12 Hugs a Day
According to Family Therapist Virginia Satir, we need 4 hugs a day for survival, 8 hugs a day for maintenance, and 12 hugs a day for growth. Hugs are just one way to get healthy touch, which is critical for cognitive development, health, physical development, regulation, positive self-image, and bonding. Scientifically, these benefits occur because healthy touch release chemicals such as dopamine and oxytocin, which help you feel good, connect with others, and decrease the stress chemical cortisol. For those who want to know more, check out this blog post for a start: 7 Benefits of Hugging.
5 Affirmations for Every 1 Challenge
Challenge is important for growth, but critique is only effectively received and utilized if it's mixed with positive statements. Make it a game/challenge for yourself to notice when your kids are doing well and share it with them out loud.
10 Minutes of Connection a Day
We often feel like we don't have time to give our full attention to our kids. We have dinner to cook, laundry to wash, homework to get our kids to finish, etc. Paradoxically, really connecting with your kids helps both of you feel good and able to get back to other tasks more easily. Connection helps your children feel noticed, cared for, capable, and confident.
(P.S. This recipe also works with your other relationships. Try it with your spouse, employees, etc. and see what happens. You might treat yourself to the benefits of this recipe as well - try giving yourself more affirmations than criticism this week.)
*Note: for trauma survivors, and those who have suffered boundary violations, hugging may not be the best means of healthy touch initially. Contact me for a consultation for further recommendations.*