Saturday, August 11, 2007

A Show of Affection

Awww Mom, I'm not leaving for vacation... I'm just going to the store. I'll be back in an hour." And the door slams shut as your teen-ager leaves. You were unsuccessful in giving him a good-bye kiss. There's no need to give up trying, however. Our children really need our love and physical affection, but perhaps not always in the particular way that we may think. Our younger ones may be too busy playing for a hug or kiss and our pre-teens and teen-agers may pull away at times.

Yet, no one is too old for a hug or a kiss. Haven't psychologists told us that just for emotional survival alone, we need at least four hugs a day?

I believe it all starts in the womb — with the warm amniotic fluid caressing a baby's skin, cushioning him while his mother rocks him gently with her every move. A baby is accustomed to comfort and affection right from the very start.

We emerge into this world wanting to be comforted after a strenuous birth process. The world outside the womb is completely different than our first warm, dark, safe environment. A baby may cry because of hunger, uncomfortable temperatures or a need for a diaper change, but also because of loneliness and a need for physical contact. Sometimes, just a simple touch or caress — a hand on your baby's back, will soothe a fussy baby. At other times, he will need to be picked up, rocked, cuddled or walked to comfort him and stop his crying.

Babies cannot be spoiled by love. When a baby cries for comfort and physical contact and is left in his crib, he will learn to be distrustful about this new world. Each time your baby's cravings for affection are fulfilled, you have helped to establish his sense of confidence and trust. Continued here at Catholic Exchange.

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