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Women Living Well Blog: How To Truly Hug Your Children

Women Living Well Blog

Sunday, June 19, 2011

How To Truly Hug Your Children

“A hug is an exchange

of two hearts entwined for

one precious moment in time.”

~ Darlene Schacht

Darlene from Time Warp Wife is a guest here today!  She writes:

Since we found out that my dad was sick with cancer this past year, I won’t leave the house without hugging and kissing my parents. I have come to realize that every minute I have with them is a gift from God. Every hug, every word, every kiss—all gifts that I tuck into the treasure chest of my heart. I cherish their wisdom, their loving kindness, and yes—their touch.

We all need physical contact–numerous studies have proved that, and common sense confirms it to be true.

“Verbal and physical affection enable a child to learn morality. When loving parents teach morality and impulse control children listen. Physical affection turns children into sponges ready to absorb the lessons parents teach. Teens also need hugs and praise.” Liane J. Leedom, M.D. Mother, Author, Psychiatrist.

We all know the benefits of hugging our children, but how many of us are hugging them to the fullest?

My mother is 78-years-old, and for the first time this month, I have felt a hug from her unlike any I’ve ever experienced before. Same goes for my husband. I’ve started receiving hugs from him that not only remind me of how much he loves me, they tell me he doesn’t want to let go.

For years my parents have been doing the “pat.” In fact, my teen-aged son had started doing the “pat” too in recent years, until I pointed out to him that a pat could never hold the same potential that a genuine embrace can. It is now a topic of humor in our family, but nevertheless the hugs have improved immensely.

Since I’m a self-proclaimed “self-help junkie,” it’s no surprise to anyone that I have a book on body language. I picked it up last summer and thumbed through it on our holidays.

In The Power of Body Language, author Tonya Reiman writes, “[The pat] is the universal signal for, ‘OK, the hug is coming to a close now.’”

The pat is commonly used for social hugging, and it can also indicate that a hugger is uncomfortable and wants to let go.

A hug is an exchange of two hearts entwined for one precious moment in time. It’s a warm embrace that reminds you you’re loved. It’s a squeeze that tells children they are secure in your arms. It’s being held close by a gesture that signifies, “You are cherished and loved.”

In an article titled, “Soaking Up More than Spilled Milk,” author Ann Voskamp writes, “So I do it. I grab the angriest, messiest heart and hold it close. A wonder! Every single time you can feel it right through you, that potency of touch. It’s how Jesus healed the leper, the blind men, the deaf and dumb man, the mother-in-law of Peter. He absorbed the sin with a lingering, intentional touch.”

A genuine hug entails an

intentional, lingering, and deliberate

touch that sews their heart with yours.

Linger a while longer, embrace with intention, and let your hearts mingle before you let go.

You are loved by an almighty God,


Find me blogging daily at Time-Warp Wife
and on Twitter @darleneschacht



Blogger Amy said...

I love the idea of a hug like that. There are some people who hug me, such as my parents, husband or dearest friends, and I feel like it's almost a glimpse into their hearts. I always hope that they can see me wearing my heart on my sleeve a bit at those times as well.


June 19, 2011 at 11:12 PM  
Blogger Kim said...

That stirred my heart! I know all too well how short life is and how important it is to love on our family. My mom passed away a couple of years ago and the pain is still deep. It is something you never really get over. I miss her hugs. My daddy is looking frailer every time I see him. I need to linger longer with my hugs. Thanks for the reminder with hugging my children. Gotta go do some hugging!

June 20, 2011 at 12:01 AM  
Blogger Darlene Schacht said...

As you know, my dad is very sick. He was weak and frail today. And I wondered if I might hurt him when we hugged. He patted me on the back with a grin, because he knows that I have taught them to truly embrace. It was so sweet to see him being funny.

June 20, 2011 at 1:20 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I could not get to" time warp wife" :-(

June 20, 2011 at 2:50 AM  
Blogger Kirsten said...

A hug definitely holds impact! :) Thanks for sharing!

June 20, 2011 at 5:58 AM  
Blogger Courtney (Women Living Well) said...

Anonymous - I'm sorry - I just checked both links and they are working from my computer. If they aren't working for you just go directly to

Lots of Love,

June 20, 2011 at 7:17 AM  
Blogger Lisa said...

Wow!!! I don't know why but I got emotional while reading this post. Very nice and emotional post. Loved it. Thanks for sharing.

Take the test Are You Able To Control Your Emotions and find out how well you control your emotions.

June 20, 2011 at 7:46 AM  
Blogger LaToya said...

This is so true. When my daddy was dying from cancer I made sure to hug and kiss him and always say I love you. At the same time I also did the same with my boys. My youngest likes to ask for "BIG hugs" sometimes so we practice giving each other big hugs.

June 20, 2011 at 7:57 AM  
Blogger . said...

wow Courtney,, i love your post.. I have you on my FB page and I had posted my post from my Blog ~ and I had used that same picture in my post..and I thought , wow , how did my post get on Women living tooo funny.. .. hope you can swing by and visit which is also a blog encouraging women to be "the salt of the world to their families " Matt 5 :13-18 God Bless..

June 20, 2011 at 9:12 AM  
Anonymous Laura said...

I think we so easily forget about the need of physical touch. I have one child who needs the reassurance of a hug many times a day, where my other child loves to hug but doesn't need it nearly as much. I have found that even the one doesn't need or request it from me as much the contact with him is so important and he enjoys those extra hugs!

June 20, 2011 at 11:00 AM  
Blogger Sonya Schroeder said...

Darlene thank you so much for sharing this. In my family growing up there were hardly any hugs at all, they were "pats". I never did like that and vowed that when I had kids that the "pat" would not exist. I hug my kids every change I get, they know that my embrace is not a "pat". They can feel my hugs all the way through. It saddens me that I didnt get that growing up however embrace it cause I can pass it on to my kids! Hugs

June 20, 2011 at 11:16 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Wow...that was inspiring!
Thank you!

June 20, 2011 at 2:32 PM  
Blogger Momma said...

This comment has been removed by the author.

June 20, 2011 at 4:28 PM  
Blogger Alicia said...

I love this! I hug my kids that way but as soon as I read about the "pat", I thought about my friends. I will give them a quick "pat" when I see them but I bet they would love a "real" hug once in a while too!

June 20, 2011 at 5:01 PM  
Blogger Toni said...

Right smack in line with what I've chosen to focus on this summer, in my desire to be sanctified to God.
I do believe I was supposed to see this today.

June 20, 2011 at 9:14 PM  
Anonymous Valerie said...

Thank you so much for the great reminder of how important hugs are. I am going to hug my children this minute :)

June 20, 2011 at 10:46 PM  
Blogger LeAnn said...

This was a lovely post and I was so uplifted by it. I too love hugs and love to give hugs. In fact when one of my grandchildren fails to give me a hug; I will I think I missed you and they all know it means to give a hug to grandma.
I too know how important it is to treasure every moment with you parents. I have lost both of mine in the last 10 years; so I do have beautiful memories.
Blessings to you!

June 21, 2011 at 12:55 AM  
Blogger Traci Michele said...

Beautifully written Darlene! <3 Love, Traci @ Ordinary Inspirations

June 21, 2011 at 3:17 PM  
Blogger Kara said...

Loved this one Darlene...thank you. When you lose someone close...or even just face that...makes you want to take hold of every opportunity to communicate love...I'm so sorry about your dad. We've faced that loss with our daughter, but I haven't had to work through that heartache with a parent yet.
Makes me long for Heaven...when all tears will be wiped away.

June 21, 2011 at 11:08 PM  
Blogger Darlene Schacht said...

Thank you for all of your encouraging comments, ladies. So blessed by your fellowship.

June 22, 2011 at 12:10 AM  
Blogger Wanda said...

OMGEE! I immediately thought of my BFF. She is THE BEST hugger ever.
She holds onto you and doesn't let go (even when it feels awkward!)
Thank you for the sweet reminder to REALLY HUG!

June 22, 2011 at 11:25 PM  
Blogger Laura said...

I find it so easy to avoid hugging anyone when I am angry. Maybe that is when I need to be sure to hug more intensely....

Thank you for this post.

June 23, 2011 at 9:08 AM  

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