Global Hug Your Kids Day offers the perfect reminder to take an extra moment each to show your kids how much they are loved!
History of Global Hug Your Kids Day
Hugging as a sign of affection has likely been a cultural and familial custom for thousands of years, probably since humanity began. It may have started as a way to share warmth. Though it also seems to be an innate action as a way to bring comfort.
Founded by Michelle Nichols, the first Global Hug Your Kids Day took place in 2008. Ten years after her son, Mark, died from cancer at the age of eight years old, Michelle Nichols wanted to remind parents that childhood is fleeting and they should make an extra effort to hug their kids.
How to Celebrate Global Hug Your Kids Day
Observing Global Hug Your Kids Day is one of the simplest and easiest days to celebrate!
Hug Your Kids
Of course, the most specific way to celebrate this day is for parents to make sure that they give their kids an extra hug in honor of Global Hug Your Kids Day. Even better, this is a great time to create an intentional habit of not only hugging, but just generally appreciating kids.
Even when they are difficult or cause parents some headaches, kids are a gift and a blessing to families. So check in with your kid or teenager and give them a hug to let them know how loved they are!
Learn About the Benefits of Hugging
Most people aren’t aware of how healthy hugs are! Global Hug Your Kids Day is a great time to learn about (and share with others) the way that hugs can benefit the body and the mind.
Hugs Reduce Stress
In a world where even young kids can be filled with anxiety about school, peer pressure and other problems in the world, spending 10 seconds or more giving them a simple hug can help to minimize their stress (and yours!).
Hugs Promote Heart Health
With the power to reduce blood pressure as well as providing a dose of oxytocin (the love hormone), hugs can help to maintain a healthy heart.
Hugs Boost the Immune System
Whether it is cold and flu season or just general life, hugging can help anyone’s immune system which aids the body in fighting infections and promotes general well-being.
Hugs Help with Mental Health
Offering a sense of wellness, safety and security, hugs can reduce anxiety and depression and increase dopamine, which is the hormone that makes people feel good.
Ask for a Hug
While hugging is a worthwhile habit, it is important to remember that hugging without asking permission can be a problem, especially if they aren’t your own kids. Grandkids, children of friends, nieces and nephews all are worthy of hugs too, but don’t forget that hugging a child without asking could cross boundaries that make them feel uncomfortable and less safe.
So, just to be sure, ask for a hug first – and give them the freedom to say no. If they aren’t interested in a hug, perhaps offer the option of a high five!