Humans need hugs.

Touch is so important that infants that have all of their needs met but don’t  get hugs, affection, eye contact, are at risk of developing a condition called ‘failure to thrive’.

Dr Virginia Satir, a world renowned family therapist, said that humans need…

4 hugs per day for survival

8 hugs per day for maintenance

12 hugs per day for growth

How many hugs have your kids had today?

It’s easy to give our little kids hugs because they are frequently climbing all over us. As our kids get older, we need to remember to give them hugs too. I tell my big boys “you’re never too old or too big for a hug”.

Parents who have a number of children do the math. They say “I have 4 kids so that means I’ll be giving 48 hugs per day, that’s a lot of hugs”.

Those parents who decide to give their kids’ hugs find lots of ways to meet the quota (hint: group hugs), and they report that they feel closer to their children, and their children have better behaviour as a result.

When you have a strong relationship with your child, he or she is more inclined to listen to you and do as you ask.

And why do hugs create all this goodness? Hugs release oxytocin in the brain. Oxytocin is a ‘peace, love, and mung beans’ hormone that counteracts the nasty stress hormone called Cortisol.

Go on! Give your kids more hugs. The nice thing about a hug is that while you’re giving one, you’re getting one in return. It’s a win-win!

This article was written by NCNS’s very own Parenting Expert, Narelle Smith, and published in the April edition of the Gazette as well as on her blog – – check it out for more great articles on parenting, development, and more!

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