Tuesday, March 11, 2008

7. Don't hesitate- hug

Do you remember the last time you hugged your child ? That must have been long back when he was a baby. As he grew up, you hugged him less and less and by the time, he turned a teen-ager, the gesture came to a complete halt. Now, you are in a situation where your hands refuse to touch his shoulders and your lips refuse to smile at him. Both you and your child are big losers in the process.
When you hug your child or put your arm around his shoulders or simply give him a loving glance, he feels wanted and important. His self-confidence soars. He learns the value of giving and receiving love which serves him well in his future life. Absence of these gestures reduces warmth in relationships and enhances chances of misunderstanding between you and your child.
There is a simple way of repairing the damage. Next time, when your child scores poor marks, fails to win a sports competition or generally feels depressed, just put your hand around his shoulders. When he does well in the examination or wins a trophy, you don't have to jump in the sofa. Just give him a loving glance. Occasionally, smile at him without any reason. Initially, he may be shocked, but gradually he will realize that his parents are improving.
From small gestures, move to hugs. You don't have to wait for his birthday to hug him. The tragedy is that we get more and more stiff as our child grows. We love him, but are reluctant to express our feelings. Hugs, pats, loving glances and smiles are considered signs of immaturity. We want to look serious and in full control of ourselves. We start relying more and more on verbal communication which has to supplement and not supplant non-verbal communication.
Don't suppress your feelings for your child. Express it in the best possible manner- through physical actions and gestures. One hug will convey much more to the child than ten thousand words can. Once you are able to shake off your hesitation in private, do it in public for others to see and follow.
But don't get carried away by the success of the hugging formula. If used indiscriminately, it may lead to undesirable verbal and physical response from the recipient.

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