Do you think kissing your kids on the lips is weird? If you do, you're not alone. When David Beckham recently shared a picture of him kissing 5-year-old daughter Harper on the lips – with the caption "Kiss for daddy" – it took zero seconds for the critics to come out with all guns blazing.
"I try not to judge," began one, and you just know there's a "but" coming, don't you? "But I can't help but think it's pretty weird that he kisses her on the lips considering her age."
I'm not sure what age this critic thinks is acceptable – two? Or 22? When is lip kissing okay, and when is it not? And why don't we get a card in the mail or something to let us know when the status changes?
Another commenter said, "To be honest kissing your daughter on the lips is a little weird…yes it is."
Should we take that to mean kissing your son on the lips is acceptable, and that gender is the issue in this case?
A third person commented, "Why do this? We don't need to see it." Which pretty much sums up 98 per cent of the internet. If that's how this person feels, one wonders why they're trawling through celebrities' Instagram profiles.
Others found the picture "beautiful", "lovely", and "sweet".
"Ignore the haters," wrote one fan. "They're stupid. Harper is not a teenager, she's a little girl and there is nothing wrong with it."
Another said, "Love this photo, sod the negative comments. I kiss all three of my sons because I love them, end of. We need more love and less negativity in this world. Hugs to you and your family."
So is kissing your kids on the lips a beautiful act of love, or gross and creepy? I still kiss my younger kids on the lips, but my 12-year-old isn't a fan. I respect that, and I assume my two smaller children will reach that conclusion some time themselves – especially my 6-year-old son, who won't even let me touch his arm if it's within two blocks of anywhere his friends might see him.
On the flip side, I used to have a boyfriend whose father was a massive lip kiss fan, and I used to do all I could to avoid a full frontal facial approach.
So as with any issue relating to ours and our children's bodies, it's all about consent, really, isn't it? If that's what your family does and your kids are happy, then good luck to you. If it's not for you, don't do it. But to project any of your own feelings onto others' families without any legitimate suspicion of abuse? Well that just seems like busy-bodying.
David Beckham seems to have a beautiful relationship with his kids, and that's something that should be celebrated.