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On a regular basis my Mother is absolutely insistent that I give her a kiss on the cheek whenever I go out to a certain location, or just at certain times.

Now I have no issues with hugging her, however I really dislike having to kiss her (even on the cheek) and find it really uncomfortable, even if no one else is around. It's also worth noting I am currently 17 years of age, and I am male.

Is there any way to firmly say that I don't want to kiss her, but also without offending or hurting her?

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    @Crafter0800 did you try talk with her about it? – Mauricio Arias Olave Jul 11 '17 at 19:48
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    @MauricioAriasOlave she's aware that I generally do not like doing it, yet is still instant, if anything, I'm hoping you guys could give me some form of conversation lead or how to talk to her about this. If I knew how to talk about this I already would have done – Crafter0800 Jul 11 '17 at 20:14
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I've never been a seventeen year-old boy but I'll be the mother to one in about 16 years. This, I think, is something that you need to discuss with her as a way of setting boundaries as a burgeoning adult.

I have had to deal with a similar situation with my mom - growing up we kissed on the mouth and now I find it distasteful with anyone other than my husband. I get around this by redirecting her to my cheek whenever she tries to kiss me on the lips. It took a couple of times but she eventually figured it out. We didn't have to talk about it but we probably should have. Below is the sort of thing I'd bring up if I felt it necessary to talk about it with her.

Your situation is slightly different because you'd rather not kiss her at all. This may change as you get older but, for now, I think it sounds like a good time to introduce your mother to the concept of "body autonomy" or "bodily integrity". Essentially, if your mother truly respects you as an autonomous person, she needs to respect how you choose to use (or not use) your own body. It is inappropriate and disrespectful for her to force you to kiss her. There's a few guides out there but a lot of them relate to more critical situations like rape. There are some that relate more to kids and their own parents. One of them is here (reformatted to paragraph form rather than bullet points).

Your Body is Your Body.

This is a very important concept for kids (and adults) to understand. Your body belongs to you and no one else. Because of this, no one can do anything to or with your body without your permission. It’s a simple concept, but it can be really difficult to teach in practice. If your child’s body belongs to them, you can’t touch them without their consent. Not to make them brush their teeth when they won’t cooperate. Not to force them to give auntie a kiss when they don’t want to. Not for anything. That’s really difficult as a parent, but it’s vital that we teach our children these principles young.

We Respect Consent Always

Always. Always. Always. Respecting consent is about more than simply listening to the person. It means that you accept that they’ve made their decision and drop it. Respecting consent does not mean saying, “oh come on, it’s not that big a deal!” or “but I really want to!” or “but it’s fun!” Respecting consent simply means saying “okay” and leaving it at that.

No Means Immediate and Respectful No

This is so important to teach our kids as kids, so that it isn’t shocking to them as they grow older. Someone can say no at any time, and they deserve for their no to be respected immediately. Regardless of other circumstances. If you and your friend were having a tickle fight and that friend says stop, you immediately stop. If your friend doesn’t want to play tag, you cannot tag them. Even if they wanted to play tag five minutes ago, if they say stop, you immediately stop.

This does get into some of the more problematic situations but I've outlined the main points that relate to your situation with your mother above. I recommend that you do some more research and approach your mom with this new concept and ask her to respect your wishes. You may not be willing to kiss her now and until you grant her access to your kisses again, it is inappropriate for her to force you to kiss her. As part of this discussion, you should be considerate of her feelings and let her know that this is a two-way street. You will not infringe on her autonomy either. Let her know that you are happy to give her hugs but, for the time being, you'd rather not kiss her.

My hope is that if you approach her with this in an intelligent and informed manner, she will respect you and begin to see you as the adult you are becoming. Best wishes!

  • Nicely done, @Catija. This question, if asked and answered from the reverse perspective, would be a great example of a boundary question for which a well plotted out, "Don't, because..." answer should, in my opinion, be enough to save it from deletion. Do you agree? I ask because the other question has been deleted, so I'm unable to see it to get a sense of your rationale in the comments of the crossing-boundaries question in Meta. – WeaselADAPT Aug 21 '17 at 23:25

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