The Benefits of Physical Affection With Your Children

It may seem obvious, but it bears repeating just how important it is to show physical affection to our children. Giving them hugs helps to increase their brain development as well as their overall social, emotional, and physical development. Studies also show that showing affection helps our kids be happier, less anxious, and be able to create healthy emotional bonds in other relationships.

For some individuals, expressing physical affection may not come naturally. Maybe you feel uncomfortable with hugs and kisses and did not experience this in your own family of origin. If you’re unsure of where to begin, here are some simple tips:\

Skin-To-Skin Contact Is Important in Infancy

Babies need the cozy snuggles their parents can provide, so get close with your little one! This helps their immunity, their physical development, and creating those early bonds.

Laughing, Dancing, and Playing is Just as Powerful As Hugging

If you’re not necessarily a hugger by nature, don’t underestimate the importance of playing and being silly with your children. These other forms of affection also create that burst of feel-good neuro-chemicals in the child’s brain.

Don’t Go Overboard

Learning to read our children’s own cues can help us know when and how often to express physical affection. When kids get a bit older, they may seem to resist a bit, so talk to them about how you want to show your love for them in a way that you’re both comfortable with.


  1. Matthew Call on November 8, 2019 at 2:20 pm

    So spot on Clair. I’ve got a four year old with sensory processing difficulties and who doesn’t really like hugs and kisses very often but she loves to be spun around and tossed in the air when we play. Pay attention to your kids cues

  2. […] you’re angry, try to do something that will make your kids feel loved and accepted. Give them a hug or a kiss, or just tell them how much they mean to you. Your children […]

  3. […] Hugging, kissing and stroking your child's hair are all great ways to bond with them and show that you care. Simple acts of kindness can also help you connect with them on an emotional level, which is critical for their healthy emotional development. […]

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