The Benefits of Hugging our Children

A family therapist has been famously quoted as saying, “We need four hugs a day for survival. We need eight hugs a day for maintenance. We need 12 hugs a day for growth.”

  • Hugs Help Kids Grow Smarter. Human touches are essential to brain growth.
  • Hugs Help Kids Grow. Physical contact is also essential to a child’s physical well-being.
  • Hugs Keep Kids Healthy. There are many health benefits of hugging.
  • Hugs Stop Temper Tantrums. Hugs are good for a child’s emotional health.
  • Hugs help child and parent bond.
  • Hugs make happy kids.
  • Oxytocin, released when hugging, is a hormone that has amazing power and benefits our bodies. (For example, the increased level of oxytocin can strengthen our immune response by lowering the plasma levels of thyroid hormones and decreasing inflammation, causing wounds to heal faster. Oxytocin also facilitates social support improving the outcomes of various health -related conditions.)

Hugs are good for a child’s emotional health. Nothing can calm a tantrum-throwing toddler faster than a great big hug from the parent. Many parents worry that hugging a tantrum-throwing child is rewarding bad behavior with attention, but it is not. Hugging without giving in helps a child learn to self-regulate. Hugs also help in regulating one’s emotions.

Researchers investigating the impact of human contact on child development looked at children who had been raised in institutional settings. It was found that in addition to cognitive and physical development, hugging a child has an impact on their ability to develop a bond with a caregiver.

We begin every class in Baby Power Forever-Kids with our song Huggy Wuggy. Parents and children sit in a circle and hug their own child while singing “Huggy, wuggy, wuggy, Huggy wuggy wug give my child a huggy, Huggy wuggy wug.” Then we do our warm up exercises. Try it! You’ll love it.

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