If your daughter is between 5 and 16 years old, it's very likely she's thinking about kissing.
Has she ever tried out a long, passionate kiss on you (imitating what she saw in her favorite Disney movie)?
Tell her the story of your first kiss, and make it positive. If you didn't have a "fairy tale" first kiss, try to make your story funny and include some important teaching. Here are the important lessons I recommend you cover:
- Kissing means sharing! When you have good and warm feelings about a person, you may may want to be close and show that special someone that you like them a whole lot. There are friend kisses, baby kisses, mom and dad kisses, and "I might be in love with you" kisses. (Mom: you may choose to do a silly imitation of each of these kissing options--it will keep your daughter laughing and engaged.)
- Kissing means sharing! If you kiss someone's mouth, you share spit with them. (Mom: this will probably provoke the "Oooo, disgusting!" response you've been hoping for.) And you know that spit can be full of germs. So choose your kiss carefully! You definitely don't want to kiss someone who's sick--but sometimes you can't even tell that someone has germs. There's a germ that causes cold sores on lips, and once you get the germ--you can get cold sores your whole life. It's OK, to ask someone if they're sick or have cold sores before you kiss them. (Mom: this will be a useful idea to introduce now, because you'll need to talk about sexually transmitted infections later.)
- Kissing means sharing! It's about showing respect as well as love--respect for another person's feelings. This means you have the right to say "No!" anytime and for any reason. And maybe the person you would like to kiss wants to say "No, thanks!" and you show the person that you care by respecting that decision. (Mom: this may be the most important lesson of all here--self-determination. Do not skip this one, your daughter needs the confidence and "permission" to listen to her inner guide and say "No!" to kissing/touching/sex.)
We'd love to hear any of your successes (or even failed attempts) with talking to your kids about kissing. Please leave a comment to share!