Bright Side

Why It’s So Important to Hug Your Kid Regularly

A hug a day keeps the doctor away! There’s no doubt that hugging makes us feel good, however, apart from that, this process brings many other benefits, especially when it comes to child development. Let’s dive into the science of hugs and learn what other positive things they bring to our lives.

We at Bright Side are true fans of hugs. We believe they help people share kindness, good vibes, and create stronger bonds — especially when it comes to kids. That’s why we’ve compiled a set of unobvious benefits hugs might bring to you and your child.

Hugs create happy kids.

The psychological impact of hugging is immense. Not only does it boost a kid’s self-esteem and feelings of self-confidence, but it also helps them stay optimistic. These 3 psychological resources (self-esteem, mastery, and optimism) are closely interconnected and buffer the effects of stressful events which in the end, makes a kid feel loved and happy.

Hugs teach kids to develop empathy.

Hugging helps you and your kid be involved in the present moment, diving into how both of you are feeling emotionally and psychologically. This kind of exchange of energy shows your kid the value of empathy. It happens as they develop an understanding of how others might be feeling. Therefore, a hug is a good lesson to show your kids what it means to empathize with people and love others.

Hugs help stop a tantrum.

Though many parents worry about giving a hug to a tantrum-throwing kid as a way of rewarding their bad behavior, this simply isn’t true. Giving your kid a hug doesn’t mean giving in but instead, it helps them to self-regulate. Oxytocin, the hormone of love, kicks in to help calm the kid down and relieve anxiety.

Additionally, hugs help overcome conflict among spouses in an easier, more timely manner. It’s a good thing to keep in mind during your next quarrel!

Hugs create smarter kids.

Kids need various sensory stimulation for their development. That’s why physical touch and various skin contact are essential for them. Dr. Seth Pollak and his colleagues at Waisman Center and the Department of Psychology of the University of Wisconsin‐Madison held research comparing kids who were adopted from orphanages and those who grew up in stable families. The first group showed more motor skill delays as well as impaired cognitive development due to the lack of tactile interaction.

Other research showed that providing 15 more minutes of tactile stimulation per day, for 10 days, to kids in orphanages contributes to their higher scores in developmental assessments as well as more mature habituation, and more activity in general.

Hugs help kids grow.

As curious as it might sound, hugging your kid regularly helps them grow. Scientists have found that kids’ bodies stop growing normally if they’re deprived of sensory touch and hugs in particular, despite the fact that they receive a regular intake of vitamins and other necessary nutrients. This condition is known as “failure-to-thrive.”

The explanation for this phenomenon is quite simple: the special hormone, oxytocin (also known as the hormone of love), is released when hugging. This hormone brings many positive effects to our bodies, and growth stimulation is one of them. When it gets released, it also increases the boost of other growth hormones, which promotes your child’s growth.

Hugs help kids stay healthy.

As we’ve already mentioned, the oxytocin hormone, which is released during the act of hugging, has a bunch of positive benefits. One of them is helping your kid stay healthy and improving their immune system. Also, oxytocin promotes faster wound-healing and helps decrease inflammation.

It also helps them cope with social and other types of stresses that a kid might face.

Hugs create a strong bond between a kid and a parent.

Why It’s So Important to Hug Your Kid Regularly

Hugs promote an increase in trust which is an essential element in building relationships with kids as well as other people.

Oxytocin helps reduce the feeling of fear and increases the readiness to take risks and trust others. It also improves kids’ feelings of security and enforces parent-kid bonding.

How often do you hug your kids? Do you think it’s enough for them?