I have spoken about showing affection before, but it is one of those topics that I love! For many of us, showing affection might not come as easily as we would like, but children are innately affectionate and until we show them something different, they remain so. Remember – children learn behaviour from watching, not listening.
How much affection do you show? Do you hug your child, your partner, your friends? Do you discuss why you hug some people and not others? How do you determine when it is appropriate to hug and do you pass this on to your children?
Did you know that giving someone your undivided attention is a way of showing affection? We are so immersed in electronic devices that we forget to give our full attention to those who need it. Look your child in the eye when they are speaking to you – it shows them that you are listening. It also shows respect to give someone your full attention.
Of course, hugs and kisses are the easiest way to show our affection, but this will probably change as your children grow. Your 14 year old boy will ‘suffer’ through a hug goodbye at school and you don’t want to alienate or embarrass him, so it’s time for a discussion…..ask the question “I want to show you that I love you when I drop you off at school, so how about we XXX (eg. give a signal, say a word etc) instead of hugging?” and ask for their input. You might be surprised at their response.
Here are a few articles to read about how affection benefits children: