IE 11 is not supported. For an optimal experience visit our site on another browser.

‘Ew!’ Kourtney Kardashian’s kids cringe over PDA with Travis Barker

How much parental affection is too much for kids to see?
/ Source: TODAY

Everywhere we look, Kourtney Kardashian and Travis Barker are hugging and kissing. But Kourtney’s kids don't want to look.  

During the May 19 episode of Hulu’s "The Kardashians," Kourtney’s 9-year-old daughter Penelope cringed as the couple shared a long goodbye kiss at home.

"Mom! No kissing," said Penelope, who had been playing pingpong with her mom.

"Just one," said Kourtney. 

"No!" her daughter protested. 

The 2022 Met Gala Celebrating "In America: An Anthology of Fashion" - Arrivals
Travis Barker and Kourtney Kardashian's public displays of affection have been making Kourtney's kids cringe.John Shearer / Getty Images

Elsewhere in the episode, Kourtney’s 7-year-old son Reign recoiled at the couple’s affection over dinner with Barker’s daughter, Alabama, 16, son, Landon, 18, and stepdaughter, Atiana, 23.

"Ew, guys," Reign said as the couple kissed. "Can you guys not kiss in French again? Can you guys please not French kiss?"

Kourtney and Barker, who tied the knot on May 15 in a courthouse in Santa Barbara, California, have gotten criticized for their PDA-tinged photos, vacations and red carpet appearances

Related story: Kourtney Kardashian and Travis Barker make PDA-filled red carpet debut

However, Kourtney is unapologetic. After she was called “disgusting” and "gross" on Instagram for canoodling with Barker at Disneyland, she responded in an April 21 episode.  

“Kissing and hugging is not a bad thing,” said Kourtney. “I’m actually grateful that my kids can see a loving, affectionate relationship, because they haven’t seen that their whole lives.”

And her family backs this public devotion: Khloé Kardashian said the couple's bond is a “beautiful thing,” and Kim Kardashian called their hands-on relationship “so cute.”

Related story: Khloé Kardashian responds to mom-shamers who say she holds daughter True ‘too much’

Research indicates that couples who display “strong” marital affection have children with higher levels of education, while kids of couples in high-conflict relationships carry higher levels of cortisol, a steroid hormone that manages the body’s stress response. 

But how much parental affection is too much for kids to see?

“Children need to see their parents demonstrate warmth and affection toward each other by holding hands, hugging and pecks on the cheek or lips,” Fran Walfish, a psychotherapist and author of “The Self-Aware Parent,” tells TODAY Parents.

However, when kids witness too many intimate displays of affection (anything with tongue comes to mind), they could be curious to mimic the behavior, either alone or with their peers, Walfish says.

"When it’s too much, it runs the risk of titillating or over-sexualizing children,” Walfish says. “It can also confuse kids in relation to appropriate boundaries."

On the other hand, children in families with little or no displayed affection can experience stifled communication skills and an inability to identify or express warmth toward others, Walfish notes.

An appropriate dose of affection communicates love, not lust, says Walfish: “We all need a safe harbor for comfort and warmth.”

Related video: