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  1. Jill Nissen says:

    Those are some great ideas, and I like the research that you presented.

  2. Love these!! Another fun one! The Simon says hug! We started this when my son was about 2 year old.
    “Simon says open your arms.”
    “Simon says wrap them around your mommy.”
    “Simon says squeeeeeeze!”
    He loved it! He’s 8 now and whenever he needs an extra smile I just call his name and say, “Simon says open your arms!”

    1. Oh my goodness, Chani. That is the MOST adorable hug tradition! Thank you so much for sharing that. <3

  3. I have definitely fallen into only giving quick hugs. Thank you so much for posting this! I’m looking forward to reconnecting with my kids with some hugs!

  4. We have a “cuddle carry” which my 4yo asks for on a semi regular basis, especially when he’s feeling a bit anxious or reluctant about going somewhere. We started it when I was first dropping him off at childcare. I think it taps into the longer hugging, calming effect. Its basically a standing up cuddle where I pick him up and he wraps his legs round my torso and I start walking – the forward momentum helps us feel pressed closer together.

    We also have the “monkey baby” hug where I pretend we’re chimps as he attaches himself with arms and legs round my torso (sometimes front, sometimes side, sometimes back) in a way that I only need one arm to hold him, or sometimes no arms as he’s doing all the ‘holding’. Then I move around in a way that a chimp parent might, slightly swinging him (using my arms to cradle him), which gives a bit of rhythm and movement together.

    1. And this (above) is from a boy who was not a hugger as an infant! Which I found really hard when he was an older baby/toddler as I found it harder to connect with him and felt rejected by his not wanting hugs, or not initiating cuddles.
      He still often doesn’t like me kissing him, so I can only sometimes get kisses in as part of a ‘kissy hug’ where I cover him in lots of little kisses in different places and he’ll laugh. I try my best to remember to ask if I can kiss him goodnight before doing so.