I came across an article that talked about how important hugs are and how they benefit a child’s emotional well-being, even in their teenage years. Therapists say about 8-12 hugs a day is best for emotional wellbeing.http://www.sharecare.com/question/hugs-important-to-emotional-health
That got me thinking about my own childhood and I was trying to remember if I received a lot of hugs. From my mom? No! I can’t remember her ever hugging me. Hugs from my dad? Yes but more of the tousling my hair (knuckle sandwiches), pretending to get my nose between his fingers and the overall love that he showed which made me really feel special. My siblings? No not until we were much older.
I think that growing up I was not emotionally secure. I felt insecure and it took me many years to feel worthy of love and have the inner strength to know that I could do anything I set my mind to. I definitely spent years seeking attention and approval from many different people. It wasn’t until I had a daughter of my own that I realized hugs had been missing in my own childhood. I couldn’t hug her enough. I didn’t understand why my mother was not more affectionate with me and my sisters. To make matters worse she adored my brother (10 years younger than my younger sister) and he never lacked the hugs and attention from her like we did.
Parents, I want to encourage you to hug your children. Maybe not overdo it with your teenagers in public so that they are embarrassed, but let them know how special they are. Maybe start with a loving pat on the back several times a day. Maybe you already do that. If hugs are missing in your life, I know that it can feel uncomfortable to start now but it is really important to have that physical, I love you, contact with your children. Research shows that inwardly they are craving it, no matter what they say.
Here’s are some sites that have a lot of good information on hugs:
“Hugs are good for you”. http://www.squidoo.com/hugs-are-good-for-you#module12448682
“Can a hug make teenagers less terrible.” http://www.scotsman.com/news/can-a-hug-make-teenagers-less-terrible-1-1090161
“Do teens need hugs?” http://ronaejull.com/2012/06/21/do-teens-need-hugs/
I would love to hear how you connect with your teenagers. Have you hugged them today? What is your advice on how other parents can get started to implement that into their daily life.
I send you a hug,
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