Do you remember the havoc the COVID-19 pandemic caused in our lives over the last two years? Not only did it cause varying degrees of stress, fear, loss, anxiety, grief, and other struggles, but it also took away our freedom to hug each other! Once physical and social distancing became the norm, a hug at most became a fist bump, if it was permissible. We could connect digitally to prevent loneliness, but we were never able to replicate the warmth of a cuddly hug. Even the classrooms at Springdale Academy felt empty and hollow!
Now that things are almost back to normal and with our annual National Hugging Day just around the corner, we thought, why not step away from Springdale Academy’s Montessori-themed stories and write one about the handshake from the heart? After all, Springdale Academy is one of the most prominent Montessori education schools in New Jersey. However, we also believe that a hug from our loved ones is more than enough to brighten anyone’s day, and who needs them more than our children?
But first… Good touch vs Bad touch
Before we move any further, we need to highlight a pertinent issue, which is the difference between a “good touch” and a “bad touch.” A hug is a physical act that can be considered good only when it’s appropriate, consensual, and beneficial for a child’s well-being, like a hug from a parent or guardian to provide comfort and reassurance. If a hug makes the child uncomfortable, it’s no longer a good touch but a bad touch. Educating children about the difference between good and bad touches is extremely important, and children must be empowered to speak up if they experience a bad touch.
And now let’s jump into some of the good old benefits that come with a cuddly hug. Growing up, a child explores the world through their sense of touch. A nurturing touch like a hug provides the stimulation required for growth and development. It helps children become well-adjusted adults because a hug releases “oxytocin,” a hormone that is associated with feelings of love and trust, which are crucial to their emotional and physical well-being.
Improve a Child’s Social Skills
Hugs also have the power to help your children develop social skills such as empathy and communication. When you hug them, they feel heard and seen. You are showing them that a hug represents more than just an act of love. It is a gesture that has the potential to have a positive effect on others. Over time, they will also learn how to identify with other people’s feelings.
Hugs also come in handy, especially during times of uncertainty or stress, by providing a sense of comfort and reassurance. If a hug can help an adult reduce their anxiety, it’s bound to have the same effect on a child too. Hugs can even help soothe fears. Remember the time when you slept with your stuffed Teddy next to you?
Parent’s Affection Shape a Child’s Happiness for Life
One time or another, you must have seen your child throw a temper tantrum, but did you know that hugs are also effective at ending them? It’s true! We will tell you why. During a tantrum, children release emotions in response to something in their environment. They are not trying to ruin everyone else’s day or being stubborn. They just lose control of their emotions and are unable to regulate them. Hugging your child in these moments of outbursts will help calm them down and show that you are there to support them during tough times.
Springdale Academy’s Montessori education welcomes parental involvement because parents will always be the child’s primary educators throughout their lives. You are the ones who will support them, guide them, and protect them, which is why it’s necessary to have a strong nurturing bond. The first time you hold your child, a special bond is formed. Growing up, the relationship will evolve, but the nurturing touch will remain. So why not get started right now? As soon as you are done reading, please hug your child! While you are at it, give one to everyone in your family as well. They don’t cost a thing, but the feeling is just magical!