We’d be hard pressed to find a parent who liked anything better than a warm hug from one of their over-excited kids after a hard day. They really do work like magic, and turn all skies blue from grey — and that’s not just true for us! Our kids feel the same way about being hugged. Beyond being an expression of love, hugs can also be extremely important for the physical growth and mental well being of our kids. Here are a few wonders that a hug can do for your little ones!
1. Make Them Feel Protected
Small gestures like hugs, pats on the back, or holding your child’s hand may seem trivial, but they can be very significant for them. They provide your children with a sense of safety and reliance. They become less fearful and apprehensive of exterior domains, which is vital for their personal growth as they age. It translates into more independent adults. It also helps foster their confidence by inhibiting any possible insecurities that could arise from feelings of abandonment.
2. Helps Them Grow
Kids who are nurtured more through cuddling and hugs in the stage before preschool show more growth in a part of their brain called the ‘hippocampus.’ This area controls learning and memory making.
3. Prevents Recurring Illness
Research from Carnegie Mellon University has gathered that hugging children and holding their hands is linked to a strengthened immune system, which decreases their susceptibility to catching infections.
4. Reduces Stress
Kings College London conducted research in 2015 which indicated that a hormone called oxytocin (also known as the cuddle hormone) is released from our brain after receiving a hug, which lowers stress, and produces feelings of contentment. In addition to this, it also decreases pain. Hugs also release a neurotransmitter called serotonin, which is one of the happy chemicals in our brain. High levels of serotonin result in contentment and negate the prevalence of any pain or anxiety.
5. Builds A Healthy Response System To Affection
Hugs teach kids how to give and take. They learn to give back warmth, love and affection, and grow up both experiencing and witnessing how to care for one another. Children who don’t receive as much physical affection grow up more emotionally stunted.