Valeri and Nastia Liukin.
Valeri and Nastia Liukin.

Kissing kids on the lips: Endearing or disturbing?

The Olympics came and went, but I continue to ponder the relationship between U.S. gymnast Nastia Liukin and her father.

Liukin, the individual all-around gold medalist, kissed her dad on the lips multiple times during television coverage of the Olympics. Her father, Valeri Liukin, was a gold medalist and is also her coach.

The on-air father / daughter smooching evoked a lot of commentary. Some viewers found it inappropriate and said their lip kissing is borderline incestuous. Others said it was acceptable because of their European roots. (Liukin was born in Moscow, but moved the the U.S. when she was a child.)

Personally, I don't think there's anything wrong with it as long as it's a peck on the lips. Obviously, anything sloppy or lingering is sad and gross.

I kiss my kids on the lips, but they are little guys. Will I still plant one on their kisser when they're 10? What about 15? I probably would give them a quick peck, but it will depend on how they feel about it, I guess.

Talkbacks

EastSideWineo | Sept. 12, 2008 at 1:12 a.m. (report)

I'm 22 and I still kiss my parents and grandparents on the lips. Most of my aunts and uncles I just hug.

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ozricale | Sept. 11, 2008 at 1:20 p.m. (report)

My wife and her sisters all kiss their father on the lips. It's normal.

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paysonj | Sept. 10, 2008 at 4:40 p.m. (report)

I've also wondered if it had to do with European decent. I saw nothing wrong with it because my family still does it, and we are from italian and german decent. but I can definitely understand people who are uncomfortable with it.

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brunocarlson | Sept. 10, 2008 at 8:35 a.m. (report)

35104 Most European countries as well. Try visiting a long distant relative in Italy and see if you don't get a big smooch. Awkward? Yes, but another culture's signal of friendship and welcome-ness. Although a parent/clild passionate kiss is nasty, a peck to show a parent's love is just fine. And as a teenager male, I never wanted my mother doing it to me. but it is just a stage I am in my 30's and still do it with my mother.

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Bolewski | Sept. 9, 2008 at 6:13 p.m. (report)

I've got to comment on this one. I think America is way too uptight on how and when display affection. Most countries (latin American ones are my experience) are much more affectionate and open with their bodies than we are. They think we're cold and uptight. I did not see the smooches so I don't know if they were inappropriate. I agree Molly that if they were "long'..yucko.

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