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Why you should hug your children 12 times daily


A child listening to his Mother.

Family Life Consultant and an Intentional Parenting Educator, Dinma Nwobi, has said that it is important to hug your child(ren) 12 times a day.

With the alarmingly increasing rate of teen suicide and the worrisome dependence of preteens and teens on substances like Tramadol and codeine leading to overdoses and sudden deaths, there is no better time than now to adopt this habit.

“Just recently, a J.S.S 3 student died of an overdose of Tramadol. The young teenager allegedly popped 10 tablets at once.


The pressure from the media, the arts and entertainment world and the negative influences from peers can become confusing to a young child who is waddling the waters of self-discovery.

The teenage years are a transition period. This phase of life is often characterised by identity crisis, self-esteem issues and the confusions associated with the changes in life, which a teenager has to undergo.

“The teenager doesn’t feel like a child anymore yet the life of an adult seems shrouded in anxiety, pain, uncertainty, frustrations and disappointments.

Sometimes, the pressure can be overwhelming and leave the child searching for ways to cope with the changes in his/her life. In the midst of these uncertainties, your child needs the certainty of love,” says Nwobi.

Your child needs the assurance that he/she is not alone. An assurance that he/she is loved and appreciated, everyone needs to love and be loved.

This is one of the basic human needs that can help your child cope with life. You can show love and acceptance to your child by hugging him consistently and intentionally. Hugging reassures your child of your love and support.

Here are some of the reasons why you should give your children at least 12 hugs daily:

Doing so boosts your child’s self-esteem thus making him/her feel loved and appreciated.

It makes your child feel safe with you. This will improve open and honest communication between both of you.

It boosts your child’s confidence and helps him hold a healthier perspective to life.

It boosts the immune system, helps with depression and induces good sleep.

It helps teach your child the concept of reciprocity as it relates to love.

It improves your mood as well as that of your child because serotonin, “the happiness hormone” is secreted during extended hugs. (This is another reason why you should sustain those bear hugs with your child for some extra minutes.)

For Nwobi, If you haven’t been hugging your child intentionally. Don’t give in to the temptation to grab your child suddenly after reading this.

I can only imagine the confused look that will form on your child’s face. You may want to ease into the habit slowly. Grow into hugging by introducing four hugs daily.

Your child can survive with that dose. You may increase the hugs intentionally till you can comfortably enjoy 12 hugs daily.

These tips can help you and your child create this intentional habit of hugging daily.

You can create a system of giving at least 4 hugs three times daily. For example when they wake up, when they get back from school or you get back from work and when they retire to bed.

Balance the hugs swinging left and right as you enjoy some bonding relaxing moments with your child.

Hold each hug a little bit longer to enable the happiness hormone, serotonin and the love hormone, oxytocin secreted during extensive hugs to do these specific functions.

“Hugging is good for your child. And should start from when you conceive the child. Why wait till they become teens to love and make it safe for them to love and trust you when you can actually start when they are neonates.

A hug a day will keep your child happy, bubbly and sane. It can even keep the doctor away. Go on hugging and loving your child intentionally,” Nwobi added.

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