Bring on the hugs parents!!!
I saw a disturbing picture the other day. It was a picture of kids playing outside in six feet squares. No contact. Not running around just still bouncing a ball. I thought it was one of the saddest pictures I have seen in a while. It broke my heart thinking about how kids would not be able to touch, play tag, play basketball, or any of the contact sports for a while. Okay, I know I am sure I am more sensitive about this subject since my love language is touch. I need hugs just like they do. But, what will they do?
The act of touching is so important in a child’s life. It has many benefits to the physical and emotional development of a child. In psychology today it stated that “the Lack of physical affection can actually kill babies.” That means babies who do not get kisses, hugs, and cuddling may not thrive and develop. It also states that If kids do not get a healthy touch, they are more vulnerable to predators who can harm them. That means we would be setting them up for failure to let them do without it. The need for touch does not stop at babies but it helps child development and spans all the way to the personal development for the elderly.
Touch also, helps the physical body stay healthy. It reduces stress and boosts the immune system according to the Touch Institute of Miami. They have even included skin to skin as part of the after-delivery process in many hospitals to help the after-birth bonding process. Which stabilizes body temperatures, regulates blood sugar, and helps the functions of the heart and lungs.
My other favorite benefit to touch is that it lowers depression. Touch lets your child know they are cared for and you are concerned for them.
I am not insensitive to what we are dealing with. I know we have a dangerous virus going on. I know we want to keep kids safe. I am here to just bring awareness that kids are missing a big part of their development. Caregivers can’t provide it. Teachers aren’t there to do it. So, I just want to encourage parents and family members who are living in the household with kids and teens to BRING ON THE HUGS.
Start a routine today to hug your child daily. Challenge yourself to three hugs at the minimum a day especially for the children whos love language is touch. They need it. It makes them feel loved. It helps reduce their stress. It will help make up for the healthy touches they are not getting. Kids need healthy touches. Right now you are the only source. So, bring on the hugs.