Why We Need To Hug Our Kids DAILY
Did you know that we need 4 hugs a day for survival, 8 hugs a day for maintenance, and 12 hugs a day for growth? If it’s so beneficial for adults, can you imagine the importance of hugging on a child?
We share with you 15 reasons why you should hug your little ones daily.
Reason 1 – To Create Happy Children
Reason 2 – To Creates Optimistic Kids
Reason 3 – To Help Their Emotional Well-Being
Reason 4 – To Keeps Them Healthy
Reason 5 – To Help Them Feel Safe
Reason 6 – To Develop Self – Esteem
Reason 7 – To Help with Discipline
Reason 8 – To Help Kids Grow
Reason 9 – To Boost Their Intelligence
Reason 10 – To Relaxes Their Muscles
Reason 11 – To Build a Strong Bond Between Parents and Kids
Reason 12 – To Help Them Become Stronger
Reason 13 – To Teach Them How To Show Empathy
Reason 14 – T0 Help With Tantrums
Reason 15 – To Boost Social Skills
We often hear that parents that hug, cuddle, kiss their kids a lot “spoil” them. I think this is one of the most ridiculous things I’ve ever heard. Us as parents can’t spoil our kids with love. It’s impossible! We can spoil them by showering them with a 1 million and 2nd toy that they saw at a store and needed it right there, we spoil them by ignoring them, but we can never spoil them with love.
It is better to hug your child a 100 times a day, then giving them a tap on the shoulder when seeing them off to school.
How did we become so reserved with our kids? Where did that love shared within a family go? Did our phones take it away from us? Don’t you think we need to put our phones down, bring back family dinners and give them enormous amount of love because if not us, they will look for that love elsewhere.
Did you know that a 20 second hug helps your child be happier, healthier, smarter, more resilient and closer to their parent, and no, they won’t have dependency issues.
Have you read a book by Gary Chapmen – 5 Love Languages of Children: The Secret to Loving Children Effectively? If you haven’t, you should really consider that – it’s a great read (you can see the link to the book in the sidebar to the right)!
The book teaches us that we can show our children that we love them through the time that we spent together, words of affirmations we tell them, acts of service, gifts and physical touch. Remember, children thrive in environments where they know they are loved.
Thanks to the enormous amount of research we know that hugging your babies regulate their breathing, heart rate, blood sugar levels, temperature; then why do people think that hugging and kissing their older kids leads to spoiling them?
Do you massage your child? Therapeutic touch is so important in can’t be overestimated! I frequently massage my little girl to sleep and I noticed that it leads to a better sleep, and waking up with a smile 🙂
Did you know there was a National Hugging Day and a Global Hug Your Kids Day? Isn’t it crazy that we need to be reminded to hug? Isn’t it the most natural thing for us as humans to do?
Anyway, let’s get to the reasons for hugging. If this post leads to at least one parent hugging their child more than before, I’ll be happy 🙂
Reasons For Hugging Our Kids
Reason 1. Hugging Creates Happy Children
Thanks to the Love hormone – oxytocin that’s released with a gentle physical touch we feel loved and happy. The hormone takes away stress and puts us in a better mood. Hugging in a way is similar to meditation which teaches us to live in the moment and enjoy it. Serotonin – a neurotransmitter released when hugging keeps sad feelings away and make us happier. Don’t you just wanna give your child another reason to be happy?
Reason 2. Hugging Creates Optimistic Kids
Love hormone also promotes optimism and develops a positive mindset, so if you want your child to grow into an optimistic person, someone who always tries to find the best in a given situation, solve problems easily and help others, hug them again.
Reason 3. Hugging Helps Their Emotional Well-Being
When a child get frightened, the stress hormone – cortisol is released. Hugging helps decrease cortisol levels, increases oxytocin, and lowers systolic blood pressure in stressful situations.
Reason 4. Hugging Keeps Kids Healthy
Researches found that hugging boosts immune system and helps fight off infection.
It turns out that hugging leads to lowering the plasma levels of thyroid hormones thus speeding up the healing process.
Another health related benefit of hugging is described in the Max Your Mind book. Apparently, gentle pressure applied to breastbone stimulates thymus gland, which regulates and balances the production of white blood cells which keeps you healthy and cleanses your body off disease (according to the “Max Your Mind” book (check the book in the sidebar).
Reason 5. Hugging Gives Them a Sense of Security
By hugging our children regularly we embed a sense of trust and security in them which helps them discover the world around them and learn new things easier. When they know they are accepted in their family for who they are, they learn self-worth and are not scared of communicating openly.
Reason 6. Hugging Helps Our Kids Develop Self – Esteem
Hugging helps our kids grow up into confident adults. Those kids that feel loved and appreciated tend to develop higher levels of self – esteem and increased motivation. When we hug our kids we reassure them that they are loved which helps them develop self – confidence and love themselves for who they are. Isn’t it one of the top qualities for a happy and successful person.
Reason 7. Hugging Helps Our Kids with Their Discipline
Before putting them in the time-off corner, we must give them a loving hug, tell them we love them and explain what they did wrong. If we do it this way, we have a better chance of them hearing what you have to say.
Reason 8. Hugging Helps Kids Grow
According to the studies, when kids don’t get enough physical contact their bodies stop growing normally.
Another benefit, is that hugging triggers the release of oxytocin that instantly stimulates growth by increasing the growth hormones and nerve growth factor.
Reason 9. Boosts Child’s Intelligence
There has been a numerous number of studies showing that loving your child boosts their intelligence. When children don’t get enough care and affection, it tend to lower their IQs.
For a child to grow healthy and smart, they need a sensory stimuli – loving physical touch definitely comes to help. Loving, not a come-here- let’s-hug-&-get-it-over-with one. Children need to feel they are loved.
It’s heartbreaking to learn that children in orphanages lose one month of growth for every three spent there (they later go through the growth spurts, but miss out on the growth most children experience), but as soon as they get transferred to a foster home and after having been there for a year and a half, they will have nearly caught up and the reason for that – the more loving, attentive environment.
Do you remember that experiment by Harry Harlow conducted in the middle of XX century? There, a baby monkey had a choice to be with “Surrogate Monkey” made of bare wire mesh and equipped to dispense milk, or the other one was covered with soft terry cloth. Even though the monkey would go to the first one to feed, it would spend most of its’ time with the “Soft Monkey”. Thus, he suggested that the infant love comes not purely from the satisfaction of their physiological needs, but from the emotional attachment and physical contact.
In another experiment, the research shows that children whose parents showed them love and nurture from early age have enlarged brain regions linked to learning, memory and response to stress.
Don’t you just love these moments when your child gives you one of those tight, snuggly hugs that make your heart soar up high? Imagine, how they feel when we give them such hugs?
Do you give your child enough loving hugs? The affection that you give to your little squirrels is something they will carry in their hearts forever, and will cherish even when we are no longer there. So get up at night when they cry, rock them in your arms, blow at their scraped knees and show them you love them.
Reason 10. Hugging Relaxes Muscles
Hugging relieves tension in their bodies, soothing aches and pains.
Reason 11. Hugging Builds a Strong Bond Between Parents and Kids
When we hug our child, it increases trust, reduces fear, improves relationships and bonding between us. They learn that we love them unconditionally and just because they are who they are. When they misbehave, act naughtily, they need our hugs and understanding even more. If your child is in distress, by getting a hug from you, they learn to trust you and know that you will be there for them whenever they need you.
Reason 12. Hugging Helps Your Kids Become Stronger
When our kids are in distress, high levels of cortisol and norepinephrine – stress hormones are released. These hormones can impact their mental and physical state if left unattended for an extended period of time (remember, our kids can’t regulate it yet) resulting in weaker immune system, bad memory, verbal reasoning…
Hugging releases the oxytocin hormone which helps lower the stress hormone, reducing depression and anxiety.
Reason 13. Hugging Teaches Our Kids How to Show Empathy
Kids that receive love from their parents tend to care for others more. By exchanging the energy during a hug kids understand how you are feeling at that specific moment. It shows them that love is a two way street and before asking for love one must give it first.
By learning how to emphasize kids learn how to form healthy relationships.
Reason 14. Hugging Helps with Tantrums
Some think that hugging a screaming child rewards such behavior, but that’s not the case. Our toddlers are still getting used to their bodies, learning daily about their emotions and life around them. This crazy world is too overwhelming for us, adults, imagine what our kids are going through?
They don’t know how to regulate their emotions and lose control – that’s how tantrums happen. Hugging a crying child helps them to avoid an emotional crash.
Reason 15. Hugging Helps Them Build Their Social Skills
When we hug our kids when they are happy, sad, when we appreciate their help, and just because we love them, our kids learn how they can soothe a crying friends, support a friends that wins a competition, or just as a thank you gesture.
So please, don’t skip on a loving hug, your child will love that, it will help them to grow into a healthy, loving, optimistic individual and your bond now and always will be unbreakable!
If you are not a really Touchy Person and don’t know where to start, how about implementing this little To-Hug List into your daily routine?