Why Shouldn’t Dads Kiss Their Sons?

Doug FrenchFatherhood on Friday

We owe a great debt to John Cardillo for unleashing the full power of the Streisand Effect on one of our culture’s most ridiculous hangups: Men expressing affection.

So many emotions happening at once, here. At face value, you’ve got a dad hugging his adult son and kissing him on the cheek. But when you probe the context, you see a father and son who formed a singular bond while grieving the son’s mother, who died in a car wreck.

You burn a little knowing the tweet was meant to belittle the father, but you’re gratified by how ratioed the tweet is, overwhelmed with replies that “Yes, it’s absolutely appropriate.” You’re sad for those whose dads have died and wish they had the chance to be held and kissed again.

Then you consider the psyche of the poor, love-starved goblin who was so creeped out, and you can’t help but feel a little pity.

There are bigger themes here that relate to regressive masculinity, patriarchal insecurity, prurient hypersensitivity, and dash of homophobia. But since we’re in the business of raising boys to be good men, we support any opportunity for a young man to see his father expressing affection in a benign and supportive way. 

When it comes to showing our sons we love them, we’re commissioned officers in the Kiss Army.


Because ALS took the life of Jake Kennedy, whose Christmas in the City gala supports underprivileged kids, his son Zack is making it his life’s work to eradicate the disease.

Kolt Codner raised $12,300 for Akron Children’s Hospital by pushing himself to run the full 26 miles — 1 mile for each month of leukemia treatment his son Andrew has remaining.

Ten-year-old Romeo Cox decided what he wanted more than anything else was a hug from his 77-year-old grandmother, so he and his dad “walked and took boats” for the entire 1,700-mile journey.

Earlier this week, the death of Jamie Redford means his famous dad has now outlived both of his sons.

Kim Isaak’s family will support her dad and participate in this year’s virtual Moving Day Chicago, which helps Parkinson’s sufferers learn new exercises to manage their symptoms.

When you talk to dads about why they resist taking paternity leave, cases like this one — when a judge allowed a dad to be fired after returning from his leave — come up.

Expectant father Rob Armstrong started a dad blog because “I didn’t see many guys or dads online that had blogs or anything like that.” Isn’t he adorable?

This dad designed a Halloween costume for his daughter that’s current as today’s temporary normal: A walking Zoom meeting.

A dad and his daughter have been posting mimicked shots from movies like The Shining, The Big Lebowski, and Legally Blonde, and their IG account has amassed 14,000 followers.


“My body jerked, I opened my eyes and lay awake until sunrise. Though she stayed in her crate all day, the flashbacks continued throughout the day.” — Michael Moebes, The Attack

“The power of a printed book is hard to overstate, especially for growing children.” — Vincent O’Keefe, A Shelf of One’s Own: Reading Print Books Can Help Children in Pandemic

“How many young Connecticut workers in the position my dad was 50 years ago earn a wage that allows them to afford adequate housing?” — Sean Ghio, This Is Not My Dad’s Deal

“I bent a lot – often when I probably shouldn’t have. By the time it was over, I had bent so much I was broken.” — Nic Casey, What It’s Like to Be Me: All Falls Apart Pt 3, Still Trying

“The manner in which he now told me he was bored suggested that he was so bored by his own bored om that he could barely muster the enthusiasm to speak of it at all.” — Mark O’Connell, “Dad, I’m Bored”: What I Learned From My Son’s Incurable Boredom


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Photo by Hello I’m Nik 🎞 on Unsplash