There’s no better way to learn what love between a husband and wife looks like than seeing it firsthand as a child.
Dad walks into the house, grabs mom affectionately, and kisses her — kisses her real good. It’s as if there’s no one else in the room. But there is. That disgusted kiddo watching cartoons yells out, “Ewww, that’s gross!”
Maybe that was you as a child, and you know this picture all too well. Or perhaps you didn’t see those moments between your parents. Either way, whether it’s from others you know or tv… you know exactly what I’m talking about.
Mom and dad kiss while the kiddos are making vomit sounds. Does this reaction mean that you’re doing something wrong? Something inappropriate?
We don’t think so. In fact, we think more parents need to be showing affection in front of their kids. Keep in mind, we’re talking G & PG, none of that R content. That should be private.
Why Do Couples Kiss?
Studies show that kissing causes a chemical reaction in your brain. One of these reactions is a release of oxytocin, which is also known as the “love hormone” because of how it brings on feelings of bonding and attachment.
Kissing also stimulates another hormone called dopamine. Dopamine is known as the “happy hormone” and is the reason why you feel excited and giddy. It’s one of those experiences that you want more and more of.
This explains why even after that initial spark in a new relationship fizzles, you can still enjoy the benefits of these emotions by kissing, and kissing regularly.
PDA In Front Of Your Kids
As a parent, you want to protect your kids, and that means sheltering them. That means providing boundaries and guarding their young minds and hearts.
Well, sometimes this can be taken overboard. You also have to consider how the lack of affection between you and your spouse can also influence your children.
Your kids need to understand what healthy affection looks like.
And maybe you’ve read this far, and you’ve never been big on kissing, that’s ok! Don’t check out quite yet. There are other ways of showing affection that are just as impactful, such as hand-holding, snuggling, embracing, and even simply rubbing shoulders.
So keep reading and swap out ‘kissing’ for the way(s) you feel most comfortable showing affection in front of your kids.
The Profound Impact on Your Kids
Most kids learn by seeing. They learn to walk by watching others walk. To eat with a spoon by watching you do it. The same goes for love. They learn what love between a husband and wife looks like by watching the greatest example God has given them, you and your spouse — their mom and dad.
Here are the top 5 ways kissing in front of your kid can greatly impact them:
1. Shows Affection Is Normal & Healthy
Let’s be real, do you really want your kids learning what affection looks like from Netflix? Or music videos and Hollywood stars that are more wrapped up in sexuality than true intimacy? Absolutely not!
You want them to see that intimacy, affection, and unconditional love are something to experience in a healthy marriage. You’re creating a picture for them of a marriage rooted in pure love.
2. Teaches Types of Relationships & the Uniqueness of Marriage
This seems like a given, right? I mean, you all know the difference between the love in a marriage and the love you have for your sister. But they’re just kids. They can’t learn these fundamentals until you teach them.
By kissing your spouse and showing affection in a way that is unique to marriage, and not offering that same outward expression to a friend or sibling, you’re teaching them how it’s different from anything else. It’s teaching about affection and connection that is uniquely designed for marriage.
You’re also teaching them what a gift and blessing marriage truly is.
3. Models Loving Behavior Which Can Greatly Influence Their Futures
When your kids grow up seeing what loving behavior in the home looks like, they carry that with them into their other relationships and into adulthood. You’re modeling for them what they will create for themselves down the road.
Parents who are physically affectionate with one another tend to be more affectionate with their children as well.
Research indicates that girls, in particular, need that healthy attention from Dad. When you’re meeting this need in your child, they are less likely to go out seeking an unhealthy and unsafe way to fill that void.
4. Can Help Blended Families Adjust
Consistently showing affection to one another as you’re blending families can be one of the most impactful things you do. Be prepared — it may not come easily, and there may be some pushback from your kids. Be sensitive to their feelings, but at the same time, show them the commitment you have to one another.
The process can be different with every family, but your children can adjust, although, it may take some children longer than others.
They need to see a healthy model of romance, especially if they’ve only observed an unhealthy relationship. Just remember, they are kids, so you may hear a snarky, “Get a room,” comment when you’re embracing. That’s something you’ll need to accept with humor.
5. Teaches Conflict Resolution Skills and Provides Security
In a world where divorce is normal, watching you fight or have an argument can trigger fear and worry – that you’ll break up or that you possibly don’t love each other anymore.
When you show regular affection, even just holding hands as you make up in front of your kids, you’re providing a sense of security. In addition, they’re learning conflict resolution skills that will take them far in life.
They’re learning that disagreements don’t normally lead to a divorce and that they can be handled wisely and thoughtfully.
A child will feel most loved when they see mom and dad loving each other the best they can.
Some parents hesitate because they uncomfortable to show affection in front of their children. The fact is — it’s vital for kids to see how important connection and intimacy are in a marriage.
In the long run, parents who show affection are not only drawing closer to each other but also building connections within your entire family.
So the next time you feel the desire to get close to your spouse for a sweet smooch, don’t hesitate, even when your kids are in the same room.
Let them gag — so someday they can enjoy grossing out their kids every time they embrace!