I’m sure most of you have watched that “Free Hugs” video on YouTube, where Juan Mann gives out free hugs to passersby in a busy Australian concourse. We’ve watched as a stranger’s face lights up with a big smile when they get a random, unexpected hug.
While a lot of guys aren’t very comfortable vocalizing their feelings, and some men struggle with showing affection to the ones they love most, an easy way to show to your children that you love them is to give them a hug. Even when they don’t ask for one, most kids will be more than happy to accept a hug at any time, no matter what they may be doing.
Here are some times when I try to make it a point to hug my kids:
- When they wake up. Who of us wouldn’t want to wake up and get a big hug? Mornings around our household are so chaotic, they often bend the limits of reality. I try to make it a point to give each of my kids a hug when they wake up for a couple of reasons: It helps make sure they don’t crawl back into bed to snooze, and it also helps them start the day in a good mood.
- When I’m frustrated at them. This is something I’ve been trying to do when I’m about to lose my cool with them. When I feel myself reaching my boiling point, I try to remember to walk over and give them great big hugs. You’d be amazed at how a simple hug can melt away your anger and restore some balance to the moment. Most of the time.
- When I walk in the door from work. I make it a point to give the kids a hug and kiss when I get home. More often than not it annoys my teenager because I interrupt her busy life of texting or messing with a her tablet, but the point is that my kids know I make a solid effort to search the house for them, usually before I even put down my bag.
- Spontaneously. I like to keep my children on their toes. One way I do that is to suddenly call them over, in my “serious” Dad Voice. I have a lousy poker face so they usually figure out pretty quickly that I’m up to something. That’s when I pounce on them with a big bear hug – pretending to squeeze them as hard as I can possibly can. My son, the sick little monkey that he is, likes it when I pretend to squeeze him so hard that I break his back.
So what are you doing right now? Go give your kid a hug! I’ll wait…
Now, how do you feel?
Photo Credit: Popofatticus