(ORDO NEWS) — After a hard day of loneliness and stress, it seems to the child that the hugs of someone he loves can be the real medicine. Experts say it’s not just a feeling. The data shows that it is important for our well-being at every stage of life.
The main thing is not to be afraid to ask and not to insist.
“Good contact helps calm the nervous system and plays an important role in regulating emotions,” says Lisa Damour, an Ohio-based clinical psychologist who specializes in the development of adolescent girls.
In times of dramatic change and prolonged uncertainty, many children and adults need hugs more than ever. However, access to soothing physical caress has now been specifically reduced – people are trying to keep their distance to protect themselves from the coronavirus.
Without as many games, sports and opportunities to connect with their peers as they used to, many children could get the physical comfort they need from their immediate family, Damour said. But not all families have the same hug culture. In addition, due to other difficulties that surround us now, families may miss the signs that their children need a little more warmth and affection.
The main way to find out if a child needs attention right now is to offer it to him. Sometimes children may simply not even think about the fact that they really lack affection, physical contact, or some other complicity. And babies who can’t even speak yet may just not be able to verbalize it.
Just as children differ in how they communicate their need for affection, they may differ in the kind of care they want to receive. It could be a cute little note in their lunch box, watching a movie hugging on the couch, or crawling into a blanket fort together.
Hugs should be for them and only for them.
Lisa Damour emphasizes that one of the most important components of a good, wholesome physical attachment is the child’s guidance. It should be exactly his desire and your sincere feeling, and not just hugs, because adults want this.
“It will have the opposite effect of what we would like for children,” Damour said. “This attitude is not reassuring, but rather alarming.”
According to Shari Madigan, a clinical psychologist and assistant professor of child development at the University of Calgary in Canada, this is where reading baby lines comes in.
If you see your child feeling stressed or upset, it may be time to expand their emotional vocabulary. It is worth approaching him and asking directly: “How are you? Is there anything I can do to help?” she stressed.
If you see that the child is confused or nervous because he cannot find the right words to describe his condition (perhaps he just does not know them yet), tell him: “You feel like a lump is forming in your chest ? Is this tension?
Suzanne Barkhers, author of educational books for children, says expanding children’s bodily autonomy is important in making hugs effective and soothing.
“I think that this conversation should take place in a comfortable environment where the parent asks, depending on the age of the child, what is convenient for him,” Barkhers mentions. “We don’t want to scare the kids, so it’s worth clarifying in the conversation: “What is a good hug? What is a bad hug?”
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