By Belinda Luscombe
July 14, 2016
Luscombe is an editor-at-large at TIME and the author of Marriageology: The Art and Science of Staying Together.

Victoria Beckham, she of the fashion line and the husband with the torso, ‘grammed a photo of herself kissing her daughter on the lips on her birthday. Your usual celebrity froth, right? Well, no. Some of the internet hordes took umbrage, because she kissed her daughter on the lips. Apparently in some cultures this is ick. A parent never kisses on the lips; that’s reserved for lovers. Then a whole bunch of other internet hordes took umbrage at the original umbrage. Moms kiss daughters: how dare you question it!

Just to set everyone straight, and so that we can avoid time- and data-sapping exercises like this in the future, here are the Top 9 Parenting Controversies That Aren’t Really Controversies At All.

You’re welcome.

  1. The Pacifier/Binky/Dummy: allowed, if it helps!
  2. The Naked Baby at the Beach: allowed! Until at least 3 years old. Not sexy, because baby. But sunscreen and hat please. And be aware photos on social may make child wince later.
  3. The Breastfeeding in Public: most definitely allowed, but don’t be a militant showpony about it if people aren’t used to it. Remember, to a lot of folks, they’re still boobs. Use judiciously on social.
  4. The Kissing Child on Lips: allowed unless traveling in land with strong feelings about the habit. Allowed on social media. (Ms. Beckham, you’re free to go.)
  5. The Leash: If you have that run-off-everywhere kid and you’re going somewhere public, allowed, but not in the house.
  6. The Co-sleeping with an Infant: allowed, but with agreement of both spouses.
  7. The Dressing in Clothing of Child of Opposite Sex: allowed, especially if hand me downs
  8. The Epidural: allowed! If you want! Not mandatory!
  9. The Photo of Baby Crowning: not allowed. Prohibited everywhere. Nope.

Now that that’s sorted let’s see if we can’t go figure out that kerfuffle over the South China Sea.

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