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The Importance Of Touch In Families

The Importance Of Touch In Families
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Families fall into different categories regarding touch. Some are naturally physical with each other and display lots of affection, whereas others have a much more distant protocol. These families rely on talking or sharing activities as ways of spending time together. Now that we’ve moved far away enough from the age where babies were swaddled and put down, lots of people are recognising the importance of skin-to-skin contact for youngsters and the soothing benefits physical intimacy can bring.

Skin-To-Skin Contact

The skin is the largest organ of the body. By holding a young child in a loving way you are sending comforting messages through literally thousands of nerve pathways. This will then register in their brain as a safe situation to relax into. Touch has also been shown to reduce tension, improve the immune system, increase the levels of restful sleep, and help with concentration.

Cuddles For Reassurance

When a young child is agitated and wants to be comforted, being held on a lap or lay down and cuddled with will offer a much deeper message of reassurance than just listening. As they get older and naturally start to separate out into their own space there are still ways in which you can incorporate touch into your relationships. Giving regular foot massages is an excellent way to keep the physical channels open in a non-invasive and non-threatening way, this is still powerfully affective.

Touch For Stress Relief

The Importance Of Touch In FamiliesWith the increase of mental distress in young people, it is important to find alternative ways of soothing other than talking. If one of your children is hyperactive and laying still is impossible, make up a game that involves touch. Start with everyone standing up and rubbing their hands together very energetically until there are sensations of heat in the palms. Then place the warm hands somewhere else on the body, face, arms, or leg’s wherever they are comfortable to do so, rubbing the skin energetically. Encourage your kids to make sounds, when they are doing this it will shift how they are feeling and give any emotions or stress’s a way of releasing.

Massage Each Other

It can also be a lovely thing to encourage your children to massage each other and you too! Again you can make it into a game and have one of you lying down whilst the others all put their hand on you at once. Giving a massage can be as good as receiving one. Children generally love to find ways to help their parents chill out!

Reassuring Teenagers

Even when you hit difficult phases with your kids such as in the teen years, see if you can still find ways of incorporating touch. Most teenagers crave reassurance but get caught in ways of behaving that give out the opposite message. Find a way of letting them know that they are still loved by giving them a reassuring hug each day. There may be a phase in their lives when they are closed to massage,  if they are allowed to have this period of being separate it is very likely that they will open up again to it when they feel ready to.

And lastly, but just as important, remember you and your partners needs touch too. Avoid spiralling into stress and find daily way’s to incorporate touch into your lives. Hugging and massage works equally as well as being intimate sexually.

 

 

 

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About Jenny Smith

About Jenny Smith

Jenny Smith is a freelance writer and facilitator specialising in mental health, well-being and ecotherapy. She writes for National Mind and The Working Parent and facilitates training in the Work that Reconnects and Ecotherapy. She is inspired by nature, gardening, love and non-duality teachings

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