I just watched the new episode on Britain's Got Talent 2018, featured a singing act between a father and son. The act was really great, and I really love the special and deep bond between the father and son. But I am a little confused. As shown in this clip, the father kissed his 12 years old son on the lips more than one.


I know it is the great love the father has for his son. But at the age of 12, is it normal that he still kisses his son on the lips. I am asking because where I live, it is not a common thing. So I am wondering if it is a cultural thing.

  • 1
    There was a fairly recent hubbub about Tom Brady, an American football player, who kissed his son on the lips while getting a massage. It's not normal in the US.
    – Dispenser
    Apr 30, 2018 at 18:24

4 Answers 4


This is very much depending on culture - but not just with regards to a nation or social group, it will also reflect very much on family culture.

We've had questions on the appropriateness of various degrees of physical affection , including kissing on the mouth, on the site (e.g. here).

Traditionally, it seems that for women kissing, hugging and cuddling with children is far more acceptable (especially with babies and young children), while for men the expectation used to be a more distant behavior - both physically and emotionally. But times seem to change: In my peer group (Germany, age bracket 35-45), men who are close will hug each other for a greeting and I see fathers cuddling and hugging their children. You might also want to consider that the father in your video is a stay-at-home dad who raises the children, therefore possibly slipping more into the traditionally feminine patterns.

So in short, I’d see the “kissing on the lips” as a family thing that while perhaps unusual is still within the wide range of “normal”, not something to worry about. Kids that are a bit older will typically insist on fewer or more subtle displays of affection (at least in public) once they hit puberty - and if all involved parties are ok with the kissing, who are we to judge?


I've had to realize over the years that I actually have no idea what's normal, a lot of the time, even in what I would consider my own culture. My whole family kisses on the lips and holds hands, regardless of age, sex, gender, whatever. That's always been true in both my dad's family and my mom's family, so I always assumed it was normal, but I've heard plenty of questions like this where a lot of people thought it was weird or even bad. shrug If it's normal for them, it's normal for them, kwim?


I'll say simply- this is very Apples and Oranges and there's a lot of factors in play.

Firstly, this is Television- as a result, a pinch, cup or gritting lorries worth of salt should be taken with whatever is seen. Sure, sometimes it's sincere, but folks- this isn't (sadly) a world where nothing but facts is shown because who wants facts when they can sit and watch fiction that's more exciting and generates higher views?

Secondly- who's to argue what the "norm" is in this situation? Some families simply are that close, we impose meaning, intent and our own values on others actions in what can frequently be called plain prejudicial. In some cultures and countries, it's quite "normal", regardless of gender, to kiss one another on the cheek as a greeting, in others, it's "normal" to shake hands.

Without actually having some solid background on them or knowing them as people, it's not fair or easy to judge precisely what the intention or meaning is behind any of this is. For them, this could be "normal", it could be it's manipulated for TV to appear semi-controversial.

I've seen friends greet each other with kisses on the lips, cheek, hugs, shakes of a hand and family members of all ages say they love one another- regardless of if they're speaking to their children or extended family.

Perhaps I'm open-minded, or too broad with my views not to judge on account of these actions and not reflect on it as somehow being a window into how they are as people or what relationship is behind it.


No it isn't normal in any European or European Based Culture. Also the way they sit together would raise my eyebrows.

But then again, this is TV and these kind of shows are notorious for creating a lot of fake stories just to create headlines.

So I wouldn't give too much about what you see on camera, it is cut and full of stage directions towards people that havn't the slightest expierince on how to act on camera.

  • 2
    I disagree with your general “not normal” statement. If that were true, I’d know quite a few people engaging in “abnormal” behavior. Me included.
    – Stephie
    May 1, 2018 at 8:32

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