Sunday, August 24, 2014
Inquirer Daily News

Are their 'kiss attacks' harming her little boy?

I think this is a huge violation of my son´s boundaries. It teaches him he should just give in because nobody cares that he´s uncomfortable.
I think this is a huge violation of my son's boundaries. It teaches him he should just give in because nobody cares that he's uncomfortable.
DEAR ABBY: I have a 19-month-old son, "Nicky." He stays at my in-laws' house most days while my husband and I work. Lately, I've noticed when I go to pick him up that Grandma and Grandpa like to give him "kiss attacks," where they hold him "hostage" and give him several kisses.

Sometimes he lets them, and it's not a problem. Other times he squirms, whines and tells them no. It's painful to watch, especially when they respond with, "I know you're not going to like this, but I'm going to do it anyway."

I think this is a huge violation of my son's boundaries. It teaches him he should just give in because nobody cares that he's uncomfortable. I'm an affectionate person who likes to hug and kiss my son, too, but if he's not in the mood, I let him be. Who is right?

- Loving Mommy in Colorado

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  • DEAR LOVING MOMMY: You are. Affection is something welcome. If you don't want it, it's not affection. The most significant issues in child development have to do with nurturing and building trust. However well meant, holding a child "hostage" is more a display of power than affection.

    DEAR ABBY: I'm incredibly fond of my friend "Russell." He is always supportive, considerate and kind to me. However, I know that he is into S&M. I can't reconcile the two different people - a gentle person with someone wanting to dominate and possibly hurt a woman in bed.

    Should I be worried that Russell is hiding a dark side that will eventually come out and ruin our friendship?

    - Worried Friend in Australia

    DEAR WORRIED: My experts tell me that acting out on aggressive fantasies does not necessarily mean a person is aggressive.

    As long as your relationship remains platonic, what he does in the bedroom shouldn't affect it. But if you're considering taking your friendship with Russell to another level, it's important that you talk further about this. If this isn't something you're interested in exploring, then draw the line or move on.

    Dear Abby
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