18 answers

4Year Old Girls Kissing

My 4 year old daughter was caught kissing her 4 year old friend in the bedroom while they were having a sleep over. I know some of people say it is normal behavior for a 4 year old to experiment. I'm just freaking out thinking it's not ok. I did explain to her that it's not exceptable, and it should never happen again. Well today they were playing again, and I noticed they were really quite, so I went in there, and they immediatley said that they weren't kissing, and I didn't even say anything. I made the little girl go home, and had another talk with my daughter. I called the little girls mom and told her about the problem, and she told me that a girl that use to play with her daughter had kissed her daughter, and that's probably where she got it, but i don't know what i should do. I'm not going to let the little girl back at my house. Do you think this is the solution?

What can I do next?

So What Happened?™

So I talked to my daughter about the issues, and explained to her that I know she loves her friend, but maybe she should hug her instead of kissing her. She said that she understands, so we will see what happens. Thank you to everyone that has responded. you really helped me from freaking out. And now my husband understands too. THanks

More Answers

Kristen,

I think that you need to think about what types of patterns you are setting up for your child. Are you going to have her grow up with you banning anything with the potential for a conversation?

At 4 years old, she cannot possibly understand what you are so upset about. I am sure she sees kissing between you and your spouse, her brother and sister, other relitives and friends, and depending on your house rules, possibly television. How is she to comprehend at 4 years old that this is something that is sexually based, and not an act of love that one person shows another?

You need to have a conversation with her, at her level, if this is something that you do not want to continue. You have to understand that as a 4 year old, she will probably defy you. If she continues kissing friends, are you going to ban all of them from your home? Come up with a gentle way to explain that there are different types of kissing, and which are and are not appropriate.

I believe this will do you a lot better than setting up a pattern for banning at any slight infraction.

With all of the conversation this has caused on this message board, I am curious to hear how you have decided to handle this.

The best of luck to you,
S.

3 moms found this helpful

Ok... I have to respond to this, because I'm sensing major homophobia at this site now. First, I'm a lesbian. My children see my partner and I kiss. Is that going to make my children gay? NO! Children kiss and show affection, because it's natural. To the girls, two girls kissing is just like mom kissing daughter. You don't have to worry that your child is going to be gay. I feel for your child, though. I think that if she were to struggle with sexuality when she is older, she would definitely not feel safe coming to you for advice.

3 moms found this helpful

They are 4, that is a normal behavior at that age. It is not sexual, they are too young. They are showing affection. Banning the child from your home is not a positive solution. It is punishing your child and her friend. It could potentially cause her to feel shame for showing affection to friends and family. This is not a distinction I would feel comfortable imposing on my son. Seeing as you have 2 daughters, your youngest is most likely showing the same affection to her friend as to her sister.

Good Luck

B.

Good Luck

2 moms found this helpful

No, I don't think that's the solution. I think by doing this you are inadvertantly causing your daughter to wonder what she did. Although she may not remember this particular instance far down the road, but it's setting her up for problem- whether large, or small, that's up to your daughter's maturaty level. I definitly think you should explain why you don't think it's appropriate, but come on now, don't ban her from her friends.
She'll just lash out later in life. I know I did.

2 moms found this helpful

I'm going to guess over the past 4 years that you've kissed your daughter a lot, and you do so as a sign of affection and love. I'm certain there's nothing sexual whatsoever about it, but a way to show your daughter that she's a special person in your life.

Along the way, she has learned that special people receive close affection that makes her feel warm and loved. It's likely that she really likes her friend and cares about her, albeit in a nonsexual way. Her friend is probably important to her and very special, and she has chosen to show her affection in a manner that she has been taught all her life.

Just relax, this is fairly normal behavior for children. Unless she's kissing like she's seen on tv shows, which might not be innocent. I doubt she's experiementing with her sexuality; she's just showing her best friend affection.

2 moms found this helpful

Not to worry at this age, they are experimenting. It's a curious age. My son and his cousin were kissing and laying on eachother at that age. Hasn't happened since but they are still very close. Maybe have them play where they can be seen so that you are sure this is not a problem?

2 moms found this helpful

Hello, I have a two year old and she was caught kissing one of her little boyfriends at daycare. I don't think they are planning on going steady or getting married. They just like each other. Lots of families kiss their children and siblings on the mouth. It's no big deal; it isn't sexual, it isn't meant to be something more than I love you for you. Don't worry about your daughter and her friend. Just explain to your daughter that you don't kiss on the mouth in your house because you're worried about germs, etc. Tell her she can kiss her friend on the cheek if she wants instead.

2 moms found this helpful

Hate to say this, but I think you're making the wrong decision. Kids at this age do not understand sexuality. It is perfectly normal behavior. My son was in preschool last year and he was always getting in trouble for hugging and kissing all the girls. And all the boys always hugged each other hi and bye. It's NORMAL. YOU are reading WAY too much into it. Why on earth would you ban your daughter's friend??? That's a hateful thing to do to your daughter. I think you should do some research on toddler affections. And people wonder where "homophobes" comes from!

1 mom found this helpful

Hi. I have an 8 yr old and a 4 yr old myself. I can't say I have had this experience, BUT I have to say that a 4 yr old can NOT comprehend this or the implications it has in an adult's mind. I think making an issue out of it will make it worse and make her more curious than it will to stop the behavior.

I would be more worried why the little girl that did it "first" to your daughter's friend got the idea. Somewhere along the line there is a child that thinks this is the way to show love and or friendship. I would be working to help that child ! In the case of your child, I would not keep the child out of your house, instead I would not let them alone together for awhile. However, I would not make this apparent to them, that they are not allowed alone together. Just always be there. Eventually I think at 4 yrs old this would stop.

I know my 8 yr old son just doesn't understand why he can't strip to his underware when his friend (girl) is over. (afterall his 4 yr old sister gets away with it sometimes) He has not concept and honestly neither does the 8 yr old girl...but her MOm and I were a little taken back by it. Making an issue of it made it an issue with the kids and they kept doing it, until we stopped discussing it and now it isn't fun anymore because we don't react. Does that make any sense? I hope so.

M.

1 mom found this helpful

Okay...I've read the other mothers postings as I did yours, and I have to agree with most of the moms. Your daughter is 4. She can not comprehend what is going on. My daughters are 5 and 2. I kiss my daughters, as does my mom, their dad, my uncles etc. Kissing is a sign of friendship and affection. And I think that if you ban that little girl from your house, your little girl is going to rebel and not bring any of her future friends home when she gets older...causing some terrible tension between you two, and possibly growing apart. Think about this for awhile before you make your final decision.

good luck,

M. f

1 mom found this helpful

K.,
Lots of young children engage in this kind of exploration. Generally, it is harmless when children are about the same age and they go on to other kinds of play.
What could be a problem is if your daughter is feeling ashamed and guilty. You should reassure her that you're not mad at her.
The main concern for a parent, I think, is to avoid a child being exploited by another child or be taken advantage of by a more sophisticated child. It's the other girl in this situation who needs to be well supervised. You may develop rules as to when your daughter can be around this girl.
In addition, I think you want to teach your daughter to tell her friends "no" when they ask her to do something that you have told her is wrong.
However, if you encourage her to talk to you and don't get mad, you will have a better idea what's going on.
Again, it may seem wierd, but really not out of the realm of normal and fairly tame and when supervised in a non threatening way they will stop doing it I bet.

Don't worry, and don't freak out!

1 mom found this helpful

I am sure the correct response is to not make a big deal out of it but I am right there with you I would be freaking out too! I think I would either not have the girl over to play anymore or only let them play where they can be seen at all times that way they will not be given the opportunity to do anything.

1 mom found this helpful

umm, i have to tell you that i'm not an expert on what "normal" behavior at this age is, but i TOTALLY agree with your decision.
i have a boy and it's difficult for me to get him to even kiss me, so maybe i just don't understand how girls like to play at this age. here is what i think though: children love to reenact behavior that they are exposed to. whether it is good or bad. so maybe she (the friend) just saw her parents doing this or saw it on tv. or, maybe she is being sexually molested. i don't think either one should be made to feel guilty about what happened, but they needed to know that kind of play isn't permitted because it is an act of love between adults only. kids can hug to show their love for one another. and the fact that you think it may have happened again after being told not to kiss each other like that justifies your decision to not invite the girl back. stick to your guns, girl! if your daughter enjoys having her friend as a playmate, maybe you can have them play in more neutral territory like a park or someplace outdoors. not in a bedroom. good luck with this!

1 mom found this helpful

Hello K.! Ok you want an honest answer? Well no i dont think thats the solution. They are 4 yrs old and maybe you and the other mom should sit down with both girls and explain to them that girls shouldnt be kissing girls. But you dont want to make it seem as if she should be scared to tell you how she is feeling. She's only 4 yrs old and doesnt understand whats going on. Just calm down and everything will be ok. If its ok with you, i would like to ask you a few questions. How do you feel about homosexuality? What kind of naghborhood do you live in? That could explain why you feel the way you do or why she is doing that. I know when i was really little me and my friends would play house and kiss because we would see mom and dad do it. Im not telling you to stop kissing your husban in front of your kids you just have to tell them whats appropriate for kids. Well i hope what i said helps you. Best of luck to yu!!!

1 mom found this helpful

Hi K.,

I haven't read any of the responses to this one, but I was in your same shoes last year and I was very sick over the sitatuion. It took everything for me to confront the mother of the girl, and the reply was that it wasn't a big deal. My feeling is that it isn't a big deal if it is out in the open (i.e., the kids are playing right in front of you and are playing house, and someone gives a little hug and kiss). However, My daughter went to play for the first time at her friend's house, who had been to my home every day for an entire summer. I never let her go to her house because I just didn't feel comfortable and didn't know if her mom would watch them (well, I guess my fear was right). My daughter came home after 45 minutes like I instructed, and I asked what they did - she said they played boyfriend/girlfriend game and that she was kissing her --- but that she made my daughter promise not to tell her mom (ME)! I asked her to show me what kind of kiss and it wasn't just a peck. To me the "DONT TELL" was a definite RED FLAG! This may sound crazy and I laugh now thinking about my reaction, but I was so sick and I just knew my little girl was waiting for my reaction so I just said "thank goodness you told me and I praised her over and over for this - I said hurry we have to wash your face, give you a vitamin and a little medicine, because kissing can spread germs and "SALLY" should know better being that she is older than you!" Later I told her how important it is that she tell mom EVERYTHING! I also did role playing whereby I gave her replies to uncomfortable situations.

I couldn't stop her from playing with this girl - and didn't want to since I figured she would NEVER tell me anything again. Instead she isn't allowed to her house, which I say is because the girls mom is too busy to watch her and keep her as safe as I can. The girl comes here to play and I don't let them out of my sight - they get mad, but I tell them either play in the living room or your friend can go home. They manage.

Best of luck to you!! I say it's always better to error on the side of caution. Just be careful not to make your little girl think she can't tell mommy things because then she'll lose her friends.... if you decide not to let her play with this girl.

1st these things do happen, and sometimes even a little more...... Your number one priority is to stay calm, and not over react about it!!!!!
2nd just let your child know that she's not bad, because you don't want them to feel bad about themselves... But, explain that they are too young to do these things, and we don't do these things with other little children....

The calmer you are, the less of a big deal it is to your child. And, you won't make your child feel as if they were wrong..... Never punish them for it either!!!!!
But, the bigger deal you make the more curious they are!!!!!

And, yes talking to the other childs mother was the right thing to do.......

I agree that by you freaking out it will send a signal to her you may not wish to.
She doesnt know its sexual. YOUR teaching her its bad & naughty when she isnt relating the kiss to anything sexual to begin with. If she feels guilty or naughty about something she doesnt view as sexual she could have some strange issues with affection/her self physically b/c she was taught to have shame & guilty about things like that. I'd try not to over react & just say something like " I'd prefer if you didnt do that." or give a silly reason about spreading cooties! That way she knows you dont want her to do it but doesnt feel so attacked.

wow if this is how you deal with this little of an issue when she is only 4 i can't imagine how you'r going to deal with the issues that arrise as she gets older. The most important yet difficult relationship is between a mother and daughter and from a young age she needs to know that she can come to you with anything. Without you freaking out on her. I hope that you will have a heart to heart with your daughter. and explain that you weren't ready to deal with what you saw. and let her know that you will always be there for her. If not she will shut you out. And i'm sure that you dont want that. And so what if she turns out to be gay. Atleast you didn't walk in on her mutilating animals ..that is a real issue.
gl and let us know how it works out!

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