Rick Lovett

Rick Lovett

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It's Global HUG Your Kids Day

This year, July 19th is Global Hug Your Kids Day! As you might have guessed, the “celebration” of this day is pretty easy: every mom and dad around the world should hug their children today. Of course, kids should get hugged every day, but if you’re not a hugger and you’re a parent…here’s an inspired day to change course.

Entrepreneur Michelle Nichols founded the day after her son died suddenly from brain cancer in 1998 – he was just at 8-1/2 years old. Nichols found out the hard way that our time together is limited…she wants to inspire the world to make the most of the time we do have.

Look, we get it – showing affection isn’t easy for everyone. Some parents grew up in homes where hugs and other affection was frowned upon, but science doesn’t lie, hugging has been proven to health benefits for parents and children. And seriously, in a world filled with so much ugly – could we all use a little more love? Here’s the science behind why you should:

Hugs make us feel good because “the cuddle hormone” is released when we hug.

Hugs help us build relationships because the “social bonding” hormone is released when we hug.

Hugging lowers blood pressure.

Hugs significantly reduce worry about mortality.

Hugs decrease the feeling of loneliness instantly.

So don’t put off showing affection – please show your children you love them today and everyday.

  • According to an article in Scientific American, a hug a day really does keep the doctor away for the general “us,” but for kids…it can be a lifesaver. Seriously!
  • Studies have shown that kids from deprived surroundings – such as orphanages - have different hormone levels than children who were raised by parents.
  • In one study, the stress hormone cortisol was much higher in children from orphanages. In another study, children who experienced affection deprivation at a young age still had lower levels of oxytocin and vasopressin (hormones that have been linked to emotion and social bonding) even after spending years in a family home.
  • The Touch Research Institute found that teens have less anxiety, feel less hostile and parents perceive less aggressive attitudes when the teens had received a therapeutic touch – like massage.
  • In the hospital, parents are encouraged to hold their newborns who are in intensive care because it has been proven to improve vital signs and it also lowers the parents’ stress levels.
Father and son hugging

Photo: Getty Images

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