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- By Lise Eliot, Ph.D


Hugs: A Parent's Secret Weapon

By Colleen Langenfeld

It has happened again.

Another summer has whizzed by. My kids are another year older.

With two children grown and another two still under my wing, I have come to appreciate my fleeting opportunity to BE THERE for my young charges. To form and nurture a lasting relationship with each of them.

Frankly, I've come to see that a simple hug is a very powerful thing.

That being said, I would like to offer you a few compelling reasons to hug YOUR precious ones every single day.


  • lower your blood pressure. Or at least feel like it.

  • nurture a team spirit. The family team, that is.

  • are free. So do it twice.

  • are what kids honestly crave. No matter what they say!

  • get kids' attention. And open their ears.

  • can melt multiple harsh words. For both you and your child.

  • make you smile! And it's tough to stay angry when you're smilin'.

  • model generosity of spirit. Give and you shall receive!

  • are the right way to welcome home someone weary from his or her day.

  • feel GREAT!

Many scientific studies have shown the positive effects of hugging. More importantly to me, I've seen the positive effects in my own family.

As parents, we sometimes grope for the right words to inspire our children. We question our own choice of disciplinary tactics. We agonize over our apparent inadequacies in this most important of jobs.

So hug.

Hugging is virtually always helpful (especially when our children claim to not want it); soothing, comforting, and very hard to over-do, as long as you are sincere.

Best of all, when the hugs start coming back at you, you'll know why 'Mom' or 'Dad' is the best title in the world!


Colleen Langenfeld offers helpful ideas to busy working moms. Use our resources at to make your life feel easier, healthier, and smarter.

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