Victoria Beckham is getting hammered for giving her kid a birthday kiss

Can there be a sweeter picture than a mom (or dad) kissing their child? Not in our book (unless there was a cute puppy in the mix somewhere). But Victoria Beckham’s latest Instagram snap, showing her doing just that, has provoked a mixed response — and not all of it is positive.

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It was her youngest child and only daughter Harper’s 5th birthday on Sunday, and her famous mom posted an adorable snapshot of them in a swimming pool together, sharing a kiss on the lips.

While many people commented to say how much they loved the sweet pic, some didn’t see it the same way. “It’s nice but you’re not supposed to kiss you’re [sic] children on the lips. I’m not trying to be rude but it’s true,” wrote one. Nobody came right out and slammed Beckham for her actions, but several people definitely expressed unease.

It was only last year that a child and educational psychologist triggered a debate by saying kissing your child on the lips might be “overly stimulating” (to one or both of you). Dr. Charlotte Reznick said lip kissing was “confusing” for kids because their parents kiss each other on the mouth, and advised all parents to stop kissing their kids on the mouth stat.

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Basically, we can’t win. We don’t show our kids enough affection, and they grow up feeling neglected and unloved. We show them too much affection, and we’re stimulating them in some depraved way that will leave them scarred for life.

Lots of kids — far too many kids — experience real sexual abuse. It happens behind closed doors, often goes on for years and causes unfathomable levels of harm. To suggest that a mother who kisses her child on the lips is even vaguely inappropriate or harmful is laughable.

We’re all affectionate to our kids in different ways. Some parents aren’t overly tactile or demonstrative but show their love in other ways. Other parents provide a constant supply of hugs and kisses. And it goes both ways. Some kids love giving their moms and dads big, wet, slobbery kisses, while others are far more reserved. It’s not a measure of how much you love one another. Nor is it anybody else’s business.

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