All You Need is a Hug! (And the Value of Showering our Kids with Hugs)

Wednesday, November 18, 2015

How often do you receive a hug? How often do you give out one?

Did you know that scientifically, research has proven that hugs are much beneficial to our well-being?

Right. Bet you we didn't even need any research to validate that. Let's admit it - what's more comforting than a hug whenever we are down, stressed, and depressed? Maybe not much; other than good ol' shopping, of course. :) But then again, hugs are instantaneous, hugely gratifying, and do not hurt the pocket at all.

Research even says there's a required minimum number of hugs per day and duration of hugs (can you believe that?!) for them to be truly uplifting in our daily lives and for their long-term benefits to be truly felt. No, I won't scrunch up the numbers on you, but we did discuss them in my Psych (elective) classes in undergrad and in grad school. :)

Scientifics aside, I really am a huge believer in the healing power of touch, especially hugs. No, not just its healing powers, but more so its "building powers." Constantly getting hugs guarantees a surge of positive emotions that in turn builds someone's personality (positively so). Hugging just melts away one's daily stresses and lightens the burden of one's more pressing problems. It is not merely a physical connection -- it forges empathy, forms an understanding between the minds and the hearts involved. A lovers' quarrel is never truly resolved without a hug involved. It is a security blanket. It reassures children that they are loved, and that some people are there for them no matter what.

Indeed. (Image source here)
The other day, I learned that our part-time cleaner and plantsadora's (is she an Iron Lady then? I wish I am. hekhekhek) little boy had a minor episode with my little one. Those two boys are roughly of the same age. They were playing one afternoon, and as usual, my Thirdy kept on attempting to hug the other little guy. Much to the latter's protest, and probably bewilderment. The other kid kept on crying whenever Thirdy would hug him. More than that, he was either on fight or escape mode.

We dissed it as nothing but friendly toddler play. But when I got to talk to the mom, she confirmed they (them at home) have never hugged her son, so he probably taught somebody was picking a fight on him when somebody attempted to hug him. My eyes went wide while my heart ached a little when I heard that.

I render no judgment to the parents of the boy, but somehow, I got sad. Here's a little kid who has not gotten any hug his entire life yet. Sure, they have a much different family dynamics and culture. I guess I just thought that, most especially with babies and little kids, it's next to impossible not to sniff and hug them. All the time. I thought it's instinctive, especially to parents. It's like love just flows and overflows and I just hug my little darling randomly whenever I felt like it, which is quite too often -- and he does the same way to us. (I'm not telling she does not have overflowing love for her son here, ok?:) We hug wherever and whenever, we hug even when asleep.

About to give my boys a huuuug. Hug whenever, wherever! :)

I have gotten over it, and I think our cleaning lady has vowed to try harder giving his son hugs. Probably not just hugs, but affection in general.I sincerely hope so.

But no matter, I stand by this firmly: affection begets affection. Hug begets hugs. And those are the cheapest and most potent form of therapy, yo! :)

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