In the society where I grow up, we do not usually hug each other on a daily basis. I still remember my first hug when a friend was going overseas to further her studies. My hands were “frozen” half way in the air as she happily hugged me. I feel awkward; maybe hugs are not for me.
Time passes by quickly and now I have a child. Thus, I have been reading a lot on parenting. There is one that catches my attention: “We need four hugs a day for survival. We need eight hugs a day for maintenance. We need twelve hugs a day for growth”, as quoted from a respected family therapist, Virginia Satir.
How do we count a hug? How long should a hug last? How do I hug my child when I am not used to being hugged?
More research is done. As it turns out, physical contact that lasts at least 20 seconds has the same effect as hugs, for example, patting and touching. Now, it is something that I can do.
On one particular night, my toddler was having a nightmare. Remembering the benefits of hugs, I patted her lightly. In under a minute, she became quiet and fell asleep peacefully again.
Wow, that’s amazing! I am going to
hug pat and hold my child more.
Note: The healthiest hugs must come from someone you trust. Strangers, please do not simply hug anyone.
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