I'm so glad I never listened to those who warned of "spoiling." How precious are the memories of hours spent rocking and soothing the precious children God gave me. This was key to our bonding as mother and child, and to their emotional health and well being.
As children grow, some also believe that parental affection should wane. I've heard some parents say, "My kids know I love them, but I'm just not an outwardly expressive or affectionate person." I believe that's dangerous and strongly disagree with that philosophy. Appropriate affection doesn't have to stop and in fact, it's vitally important to children's health and well being . Studies show that lack of proper parental affection is one reason many teens become sexually active. They end up "lookin' for love in all the wrong places."
How can we appropriately express physical touch to our growing children, teens and even young adults? A few ideas:
- Appropriate hugs
- Appropriate kisses
- Snuggling on the couch while talking or watching TV
- Gently placing your hand on theirs while you talk about something important
- A gentle/soothing pat on the hand
- Rub their back while they watch TV
- Dance together
- Brush their hair
- Give them a gentle touch on the cheek when you express love to them.
|Christmas hugs with Dustin|
|Jordan insisted we dance by the Christmas tree when our picture was taken last year.|
|She didn't seem opposed to a hug for this photo, which was super-nice!|
Not only is appropriate affection a wonderful thing, but you never know what we might be averting in their lives by making it a priority.