Global Hug Your Kids Day Date in the current year: July 15, 2024

Global Hug Your Kids Day Don’t forget to hug your kid or kids on the third Monday of July because it is Global Hug Your Kids Day. It was created to encourage parents around the world to be more affectionate with their kids and raise awareness of the benefits of hugging.

A hug is an almost universal form of nonverbal communication that is primarily associated with affection and emotional warmth. Depending on culture, context and relationship, a hug can indicate familiarity, friendship, love, flirting, sympathy, support, comfort, consolation, joy or happiness of a reunion, etc. Unlike many other forms of physical contact, hugs can be practiced without stigma in many cultures, but they generally indicate at least some degree of familiarity.

Hugging has a number of proven health benefits. According to studies, consensual hugs from people we like make the body release oxytocin, a hormone that has antidepressant-like effects, helps reduce stress and anxiety, and increases trust. Hugging may also reduce blood pressure, improve mood and memory, and boost the immune system. If a hug is shared before a stressful situation, it may reduce the levels of the stress hormone cortisol.

Hugs are especially important for small kids because hugging their parents makes them feels safe. On the other hand, teenagers often start to reject physical affection from their parents, especially in public, because they think hugging their parents is childish and uncool. Seeking more independence is a normal part of adolescent development; instead of insisting on hugs, parents should respect their teens’ boundaries and find other ways to show affection.

By the way, you can use hugging as a way to teach your children body autonomy. Although most people like hugs, sometimes we just don’t feel like hugging, and that’s totally normal. Always ask for permission before hugging your child and don’t insist if they don’t want to be hugged right now, and teach your kid to do the same. Everyone deserves to have their boundaries respected, even children; your kid should have the freedom to say no to physical contact and the right to feel comfortable.

Global Hug Your Kids Day was started by a woman named Michelle Nichols in 2008. Her son passed away from brain cancer in 1998 at just eight years old, and Nichols started observing the day a decade after his death as a reminder of parents to hug their kids more often, especially if they work long hours and don’t see their children as much as they’d like. She even published a book for working parents on the benefits of showing physical affection to their children.

It’s very easy to celebrate Global Hug Your Kids Day – just go and hug your child or children and tell them you love them! If you feel like you don’t hug them enough, commit to showing your affection more often. Other ways to celebrate the holiday include reading your child a book about hugs, checking out the book Hug Your Kids Today! 5 Key Lessons for Every Working Parent by Michelle Nichols, and spreading the word about the holiday with the hashtags #GlobalHugYourKidsDay and #HugYourKidsDay.

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