My 6 year old daughter refuses to kiss anyone. Is this OK?

by Deb

Question: My 6 year old daughter stopped kissing anyone around 3 months ago, not even me or her father. She has always been an extremely stubborn child.

She is very affectionate in every way other than this. The problem is that the Grandparents, Aunts, Uncles are all talking about it in front of her and it seems to be reinforcing her stubborn streak.

Is there anything I should do? Is this appropriate behavior? I just need an answer that will satisfy the family.

Answer: This is absolutely okay. Children should be able to refuse kissing others if it makes them uncomfortable, even if the refusals involve family members.

The most important reason to not force her into give affection to others is because of sexual abuse. If a child encounters someone that wants to engage in inappropriate sexual behavior with them, they need to know that it is okay to say no.

If they are forced to hug or kiss someone when they do not feel comfortable, they are more likely to be vulnerable if they were to ever be approached by someone that wanted to do inappropriate things with them.

Allowing her to express her discomfort and respecting that, teaches her it is always okay to say no. This may also be valuable for you as parents when she is a teenager and getting into relationships with boys.

This will help her to feel comfortable saying no and keep her from feeling pressured to do things simply because the boy is asking her to.

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