"Mom, I need to talk to you..." or "Mom, I need something..." is always followed by this reply from me:
"It'll cost you."
And they know exactly what the price will be.
The cost is always a hug or a kiss and depending on the day I may even require a whole bunch of them before I do or say anything.
Yes, I expect this even though they are 22, 21, and 15. The majority of the time they love it. When they are running late or pre-occupied they sometimes don't. But too bad. ;) I expect this from them every single day, and I get what I'm expecting.
Sometimes during the teenage years the kids pull a way a bit but I've learned that's the time that a parent should never back off from appropriate affection. They need it more than ever.
Children need loving and affirming touch. In fact, they need it not only to survive, but to be healthy. Studies have shown that babies who receive a mother's affection have less anxiety, hostility and general distress. The same studies show that maternal affection has a critical long-range impact on mental health and emotional coping skills. One study shows that a mother's affection toward a child actually helps their brain develop!
A mother's loving touch never goes out of style throughout the seasons of a child's life.
Giving affection to infants seems natural to most, whether boys or girls. It doesn't seem odd or awkward to lavish our affection on a little baby. But when the "baby" gets taller than you, and he starts to shave, many Moms may be tempted to think the affection is not only unneeded and awkward. The truth is, it is needed no matter how awkward you may feel.
Show them affection even if they seem to be indifferent.
Hug them even when they have been disobedient.
Reach out to them no matter what message they are sending to you outwardly.
I've heard parents say, "you know, I'm just not a huggy person."
Here's a word for you today: GET OVER YOURSELF.
It's not about you.
Being a parent is not all about what's good for you, what's comfortable for you, or what fits your personality.
If this doesn't come naturally to you, ask God to help you do all you can to develop it for the health of your family relationships.