In Summary
  • Everyone needs a hug. And those who refute this assertion probably need the hugs more.

As a medical personnel my mother shared many of her experiences and one she spoke about often was the ‘Kangaroo care’. Kangaroo care is where newborn babies are kept skin-to-skin with a parent, typically their mother.

It is most commonly used for preterm babies, who are more likely to suffer from hypothermia while admitted to a neonatal unit. The name comes from the way kangaroos carry their young. There is scientific evidence that this kind of care is effective in reducing both infant mortality and the risk of hospital-acquired infection with increasing rates of breastfeeding and weight gain. Now this amazed me. Recently I visited a friend whose family practices a lot of hugging. They hug when they wake up and hug several times during the day. They hug every time they get out of the house and when they get back home. We are talking father, mother and all three children.

The children in particular hugged me every time they saw me. I was amazed at how powerful this simple act had on the children. Nothing is better than an affirmed child. Though I have never hugged my parents or my brothers, I hug my children but my score pales miserably when we compare to my friend’s.

This is a seemingly simple act which has very direct relationship to the way a growing baby develops. The warmth and love from the mother, plus a whole lot of things which words cannot articulate which flow from the mother. The mother literally transmits life to the child.
Everyone needs a hug. And those who refute this assertion probably need the hugs more. Why? Because some things cannot be explained by words and yet the consequences of their shortage cannot be denied. Hugs speak love; they speak warmth and acceptance. They speak value and they speak affirmation. Perhaps I should set an alarm clock as a reminder to hug the children like a prescription drug.
A hug in the morning, a hug in the afternoon and a hug before the child sleeps off.
Everyone needs a hug.
In fact, I need a huge bear hug right now.