Few things are as comforting and emotionally positive as a hug.
Your best memories, the most intense moments, are often those times that may only last for a few seconds while hugging someone you love.
The power of hugs and kisses for children goes far beyond the physical plane. These are gestures of love that help them grow, developing the self-esteem and security to interact with the rest of the world.
An embrace is healthy, and this type of medicine is so inexpensive that it should be “administered” every day, especially to your little ones.
Hugs and kisses: medicine for your brain
According to an article in the journal Scientific American, one of the most worrisome effects of orphanages is the lack of touch and other emotional gestures.
Although the children may be well fed and cared for, there isn’t enough interaction for proper development in the brain for those little “sparks” that will help them grow up more securely.
Early childhood, an important time
The brain of a newborn is in a stage that’s hungry for experiences, stimuli, and emotions with which to build new neural connections, improving volume and creating stronger structures within the brain.
- When stress, fear, or insecurity are high, certain parts of the brain will have a smaller size, such as the hippocampus (the part related to memory and emotion).
- It has been found that children who grow up in immunosuppressed environments, lacking affection and physical contact, can develop post-traumatic stress disorder, hyperactivity, low self-esteem, and even aggressive behavior.
- According to a study published in the journal Development and Psychopathology, it was found that in many Romanian orphanages during the 1980s, infants suffered from high levels of emotional stress.
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- Their stress was the caused by the severe emotional deprivation that occurred in these orphanages. It caused high levels of cortisol to be present in the bloodstream, especially in the brain.
- The effect was potentially negative if newborns spent their first eight months of life in this state. If only two to three months passed before they were adopted by a loving, caring family, the effect could be reversed.
- The study found that an infant that suffered from high emotional stress levels during their first eight months of life generally developed a much lower IQ and exhibited increased anxiety behaviors.
Hugs and kisses, communication that’s understood in all languages
There is nothing so instinctive, powerful, and healing as the embrace of a loved one. In the case of infants and children, it’s even more important to carry out such actions. Here are a series of reasons why:
- Positive gestures of affection, like touching, kissing, and hugging, help reduce stress levels and promote neuronal connections in infants.
- Remember, however, that hugs also create bonds.
- To bond with your children, hug them from the time that they are very small. It’s possible that as they grow up, they’ll start to reject this practice, but it’s imperative that you hug them to promote more attachment.
- Experts recommend that until your children are four or five years old, you should be in the habit of waking them up with a kiss and a hug. There’s nothing better than starting and ending the day with this gesture of affection.
- As they get older, hugs can be very therapeutic when your children are angry, afraid, or worried. Although there never needs to be a concrete reason to offer a hug, there are certain situations when it will bring them more security.
A child doesn’t just need food, clothing, and an education.
Children need positive words, your help addressing their fears and worries. They need you to be the stewards of their emotional world by understanding their tantrums and anxieties.
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Children are also very well aware when a hug or a caress is sincere, and when you’re in a rush. Give this the time it deserves.
No gesture of affection is as important as a parent with their child, which means you have to become gifted in crafting these magical moments that will live forever in their minds.
So tell us…have you hugged your kids today? Don’t wait until later…even if they’re already teenagers!