Don’t forget the hugs!

It is December and many are completing their second semester of the very interesting 2020-2021 school year. By now your school has either returned completely face-to-face, remained remote or are currently doing the hybrid model (both remote and face-to-face). The one common issue with all three models is that everyone is tired. Parents and caregivers, teachers, administrations, support staff and especially our kids.

During this time we have to make sure that we are checking in on our children to assess and provide opportunities for their emotional, physical, and academic growth. Emotionally children are missing out on the physical presence of their caring teachers. Even the students who are in person are often discouraged from having physical contact with their teachers and their peers. Often our school-age children are considered more independent and do not require as many hugs and touch, but they do. Whiddon and Montgomery (2011) reported that children who received more touch presented with fewer symptoms of psychological issues. So during this time take some time to share more hugging and cuddling moments while engaging in conversations. Here are some ideas for making sure your child gets enough nonaggressive touch:

  • cuddle on the couch and watch a movie
  • lay on the floor together and share a book
  • put on music and dance together
  • lay next to them at bedtime and ask about their feelings
  • have family group hugs
  • give a pat on the back
  • share a blanket together while watching TV

These past months we have sterilized our homes, masked up, and kept our distance. While we work on remaining safe and healthy we have to actively work on making sure our children do not suffer from our social distancing. Let’s make sure that we are making time for hugs.

In twenty-twenty children have also reduced their physical activity. In our next post, we will look at some ways to facilitate physical growth.

Whiddon, M. A., & Montgomery, M. J. (2011). Is touch beyond infancy important for children’s mental health? Retrieved from /vistas11/Article_88.pdf

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