I was given advice on my youngest who loves so passionately but can lash out, creating a bolt of fury that disrupts the entire household. “Hug them, even more.”
“Hug them when they are at their worst. This is the time they truly need you.”
“Hug them and hold on.”
Tears of frustration run down his face, as I pick him up, kicking and flailing, I hold him tightly to my core as though I am trying to absorb his pain. “One, two, three…”, I count until I reach 20. Then, I rub his back as his head snuggles into my neck. “I love you, mummy.”
I quietly take a short sigh of relief, knowing next time it might not end as well but I will always try… he deserves my time and effort.
There are so many benefits to the science behind hugging your child:
- Hugs make your kids smarter… the human touch is essential to their development.
- Hugs keep kids healthy… the release of oxytocin makes them feel safe and loved and is associated with growth and development.
- Hugs can stop tantrums… emotional outbursts can be a result of lack of control, consoling your child with a hug reminds them they have support and a source of calm.
- Hugs make kids more resilient… high levels of stress hormones can have a lasting negative effect on children into adolescence. Understanding how to control emotions increases their emotional intelligence.
- Hugs help you bond… hugs increase trust, reduce fear and build stronger relationships.
(Exchange Family Center, 2020)
There was a stillness, this morning when I woke up. I snuggled up to my little guy and hugged him. He burrowed himself into my arms. I held on to him a little longer… we both needed just a little bit more.
My heart goes out to all those who are mourning the victims of the devastating school shooting in Uvalde, Texas. As a teacher and mother of three, I am utterly heartbroken for the families of the innocent young souls who lost their lives, yesterday. I held on to my children a little bit longer and hugged my students as they walked in this morning. I am at a loss for words.