.

Sam Faiers is one of the stars of popular “scripted reality” show called The Only Way Is Essex, commonly referred to as TOWIE. She recently documented her pregnancy, birth and first few weeks of motherhood for ITV in the UK in a show called Sam Faiers: The Baby Diaries.

It was during this show that her boyfriend Paul Knightley and his mother shared the on-screen kiss.

Fans were uncomfortable with Paul Knightely kissing his mum on the reality show. Image courtesy of ITV.

Fans felt compelled to shared their thoughts on Twitter and Instagram.

Why I’ve just seen #SamanthaFaiers bloke necking on with his mother?

Just watched the Sam faiers programme. Her boyfriend and his mother are very creepy… Strange relationship.

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That woman comes across as very controlling on that programme! Weird kiss with her son

Sam Faiers immediately defended her boyfriend and his mum, by posting a photo of her kissing her newborn son Paul (named after his dad), along with the caption:

I will kiss my baby boy on the lips forever ???? thank you for everyone’s support and kind comments on our show. Media & people will always try and find negative. I’m happy & so totally in love with my family.

Image courtesy of Sam Faiers Instagram.

Some fans still couldn’t hold back and were quick to leave further comments:

When baby gets to big Paul’s age I’m sure you won’t be kissing him on the lips like that..it will feel weird. I hope he changes his ways now the baby is here & at least makes the effort to learn how to do beans on toast..at the very least!!

There’s a diff between kissing your baby boy and snogggging you son.

It wasn’t as much a peck on the lips was quite uncomfortable to watch, fair play standing by your man though.

Many viewers felt differently, seeing the kiss between dad Paul and his mum as a sweet and touching moment, with many confessing to still kissing their parents or children on the lips.

I stopped kissing my sons on the lips by the time they were toddlers. It’s not like I suddenly decided not to do it, I just stopped. I preferred to kiss them on their heads and cheeks and the bottoms of their feet.

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Even if I wanted to, they’d never let me. “It’s just not done, Mum,” I can imagine my 12-year-old shouting as he ran away from me. He barely lets me hug him in public let along kiss him, anywhere.

And I wouldn’t want to kiss my sons on the lips. I wouldn’t be comfortable doing it. However in a complete act of hypocrisy, I still kiss my daughter on the lips even though she is six. It’s only now that I’ve stopped to wonder why.

While I’m not comfortable kissing my sons on the lips, I’m not uncomfortable seeing others do it. In this instance, it’s what they’ve always done. They are comfortable expressing affection for each other in this way.

Why do others feel so rattled by it?

Sam and Paul
Paul Knightley and Sam Faiers from ITV’s Sam Faiers: The Baby Diaries. Image courtesy of Sam Faiers Instagram.

A quick survey of our office showed that kisses between grown children and their parents are more common than us non-kissers think, and there are those who are still kissed by their parents but wish they’d stop already.

I’m 29 and still kiss both my parents on the lips.

My grandpa kisses me on the lips, but he’s the only one in the family who does it.

I transitioned from kissing my dad on the lips to on the cheek when I was a teenager.

To kiss or not to kiss, where do you stand? I think as long as both parent and child are comfortable with it, why not? I’ll be kissing my daughter on the lips as long as she’ll let me and as long as we both feel comfortable with it.

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