At ParentingSuccess we love to share great Parenting Tips to help your family life be as harmonious as possible. In today’s world family life can be very busy with routines, attending to chores and running around to a wide variety of after school activities. So often we are focused on WHAT needs to be done and HOW rather than the WHY? So let’s make sure that we remind ourselves and our family every day how much we love them; we can do this with a very small but powerful tool, a HUG.
I bet that you did not know that as human beings we need 4 hugs a day to keep us going, 8 hugs a day for maintenance and 10 hugs a day for growth.
There are so many Benefits to a lovely hug:
- It helps to build trust, open and honest communication and a sense of security.
- Heals the feeling of loneliness, anger and sadness.
- Changes the mood in the house to one of happiness.
- Shows that we are loved and cared for and is a great confidence booster.
- Teaches our children to give and receive.
- Makes us more mindful and present with our children.
- Hugs are the best reward when you have done something really good!
So hug away!
Barriers to daily Hugging can be:
- That we are too busy and forget – it is a reality of today’s world that life is busy, maybe set aside time for hugs every day.
- I am too mad at my child – it is ok to get angry at our children but don’t let that get in the way of a hug. Even if the morning has not gone to plan, make sure you still give a hug and say ‘I love you’.
- My child doesn’t like it – some children with learning difficulties don’t like physical contact, and we need to respect that. But try to find a another way to get physical e.g. light touch on the shoulder, hand etc. or perhaps ask if they would like a head massage – respect their choice.
- My child pushes me away – some children who might have low self-esteem often don’t feel they are ‘worth’ being hugged or loved, they need it the most. Say you need a hug from them; hug them unconditionally ‘just because you are my child’.
- Should you really hug a teenager? – I know that lots of teens feel that it is ‘gross’ to get hugged by their parents, but deep down they like and need it. ‘You are still my child and I will always need and want a hug from you’; give a morning, goodbye, hello and goodnight hug – every day!
- I feel uncomfortable hugging, because I wasn’t hugged as a child – don’t pass on the social inheritance and remind yourself of all the benefits!
Hugging can also be a positive disciplinarian parenting tool when our children are being difficult or even horrible. Here is why . . .
- Children learn better with love, than with punishment. A hug and a chat about what is going on will get a better response than yelling and punishment.
- Sometimes, when our kids act up, it is a cry for help. Perhaps they can’t express their bigger feelings in a more appropriate way, or perhaps there is something else bothering them making them frustrated and a hug can open the door to talking about what is really going on, enabling them to deal with it.
- Sometimes, when our kids feel bad about themselves, they feel like they don’t deserve kindness and respect so they don’t behave in a way that encourages people to respond in this way. When they get frustrated and angry in return, their feelings are validated, they feel worse about themselves, and the vicious cycle begins. Break that cycle by offering a hug and a reminder that making a mistake does not make them a bad person.
- One of the best ways to get our kids to co-operate is to connect. With a strong connection our kids are more likely to try to do the right thing most of the time… and in the times when they don’t, or can’t, a simple hug can be a powerful way to reconnect.
- Our love for our kids is unconditional. We might dislike their behaviour, but we still love our kids, no matter what. Our kids need to know that, and sometimes they need to be reminded of it, over and over and over, especially when they are at their lowest.
- Because sometimes it is us adults who need a hug. When our kids are hurtful, frustrated, or lashing out and we just don’t know what to do any more, sometimes it is us parents who need the connection, reassurance and a hug.
Have a great hugging day, it is never too late to start!