Baby Z won't kiss you, if she doesn’t want to.
When people force kisses onto my daughter, it makes me cringe. It’s not something I encourage.
J and I always ask Z for kisses. If she doesn’t want to give them, we respect that. This rule goes for parents, grandparents, aunts, uncles, cousins, etc.
Good scenario: When we are with family, I will ask Baby Z, “Do you want to give Grandma a kiss?” and if she doesn’t want to, that’s okay.
Bad scenario: If someone asks Baby Z for a kiss, and she shows that she isn’t interested, but they go ahead and kiss her anyway or say things like, “I’m going to steal a kiss then.”
- Personal space. Baby Z might be just 16 months, but she’s already developed a sense of personal space. If she doesn’t want people in it, or doesn’t want to include others in her space for kisses at that time, that’s okay. I’ll respect it. When people force kisses on her, that’s like saying “You’re not comfortable with this, and I don’t care.”
- Forced affection. I want Baby Z’s emotions and actions to be genuine. I don’t ever want her affection to be forced.
- Boundaries. Much like personal space, this one has to do with comfort levels, but on a larger level. It comes down to this: I don’t ever want Baby Z to think forced kisses are okay. They aren’t. What if a stranger wants to show her affection? I want her to know that is 100% NOT OKAY and to express that she isn’t comfortable with the situation. I want Baby Z to know that it’s only okay to give kisses when both parties are comfortable.
So please, don’t ever force kisses on my daughter. Ask her. If she shows that she doesn’t want to give you a kiss, please respect her decision.