You read about the benefits to an infant to immediately make contact with their mothers (or fathers if the mother. is somehow not able) to warm their bodies and to find security in the warmth of another human being as they begin their little lives outside their mothers. As I have been staring at and pondering all the humans around me of all ages, I have been considering the benefits of this skin to skin benefit. Obviously not literally skin to skin but every human benefits from warm, secure, human contact. It seems a rarity or cast aside in our lives as not a priority as you know, 'we all have things we need to be doing.' Doing. I get so weary of doing. Doing, doing, doing.
My three year old has a case of the screamie meanies. Should I toss her in time out every time she screams??? What if I took her up in my arms and hugged her and spent time with her rather than get her away from me? Emotional energy comes from emotional support. Emotional strength and energy comes from contact which helps sooth us and not repel us. I suppose I could consider how very badly I need emotional support myself in caring for so many people and perhaps could benefit from time spent with all of my kids and family in a closer way rather than running away.
My nearly fourteen year old has struggled with showing emotion for several years. It could be mostly from the fact that there are many who need this attention from me. It makes me sad to think of the time I have not been able to sit with him and make physical contact just by allowing him to be by me.
We all learn from our experience. If we experience distance, it takes some time before there is comfort in closeness with other people. Modeling telling my kids I love them has resulted in a greater ease in them to be able to say it back to me and anyone else they come in contact with who might say that. It is a long lesson to learn and takes time and patience. Five years is about how long it took for comfort to seem more natural. I have no doubt the same will hold true with the kids finding their comfort level in being able to receive the comfort of just having someone give them a hug etc. This was not modeled for me and it is not something I come by easily. In fact I feel like somewhat of a dork if anyone other than my nuclear family gives me a hug and even that happens with such rarity (sadly admitting) that if someone else gives me a hug?????? Horrors. Takes effort and the only way for it to not take as much effort is most likely to come from practicing offering my family and friends hugs? Sit closer to my kids. Offer to have my kids cuddle up next to me for reading time more often???? Time. Patience. Breathe. Forgive. Love them.