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I Say I Love You and Kiss My Teenage Boys Every Day

By Annette Reuss - 3rd April 2011

Do you kiss your kids often?  Do you tell them you love them every day?   I do.  They kiss me back and tell me they love me too.  Often this happens more than once a day.   My kids are 17 and almost 19.

I grew up in an environment where the words “I love you” were never said, well almost never said.  When I was 15 my mother told me she loved me in an awkward moment in the bathroom.  I didn’t say it back.  I still remember how weird it was and how uncomfortable I felt.  I didn’t know how to say those words.  I didn’t even like hearing them.  It was awkward.

I wondered what kind of parent I would be.  Would I share my love freely with lots of kisses, hugs and  ”I love you’s”?  Or would I be more reserved?  Cold.  Like my upbringing?  They say your parenting style often reflects that of your parents.  I’m so glad mine didn’t.

I was quite unprepared for the love I would feel for my boys.  I wasn’t prepared to be totally overwhelmed with it.  I didn’t expect I would be saying “I love you” so often or with such emotion.  It really took me by surprise.  

I have never been able to stop hugging my boys.  Whenever they are close enough to me I have to touch their arm, leg or head.  When I first see them in the morning I greet them with a “good morning” give them a hug and tell them that I love them.  I have done this forever.  I still do this.  

When they leave each morning, it is the same thing.  A hug, a kiss and an “I love you”.  When they get home ... the same.  When they go to bed ... the same.  

It never feels awkward.  It never feels wrong.  It is part of who we are.  

My boys have a step father who has been a part of their lives for the last 10 years.  They are the same with him.   It warms my heart to see my almost 19 year old come home and go straight over and hug and kiss his step dad.

Being demonstrative is just like breathing in our home.  It’s not shunned upon.  It’s not ridiculed.  It is us.

Someone asked me the other day if I thought it was strange that my boys kissed and hugged their step father.  I’ve never thought about it.  This person said that boys don’t usually kiss men once they stopped being toddlers.  What?  Who says this?   They were very surprised to see my boys do this.   I was very surprised that they found this odd.

I’m immensely happy that my boys are so loving and demonstrative.  Mr almost 19 is the same with his girlfriend.  He is very sweet and gentle, yet boisterous and clumsy.  Both my boys know love.  They feel it and they give it.  I’m so glad about that.  I wouldn’t want it any other way.

What do you think?  Should boys, once they pass toddler stage, keep kissing the males in their life, or should they stop?  Are my boys odd?   What do you want for your boys?  

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