Our children need affection and love every single day.
“Sheri, what if I am not a hugger?” you say. “Sheri, what if I don’t like touching?”
Become one. Get over it. Be prepared to hold your child’s hand and stroke their hair or hug them. Boys have different ways that they like to engage in touching than some girls. Some are more needy and personal, and others aren’t. Decide what your child is, and get over yourself. Work it out. Become a hugger and toucher if you need to.
What if you’re not an encourager, but you’re great at pointing out flaws and giving criticism? Seek some training. Find a mentor. Recruit someone to hold you accountable. Become a mighty encourager.
Here’s a practical tip. Make sure you say each child’s name along with an encouraging (not correcting) word 10 times each day. Keep a checklist.
Everyone loves to hear their name. There are studies out there showing that people want to hear their name. Hearing our name triggers a reaction in several parts of the brain as if it’s saying, “Hey, that’s me.” People feel flattered and personally appreciated when addressed by their name. It makes them feel special.
As a child, I was used for someone else’s inappropriate pleasure—not the purpose God had intended for me. I was inappropriately touched and around that all the time, so physical touch disgusted me.
It still kind of does. It kind of goes all over me.
When there’s too much touching, I just want to shake it off and say, “Get away from me.”
My best friend in high school would touch my arm all the time. I would roll my eyes and jerk away. Our senior year, she made it her mission to break me of my phobia of being touched.
And that she did!
By the end of the year, although I wasn’t completely healed, I was a pretty big hugger.
Today, as an older mom, I still struggle with not really wanting to be touched if it’s not on purpose. I’ve had to get over my queasy, pain in the rear obsession in not doing that, and I want to recommend the same thing. God can heal your heart.
You and I need to become the biggest huggers and daily encouragers our children have ever seen, to the point where they believe in our love and feel so secure in it that we can witness it in their outside relationships!