In fact people say ‘An apple a day will keep the doctor away!’ But Randa Williamson-Maloy changed this saying into that title to emphasize the importance of hugging. As a teacher who works with young learners I believe wholeheartedly that a hug in a day (or more than a few) will keep us alive and well too.
Hugging is a therapeutic drug for everybody especially for children. Unfortunately many of them are missing out on the wonders of being hug which may be a contributing factor to many of the negative behaviour of them. Hugging is a way of fulfilling the profound physical and emotional need for touch in human beings.
Unfortunately, this need for touch seems to have gotten lost in the fast-paced world we live in, where we substitute physical contact with the television,smart phones or internet. This results in many of children being deprived of a simple, cost-less and crucial element for their development, survival and emotional well-being. Hugging a child is one of the ways of show affection and love. Any adult can share hugs with any child. It has powerful effects that can transform the physical and emotional well-being of the child.
- helps the body’s immune system
- cures depression
- reduces stress
- induces sleep
Children also benefit from hugging as it;
1. makes them feel better about themselves and their surroundings
2. makes them more loving and affectionate
3. induces and is an expression of forgiveness
4. positively affect their development and IQ
5. increases their sense of security, safety, trust and happiness
6. relieves pain
7. relieves loneliness, frustration, anxiety and other negative
8. opens doors to feelings that children may need to share – reducing
the likelihood of explosive behaviors
9. overcomes fear
10. eases tension
11. imparts feelings of belonging
12.transfers energy and gives the child hugged an emotional boost
Yes I know it is not about technology It is more than that… For a little while leave all your tech stuff aside and hug! Hug your students make them feel better, happier and healthier. ‘It is free! It is natural! It is a miracle drug!’ says Kathleen Keating.
Here are some hugging tips:)
1. Bear hug- one hugger is taller than the other. The short hugger stands straight against the tall hugger who may stand straight slightly curved over the short one. The tall hugger wraps his/her arms around the other’s shoulders while the other hugs around the waist or chest for a few seconds. For a more powerful effect the hug can last ten seconds or more.
2. Cheek Hug- can be experienced while sitting or standing. Each hugger turns towards the other and press the sides of their face together. For the hug to be most effective each hugger should ensure that they are relaxed by breathing slowly and deeply. One hand can be used to support the other’s back while the other hand supports the back of their head. This hug stirs feelings of happiness and kindness.
3. Sandwich Hug- appropriate for both parents and a child. The two adults face each other with the child in the middle facing either parent. Each adult reaches towards the other’s waist and hug. This hug gives the child a sense of security especially if he/she is experiencing negative emotions.
4. Heart- centered hug- this is the highest form of hugging. With this hug each person directly looks at the other eyes while facing each other. The arms are wrapped around the shoulders or back. They just hold on each other in love