The Big Picture

The Little Gym Blog

A simple hug, in reality, is not all that simple! Hugs can help children grow to be healthier, happier, smarter, and strengthen parent/child relationships. It’s true! Each time you are hugged your body releases a hormone called oxytocin. This hormone helps to boost positive emotions, calms your nervous system, and provides a myriad of benefits to both the hugger, and the hug-ee! Check out these 5 reasons to hug your child every day.

  1. Hugging keeps them healthy. Forgot your daily multivitamin? Grab a hug instead! Increased levels of oxytocin from hugs can help strengthen your child’s immune system which ultimately helps to fight infections.
  2. Hugs boost self-esteem. Each time you hug your child they feel even more loved and you are building their self worth. Feeling loved can help increase confidence and self-esteem in addition to teaching compassion and empathy. Hug away, parents!
  3. Hugging makes everyone happy. Higher levels of oxytocin can help boost feelings of happiness. If you give, and receive more hugs, everyone will be much happier. Parents included!
  4. It can help ease a tantrum (or diffuse an upset parent). Toddlers have a really hard time expressing their emotions (tell us something we didn’t know). Simply by offering your toddler a hug during a tantrum can help ease their troubles.
  5. Hugs can make your child grow taller and smarter. Physical touch, like hugging, is required to grow a strong brain and body. This is why kangaroo care is so important to NICU babies. The release of oxytocin also releases growth factors as well.

The benefits of hugging your child are staggering. Make an effort to hug your child multiple times a day to reap the BIG benefits hugs provide to both of you.

When you’re looking for other ways  to have fun and show love, check out kid-focused activities like The Little Gym where kids have a great time learning skills like sharing and compassion with others.

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