If you regularly hug your kids, lots of new research shows you’re setting them up to be emotionally stable and healthy adults! Here’s why:
First, a simple hug changes kids at the molecular level! Research from the University of British Columbia found, the more children were held, the more genes were activated that helped kids better manage stress and boosted their immune system!
Hugging also boosts a child’s tolerance for pain! A study from the Cleveland Clinic found that gentle touches from a loved one stimulate a child’s brain in a way that helps them better regulate their pain response, compared to when they rarely experience affection. And kids who were hugged the most tended to have the fewest behavioral issues, and the highest tolerance for both emotional AND physical pain!
And according to psychotherapist Shonda Moralis, we can MAGNIFY the calming benefits of hugs by using her “three-breath hug” technique. That’s where you embrace someone in a strong bear hug, and then share three deep inhales and exhales while still holding each other. Moralis has found that even when kids are on the verge of a meltdown, offering a three-breath hug is incredibly calming, and can stop a meltdown in its tracks!