Here are some of the health benefits of hugging your child are mood tantrums, makes them smarter, reduces stress, teaches children how to give and take, relaxes muscles, strengthens the immune system and better discipline.
Whether we are happy, sad or frightened, we feel like giving someone a warm hug because that’s what makes us feel emotionally better. Hugging also leads to an increase in the levels of oxytocin, thus positively affecting the heart health, stress levels and more. But as a child, many of us felt shy and uncomfortable when we had to hug our parents. So, we as parents should take this initiative of giving our children a 20 second hug that can make them happier, healthier and closer to us. Did you ever know that a 20 second hug has its own health benefits for your child? Well, if not, then we have listed below 7 proven health benefits of hugging your child. Read the article to find more:
Read More: How Much Water Should My 2-Year Old Drink?
7 Must Know Benefits of Hugging Your Child Every Day
Kids may get stubborn or throw tantrums at times, which will result in them losing control of their emotions. Now many of us may think that giving them a hug during this time will make them feel like we are supporting their bad behaviour but this is absolutely incorrect. Because whenever your child is having an emotional breakdown, you are just helping him avoid that emotional crash by giving them a hug.
Read More: Can I Teach EQ to My Child?
Makes them smarter
In order to grow a healthy brain and a strong body, skin contact such as a hug is essentially important for the stimulation of same. According to the research, infants who received 20 minutes of tactile stimulation on a regular basis for 10 weeks had scored high on the developmental assessments as compared to those who did not.
Children who were loved by their mothers during their childhood were found to have larger hippocampus. According to the researchers at Washington University School of Medicine, Hippocampus is the key part of the brain that contributes in the learning, memory and child’s response to the stress.
Not many of you may know this, but it has been medically proven that children, who have more skin-to-skin contact with their parents from birth, have comparatively lower cortisol levels, a stress hormone, than those who do not. This is also one of the reasons why parents are asked to hold their offspring in the intensive care unit.
As per a 2013 study from the University of California, Los Angeles, parental affection was found to protect the child from the detrimental effects of childhood stress.
Read More: 7 Best Alternatives to Plastic Water Bottles for Your Child’s Good Health
Teaches children how to give and take
I have a nephew who does not really like being hugged. And there are many children like him who may not like being hugged most of the times and that’s completely alright. But neither does it mean that you shouldn’t hug your child. It’s just that you should not expect or force them to reciprocate the same during those times. Eventually, they will begin to know and understand the importance of expressing their feelings and showing love to others with time.
No matter how tensed we are, time seems to stop when we hug someone. The tension may not disappear all at once and we may still feel the emotional pain within us but there’s no doubt that a warm hug definitely eases the pain and discomfort we had been feeling. Also, a hug increases the blood circulation into the soft tissues which soothes the body pain. A scientific benefit as well, you see?
Read More: 5 Benefits of Learning Cursive Handwriting in School
Strengthens the immune system
Well, this has been medically proven if you didn’t believe me at first! A hug creates a gentle pressure on the sternum and an emotional charge which helps in stimulating the thymus gland. This further helps in regulating and leading to the production of white blood cells which further helps in keeping your little one healthier.
As per a study conducted in 2015 by the researchers from King’s College, London, it was found that a hormone (oxytocin) is released as a result of hugging your child, which further results in lower pain and intensity due to its analgesic effects.
I know children can be annoying at times and whenever they misbehave, we may feel like yelling at them or just giving them a smack, it’s pretty normal. But on the contrary we should try to make them feel better and that can only be done by giving them a gentle hug. Remember, a child is always likely to listen to you when they feel better. A hug is just a way of silently saying that we love you for who you are but we need to have a talk about your behaviour. See how that works!
Sandi Schwartz said in an article for Parent Co., “Those who reported less affection struggled with mental health, tended to be more upset in social situations, and were less able to relate to other people’s perspectives.”In conclusion, as per some studies, a 20 second hug helps to reduce the harmful effects of stress which further prevents the negative impacts of it on the blood pressure and the heart rate. Moreover, it is important to make your child feel that they are closer to you and they are free to consult and discuss anything with you during any time of the day. It is absolutely fine if you feel like yelling at them sometimes but it is also important for you to stay in control and talk to your child about things.