Some people are huggers. If you’re near them they gotta touch you. It’s who they are.
Then, we have the non-huggers, those people who like their space, who don’t need or care for physical contact.
There’s nothing wrong with hugs. I don’t mind them. I give hugs during greeting time at church. If I haven’t seen someone for a while, I definitely want to hug them. I just don’t need hugs unless there’s a real good reason.
When it comes to parenting, non-hugging parents have to make allowances if they have huggy children.
At least two of my six children are definite huggers. They need the physical contact to feel loved. They can be clingy, and this drives me crazy at times.
But their needs have to be met.
The cliché is true: necessity is the mother of invention.
What did we create?
They go like this:
As I finish tucking the kids in bed I begin to walk downstairs. One of my huggers often says, “Mom, can I have another hug?”
I say, “OK. Here’s an air hug. Did you get it?”
They shout, “Yes!”
They feel loved and I can go downstairs.
The air hugs have evolved into all sorts of air devices. We have air kisses, air hair pulls, air I’m-poking-you-in-the-eye poke, almost anything we really shouldn’t do physically, we can get away with via an air version. We have grown quite fond of our air devices. We have a lot of fun with them.
(I’m guessing when a huggy parent has a non-huggy child it’s challenging. The parent has the need to show her love via physical touch but the child wants his space.)
Parents, we’re the ones who need to compromise.
My oldest daughter participated in the South Dakota Sully County Jr. Snow Queen Contest last weekend. She looked beautiful. She ended up being First Runner Up Jr. Snow Queen. Leading up to the event was quite dramatic in our home. She wanted things just so, and since she is a female teenager, things can get emotional. We didn’t have her dress until two days before the event. Friday, we practiced hair and make-up for the next night. Every time I put in a new curl or applied a new color she had to check my progress. It worked out well but it was quite a journey.
In day-to-day living she isn’t one to hug or say sweet words. She’s one who will ask where her favorite T-shirt is and then head out the door.
Yet, at the Snow Queen Competition she opened up. She shared her heart with the world and it involved me! She told the whole world she loved me. She shared things I never thought she ever noticed. She brought tears to my eyes, my 10-year-old daughter’s eyes and the lady who sat to my right who I didn’t know and who didn’t know us at all.
It’s the new week and I’m back to being just Mom. And that’s OK.
Getting a glimpse of my daughter’s thoughts toward me Saturday night continues to bless me.
Parents, keep loving your children in the way they need to be loved. You will reap this love eventually.
And it will be so worth it.
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