The Benefits of Hugging and Cuddling

“Mommy, I’m stuck. Hug me loose, not too tight. There that’s better. I love you Mommy.”

This is what Michael said to me last night when I lay down with him at bedtime for our nighttime cuddling routine. It’s so nice to have this downtime with him now that our days are so busy with school, work and other activities. We had another cute moment this morning after we both got up.

“Mommy, your hair looks like a palm tree.” Michael said laughing.

It took me a few seconds to understand what he meant, then I laughed my head off. My bangs were standing up as they sometimes do when I’ve slept on my hair on a particular side. His bangs were doing the same thing. I told him and he laughed. This easy bonding isn’t always flowing between us. We had another homework fight yesterday morning, but for the most part, I am noticing that the more time we spend cuddling and hugging, the more Michael is opening up to the world around him. I read somewhere that hugging releases endorphins and decreases stress. I can see it in evidence with Michael. It helps me too with endorphin release and decreasing my stress, so I have more patience for those moments when we have fights. I remember that I love this person driving me crazy now and I hope he does the same.

Do your children like to hug and cuddle Moms? I know for some exceptional children with autism  or other neuro developmental disorders touch is painful unless initiated by them. In this case, try to let them initiate contact and stay close. Holding hands, sitting next to them, playing, or doing stuff near them. All of these things will increase that warm fuzzy feeling, bring you both closer together, and help you develop a closer more positive relationship or increase that positive relationship. You’ll see how your lives will be happier and healthier as a result. Until next time.

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