Importance Of Hugging Your Child
Love is the most wonderful thing that ever existed. With all the ups and downs of life, love alone is what gets us sailing all along. Our children are also born out of love, and they need to feel this love as they grow up. Hugging is one of the finest gestures of love. No matter how bad a day it was or how tired you are, when you hug your partner or your child at the end of the day, does it not feel special; does it not feel like all the worries have just somehow slipped away from your mind? This is exactly the magic of hugging.
Why should you hug your child?
Hugging comes from a safe space
The safest place for your child is “you”. Hugging makes your child feel that you are with him/ her. This feeling of trust, safety and security that your children associate with you stays with them throughout their life. They count on you as trustworthy and safe even when they grow up. Especially when they come across obstacles in their life, they would like to confide in you, share and discuss with you before doing it with anyone else.
The power of oxytocin
Hugging your child tends to release the hormone oxytocin, which in other words is the happy hormone. This hormone is the scientific explanation behind the magic of a hug. It whisks away your troubles in an instant. Oxytocin has also been scientifically associated with strengthening the immune system and the overall physical health of human beings. When you hug your child, both you and your child benefit from it.
Lessening fear amongst children
Hugging your child instantly calms him or her down. When something scares your child and they run to you, try to give the child a hug. Your hug will assure him or her that he or she is completely safe with you. Even for newborn children, when you hug them they tend to calm down quickly. Kangaroo care or skin-to-skin touch with a newborn is known to have amazing benefits.
Calming down tantrums of toddlers
The toddler stage is quite a challenging one for most parents. As toddlers, our children are curious, active, and wish to explore around them more, but they are not old enough to handle their emotions yet, which makes tantrums a part of this stage. However, hugging your toddler when he or she has a tantrum can calm the child down better than anything else. Our children understand the language of love and through love and not punishment can we communicate ourselves in the best manner.
Hugging keeps our children emotionally uplifted. It is an instant mood-booster. As your child grows up, he or she begins to be more independent in thoughts and actions, and through this transition, they often go through various emotions. Hugging your children will definitely help them handle their emotional side through their growing years.
Makes your bond stronger than ever
Hugging strengthens the bond between you and your child. Your child does not belong to your generation, and as the child grows up, there will be times when you may not agree on things, yet the bond that you share is what keeps generations together.
How long should you hug your child?
According to scientific findings, a brief 15 to 20 seconds of hug is good enough for you and your child. Besides hugs, gestures like holding hands of your child (ideally below 5 years) for at least 15 minutes each day has surprising benefits. your child to hug themselves at the end of them
Things to remember
Never force your child to hug you or anyone else. This kind of coercion can have detrimental effects on your child's mental and emotional growth, as the child would then associate compulsion and coercion as normal behaviour. You may however ask for a hug from your child. This can teach them the need for consent.
Hug stems from love, and I personally believe we should express ourselves to our children. They look up to us and learn from us. Let their foremost lesson of life be the magic of love.
Do you hug your child? How often do you hug your child? Do you think it is beneficial for children? Please feel free to share your views in the comments section.
Anindita Ganguly has a doctorate in English Literature. Her research area is Women's theatre. She has worked as a writer and editor in several publishing houses over the last decade. A voracious reader who loves doodling and is passionate about music, gardening and movies.