The Benefits of Affection Towards our Littles

I recently read an article that mentioned how increased affection towards our littles can be beneficial to their overall health.

The following information was obtained directly from the article:

  • “There have been a number of recent studies that highlight the relationship between parental affection and children’s happiness and success.”
  • “Higher self esteem, improved academic performance, better parent-child communication, and fewer psychological and behavior problems have been linked to this type of affection.”

My husband often gives me a hard time about smothering Grayson in love. After reading this article, I was reassured that my parenting style is beneficial. One way I incorporate affection is with post nap cuddles. After Gray’s nap, we lay on the couch and cuddle until he starts squirming and wants to play. It’s my absolute favorite part of the day.

Below is a list of suggestions to bring more affection into your family’s day:

1. From the moment you bring your baby home from the hospital, be sure to hold, touch, and rock them in your arms.

Spend many precious moments caressing your baby so that their skin can touch your skin.

2. As they get older, be playful.

Do fun activities like dancing together or creating silly games like pretending to be a hugging or kissing monster.

3. Making hugging a part of your daily routine.

Make sure to give your kids a hug during certain times of the day, such as before they leave for school, when they get home from school, and before bedtime.

4. Use affection while disciplining your child.

As you talk to them about what they did wrong, put your hand on their shoulder and give them a hug at the end of the conversation to ensure them that, even if you are not pleased with their behavior, you still love them.

The original article can be read here.

In the comments, let me know other ways to incorporate affection into your day.

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44 Comments

  1. For us, we pay very close attention to the differing affection needs of our kids. Only my 2nd needs a lot of physical contact. 2 of ours have autism, so affection looks different for them. And my 4th needs attention-type affection. They also had very different needs as babies. One I carried in a wrap for the first 6-9 months. Constantly. But my others hated the carrier. I think the important thing is to listen to the needs of your kids. Great article!

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  2. This is perfection! I have recently been reading The Five Love Languages for Children (which of course is just like the original) and it really solidified my belief in hugging – always. In the wonderful moments to be celebrated, in those where comfort is needed, and ESPECIALLY in the moments when there is something to be learned. Children need to feel loved, unconditional of the situation. What a great post!

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  3. I love this! & I definitely agree.. One of my son is 2 and in his gymnastics class they talk about them needing AT LEAST 5 hugs a day at that age… I’m all for it, I love loving on my babies! haha

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  4. I love this! I don’t think people realize how crucial affection is toward a child’s confidence and development! This is something I have tried to do with my children and one of the things I love that my husband does as well. Fantastic post!

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  5. We practice attachment parenting and it has been working so well. You can see the confidence my daughter displays as she explores new things because she knows we will be there for her!

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  6. Like you, I’ve also read some articles about being more affectionate towards your children. I totally agree with you. I try to make it a point to hug my kids daily and show them affection because I do think it helps with theirs and my psyche. Thanks for sharing!! 🙂

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  7. I hug my children all the time. It’s my favorite part of being a mom. Though my 8 yr old son is starting to get hesitant especially in front of his friends. Oh kids now a days. But who cares. I want to make sure that I won’t miss a day expressing my love to my children.

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  8. I loved reading this, my kids absolutely love affection & I love giving it to them. All 4 of them love cuddles & kisses & I really liked your point about playing silly games with them, I just see their eyes light up when I do

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  9. Growing up although I was always smiles I never really liked affection or hugs. Even as an adult I was still overcoming this. But I’ve softened up so much with my daughter. it’s almost crazy how far we have come together.

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  10. This is very true. I try to make a conscious effort everyday to be affectionate to my little one. I found he behaves so much better when I am attentive

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  11. I am proud to say that this is one area of parenting where I know I am doing a good job. I have a very affectionate relationship with both my kids and I can see the positive effects already!

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