When your child is behaving badly, why not give them a hug instead of getting angry with them? The power of touch and love is an amazing thing and if they are acting out there is probably something wrong so why not fix it instead of making it worse?
It’s so much easier to express anger than love. The minute you see your child doing something out of line, you don’t hesitate before telling them to stop in a firm voice, or before losing your temper. Most of us are able to shell out feelings of frustration and indignation at the drop of a hat but when it comes to looking at our loved ones and telling them how deeply we care, we draw a blank.
When was the last time you hugged your kids?
And I mean really ‘hug’. Have you held them close to your heart for a few moments so he feels your love without you having to say a word? The good, old-fashioned bear hug that generates nothing but warmth, affection and a feeling of acceptance.
My husband has always teased me about being a lousy hugger, and he’s right, I am. I have never been into acts of physical affection. I remember always feeling weird when a boy would try to hug me or hold my hand. Yet, I always said that I wanted to make sure that I always hugged and kissed my kids.
Recently, I was reading something about parenting and I realized I have been slacking in the physical affection department. A mother who lost her daughter to cancer was writing about how one of the things she remembers most was hugging her daughter. The act of pure love, beyond words, a pause from the chaos, a happy place where there was nothing else between her and her daughter.
Then I realized somewhere along the line, life got in the way and I was so caught up in being a busy working mom that I forgot my pledge to hug my children. Part of it may have been that after breastfeeding twins for nine months and sharing my body, I was just craving my own space so much I was quick to distance myself given the opportunity. Part of it may be that I have never been a hugger. Part of it may be that I am just so busy. But no matter what the reason, they are all just excuses.
We have all felt the benefits a hug can have on our physical and emotional well-being. It’s proven that kids who are hugged often are very expressive and warm, while those who aren’t hugged very much or aren’t shown affection by their family usually grow up putting a distance between themselves and other people.
Hugging shows a child you love them. It’s a gesture of affirmation, appreciation, and acknowledgement.
A child who is hugged often has positive self-esteem, where a child who is hug-starved or doesn’t receive any other form of affirmation at home will likely start asking, “Am I loved?”
Not only does hugging benefit your children, it benefits you as well. It restores you, reminds you of your importance as a mother, it heals you, it brings you back to the present moment. Just writing this, I can’t believe it took me this long to see what I was missing out on.
Pledge To Hug
Knowing that something is good and doing it are two different things. So, I courage you to join me in my new pledge that I will hug my children every day, hopefully several times a day. Of course, I will follow-up on my challenge and let you know how it’s going and what kind of results I am seeing, but in the meantime I encourage you to comment below. Make the pledge yourself, or share your own story about hugging (and kissing) your children.