Friday, October 3, 2014

Therapeutic hugs in the morning

The little boy recently learnt this French children's song, "Des Câlins", meaning "The Hugs" in school.  He had been singing it a lot and it soon became a huge part of his life.

The song talks about how much he would like hugs in the morning, lots and lots of it.  It goes on to say that when he has lots of hugs in the morning, his day would start well, he would laugh and have fun.  And if he doesn't get hugs in the morning, he would not want anything and would ache everywhere.

The song "Des Calins"

The lyrics goes like this:-
Des câlins, le matin
J'en veux plein, plein, plein, plein, plein
Des câlins, le matin
J'en veux plein, plein, plein.

Quand j'ai plein de câlins
La journée commence bien
Je cours dans la cuisine
J'avale trois quatre tartines


Quand j'ai plein de câlins
Je rigole pour un rien
J'invente un' p'tite chanson
J'suis gai comme un pinson


Mais si j' n'ai pas de câlins
Moi j'ai envie de rien
J'ai mal un peu partout
Au ventre puis au cou.

(taken from

The importance of hugs

Last Sunday night, while I was putting him to bed, he suddenly said that he had a bad day.  I was rather defensive and felt upset because I thought we had such great fun that day.  I explained that we did many things together from church in the morning to a yummy gourmet burger lunch followed by some activities at home and we finished off the day with some enjoyable moments at the swimming pool, doing silly things like making human bombs (jumping into the pool making as big a splash as possible).  However, he reminded me about the song and sort of complained that we did not hug him that morning!  Opps!

Every weekday morning, hubby makes it a point to give both kids big hugs before sending them off on the school bus (while I snooze away).  On Saturday, it happened that I was the one leaving home for classes so I gave the kids a good squeeze before I stepped out.  The sad thing was, on Sunday we were all together and though we kissed the kids before they went for their respective Sunday School class, we missed out on the hugs.  And I did not realise how significant that one hug in the morning was to setting the pace for the rest of the day!   

Giving a good hug at the start of the day meant a lot to the little boy.  And for the girl as well.  

Research has shown that what the song states is true.  A good hug releases oxytocins, the commonly called "feel good hormones" or the bonding/love hormones.  More oxytocins in the body will help to reduce stress and anxiety.  There are many benefits to having oxytocins in the body.  Medically, it is supposed to decrease risk of heart disease and depression, increase immunity, fight fatigue and infections and many more.  

Starting the day with a good hug

More importantly, we learnt as well that physical touch and in this case, a nice cuddle, is going to start the day well for our children.  It not only gives them the warm and fuzzy feeling, but it also imply that we love them, that they are important to us and we are here for them.  There are many challenges that our little ones face when we send them out to the world, to school.  There could be bullies in school, mean classmates, teachers who may unintentionally hurt their self esteem or adults who are overwhelmed with other the other children around and become less kind with words.   We cannot shelter them forever and we should not either.  However, we can and we definitely should send them out confident and secured in our love.  We can send them out as loving beings who will be ready to give another kid a hug when needed too.  We can send them out as empathetic little angels who are able to give others some love because they are full of it and it overflows.

In the last couple of weeks, whenever I come home tired or stressed, the first thing the boy does when I slump into the sofa was to run over to put his arms around me.  He sometimes add a good few pats on my back as if to tell me, "it is okay mama, you are home and we love you!".  You have no idea how much better I usually feel right after that.  That, is the amazing healing power of a good hug.  Do try it, make it a part of your morning ritual with the family, and I'm sure the entire family will benefit from it. 

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