Inspiring Words

Here I am sharing some thoughts from my experiences in my clinical and forensic practice, as well as through my role as a mother of three children, a wife, a daughter, a sister, and a friend.

“The Hug Jar”

As your child becomes a tween/teen, there is less physical affection than the preschool years! Your daughter may not be eagerly holding your hand like she did when she was four years old. Your son may not want to cuddle like he enjoyed when he was younger. Your child is not sitting on your lap, and you no longer have a person attached to your hip! This is all part of normal development. However, as humans, we still have a need for physical affection with our loved ones. Physical affection provides a connection, and this can be particularly useful when the words are not there. There may be times when your teen/tween comes home from school, seems upset, and does not want to talk about it. There may be times when you want to express your love for your child, but the words do not come easily. These are times when physical affection can go a long way. Yet as children get older, they become less comfortable asking for the physical affection from parents that can be so comforting. And parents need the affection too!

We all need physical affection in varying degrees, and sometimes it is hard for both children and adults to ask for it. Making and using a “Hug Jar” can make it fun. Here are some suggestions to write down on a piece of paper and put into a “hug jar”. Make a point to pull one out a day.

  1. “The Big Bear” (full hug with both arms wrapped around tightly)
  2. “The Relax and Sit” (sit down on sofa chairs next to each other and hug)
  3. “The Double Dipper” (hug once for two second, let go, hug again for two seconds)
  4. “The Triple Dipper” (hug once for three seconds, let go, hug again, let go, hug again, let go)
  5. “The Long Haul” (hug and silently count to ten slowly)
  6. “The High and Mighty” (hug while standing on tippy toes)
  7. “The Low Ball” (hug each other while hunched over)
  8. “The Warm Fuzzy” (hug, and then share a mug of a favorite warm beverage)
  9. “The Snackaroo” (hug, and then share a light snack together)
  10. “The Chit Chat” (hug leading into a conversation about a specific topic)
  11. “The Spiritual Connection” (hug and then say a prayer together)
  12. “The Positive Attitude” (hug and then say a positive affirmation)
  13. “The Love Bug” (hug and then say, “I love you.”)
  14. “The Grilled Cheese” (one person in middle, surrounding by a person on each side)
  15. “The Endless Possibility” (hug of any kind of person’s choosing)
  16. “The Musical” (hug and sing a song)
  17. “The Jackpot” (hug and 5 minute massage)
  18. “The Blink of an Eye” (hug and then look at each other and see who blinks first)
  19. “The Butter Roll” (hug and then spin around with backs touching, and then hug again)
  20. “The Lean on Me” (hug while putting head on each other’s shoulders)



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