A child needs to know what a healthy, loving touch feels like. Studies have shown that human touch can relieve stress, reduce pain and make it easier to cope. We were created relational beings and part of that is healthy touch. It creates deeper bonds in relationship. I had a friend who adopted a baby and was having a hard time bonding with the baby. The specialist recommended skin on skin contact. It happens naturally with our children when they are infants because of the need for breast feeding. Of course it changes as they get older, but it’s still an important way to communicate. There’s nothing like having a kid curl up on your lap to cuddle. I hear that it gets harder, especially for dads, as kids get older. However, it’s so important to show proper physical affection because your girls will find some other little boy to give her the affection she is seeking. “When you get a loving and firm hug, it stimulates pressure receptors under the skin, which in turn send a message to the vagus nerve in your brain. The vagus nerve takes this cue to slow down your heart rate and your blood pressure, putting you in a relaxed state. The hug even curbs stress hormones such as cortisol, facilitates food absorption and the digestion process, and stimulates the release of serotonin, which counteracts pain.” ~ The Connected Child by Karyn B. Purvis, Ph.D., David R. Cross, Ph.D., and Wendy Lyons Sunshine Holding hands, pats on the back, hugs, butterfly kisses, kisses, wrestling, high fives, and cuddling are all forms of sweet affection.