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Hugging Helps: Global Hug Your Kids Day Promotes Mental Health

There are national holidays for just about everything nowadays and honestly, we're not mad about it... especially when the holiday is all about hugging! Global Hug Your Kids Day is today, July 15th! So grab your kiddos and prepare to get all warm 'n fuzzy! Of course this holiday is a fun excuse to get a little extra affection from your little ones, or even snag a sweet Instagram photo of the family, but it promotes a more crucial message than you may think.

According to a study conducted by Duke University in 2010, which followed 500 infants into their 30s, "babies who receive above-average levels of affection and attention from their mothers are less likely than other babies to grow up to be emotionally distressed, anxious, or hostile adults." There is ample scientific research supporting the notion that affection early on in a child's life actually increases brain function, and continues to foster positive impacts throughout their life. These long-lasting benefits include increased levels of self-esteem and communication, and lower levels of academic, behavioral, and emotional issues. In contrast, children who do not receive affection from caregivers early in life are likely to experience feelings of hostility, aggression, and alienation.

Hugging, cuddling, and holding hands are all great ways to let your kiddos know they are loved and cared for. Switch it up every now and then by dancing together, giving piggy back rides, or setting a "hugging timer" like the characters in the movie Trolls do. Expressing affection can even come in handy when disciplining kiddos. Once you explain to a child what they have done wrong, try touching them on the arm or giving them a hug to show them that empathy is a better response than violence, aggression, or alienation. Keep in mind that forcing affection when children do not want it will only have negative results. It's important give children the power to decide when they do and do not want to be affectionate. Giving them autonomy will only strengthen your trust and overall relationship.

We hope you have a lovely day filled with sweet hugs and kisses from your little ones! Tag us in your #GlobalHugYourKidsDay photos and we'll share them on our page! Much love!



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