A Touch Means So Much
BY BARBARA RAINEY
They were bringing children to Him so that He might touch them. MARK 10:13
One of the biggest needs of your children—no matter what their age—is for physical touch. Regular hugs, kisses and hand holding all say to them, "You are loved."
When your children are little, make sure they have lots of time in your lap to cuddle. Hug them for no reason at all. But also be sure to create special traditions of affection each day, like bedtime kisses and good-morning hugs. Arriving at home after a day of work or an afternoon of running errands offers another great opportunity to give affectionate touch.
When our children were smaller, we turned these greeting times into "The Bear Hug Routine." Dennis would get near Deborah, for instance, and say, "Do you want a baby bear hug, a mama bear hug or a daddy bear hug?" Our children would usually work through all three, amid shrieks of laughter. Even today, they still smile when he asks if they or especially their children want a bear hug. The tradition
of affection goes on.
Teenagers and adult children, too, need our loving touch. I remember reaching out to hug Benjamin—his growing frame towering over mine, his emerging beard feeling scratchy on my face. I hugged him quickly, let go and tried to step back, only to be pleasantly surprised when he held on tight. He seemed to be saying, "I may look grown up, I may look like I don't need it, but don't stop. I still love it when you hold me."
Does your relationship with your children have some catching up—some touching up—to do?
Did you come from a hugging family? How did that affect you? How does it affect your parenting? What family member needs a hug from you today?
Pray that you will never withhold any expression of love your child really needs.