Many, many, many years ago when I taught third grade, girls would complain that boys tried to kiss them at school. These same complaints have now found their way into first grade classrooms. Both boys and girls are trying to kiss their classmates against the classmates’ will. We have had to have several talks about kissing, when and when it is not appropriate. I have explained that it is OK to kiss your mom and dad, your brothers and sisters, aunts and uncles and grandparents. Kissing is something you do with members of your family however; we do not kiss our friends at school. The children doing the kissing don’t seem to fully understand why they cannot kiss their friends. Boys are trying to kiss girls on the playground, on the bus, in line, at the cafeteria, or in any situation where they think they won’t be caught by a teacher. The girls do not like it, but are not mature enough to know what to do when another child grabs them and kisses them. That is why I get told AFTER it has happened but I am trying to teach both girls and boys to say “Stop if, I don’t like it when you kiss me. Stay away from me!” Children need to learn to speak up for themselves when they don’t like something that is happening to them. I am happy that they come to me, but I don’t want it to happen in the first place. I don’t really understand why so many first graders are kissing their friends, but some of it might be attributed to what they are being allowed to watch on TV, on DVD’s, on video games, or even what movies they go to see. 6 and 7 year olds should be allowed to be just that….6 and 7 years old. They will grow up soon enough but I would like to see them stay young children as long as possible. Parents please take a moment to talk to your child about kissing and when it is OK and who is definitely not allowed to be kissed by your child at school or in any other situation.