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Last night during Super Bowl Sunday, I was feeling horrible. I was coming down with a cold, all thanks to my daughter, who has been sick in the last two weeks. As I plopped down the sofa to watch TV with my husband and kids, my daughter sat down next to me. She knew I was not feeling too well, and she took the liberty of comforting me. This single action got me thinking about why you should cuddle with your kids and let them cuddle you.
Cuddling releases good hormones. A hormone called oxytocin, also known as the love hormone, is released. This hormone makes us want to snuggle more our loved ones. Oxytocin creates a bonding between two people, forming and strengthening a relationship. Who doesn’t like cuddling their child? I know I do, and I LOVE it, and they love it too!
Cuddling teaches children to be comfortable in showing their emotions with physical and verbal actions. We currently live in a world, where showing emotions is a big ‘no-no’, or its considered to be ‘weak’. Cuddling with your child shows them that it is okay to show affection to those you love and that there is nothing wrong with this action. If we teach our children to be affectionate with their loved ones, in their own way, they will feel more compelled to demonstrate their love through their actions.
Cuddling teaches children about love. As it is always said that ‘actions, speak louder than words’. Teach your child that if they mean something, to show it with actions, and not just words, this also teaches them responsibility for their actions. For every action, there is a consequence, and it this case, a positive one.
Cuddling teaches children compassion and empathy. My daughter knew that I was not feeling well yesterday. She showed concern for my well being, she hugged me and said soothing words to me, just like I have done to her numerous times when she is sick. My daughter has not only demonstrated these actions towards me, she has also shown affection to our little dachshund, Wallace. I have caught her many times cuddling, and caressing our dog, and it is the most beautiful thing I have ever seen. She is truly demonstrating what she has learned in our home. Remember, children learn from your example. Teach them well.
Cuddling teaches children trustworthiness. My daughter knows that she can rely on me for anything. Even though she is still a toddler, she already knows that I will always be there for her. Last night the roles of trustworthiness were reversed. She is learning how to make other people trust her.
Cuddling teaches children patience. Being sick is nothing pretty. You feel horrible and feel a desperation to feel better. My daughter showed patience by caressing my hair, and hoping this act alone would cure me of the cold.
When cuddling you create a bonding. Once a woman becomes pregnant with her child, the connection between her and her baby is something that nature has done perfectly. This connection will carry on for the rest of their lives, and it is best shown with physical affection. Nature is very wise. There are studies of the brain that show the detrimental effects of a mother not showing affection towards her child, and how this affects the child for the rest of his/her life.
We all need it. Human beings are social beings. We all like to be touched, hugged, caressed, and kissed, why should we deny our children of this affection?
To every new and seasoned parent, there may be times in parenting that you will feel desperate, and would like to turn back the clock to simpler times; sometimes I am guilty of this, I am not going to lie. Our children are the greatest gift to our families and our goal as parents should be to teach them how to love one another and have compassion towards every living thing. Children are the future generation, therefore, we should be giving them the necessary skills to be better human beings and this way the world can be a better place to live, where we can live peacefully as a community. So cuddle with your kids often, and enjoy every minute that you have with them. Time does go by fast, and before you know it, they will have children of their own, and the new cycle of love will begin.
“To be in your children’s memories tomorrow, you have to be in their lives today” – Unknown