The Importance of Affection
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The content of this article does not reflect the official opinion of The Walt Disney Company Africa Ltd. Responsibility for the information and views expressed therein lies entirely with the author(s).
Cuddles, kisses and affectionate moments are among the most treasured aspects of being a parent, but did you know that affection can influence your child’s health and wellbeing throughout life? Babies thrive on affection and develop multiple social skills in response to physical contact.
The benefits of affection
Babies who grow up in isolated environments without much affection or stimulation are at greater risk for behavioural and emotional problems later in life. Affection and physical contact also help your baby to develop empathy and enhance their emotional development. In the newborn days, affection helps to relax babies and skin to skin contact assists in regulating temperature and bonding between parent and baby. Later, babies and toddlers use affectionate moments to learn about communication and logic.
How to show affection
Affection is best expressed in a way that is natural to you as a parent, and there are no hard and fast rules. Physical touch, closeness, hugs and kisses are the cornerstones of affection, but non-physical affection can also be shown in the way you talk to and play with your baby.
How much is too much?
Some parents worry that showering their little one with affection could lead to a spoiled, difficult child. There really should not be a maximum level of affection. Bucket loads of hugs and care can affirm in a child the knowledge that they are loved and that their needs will be responded to. This can help them grow up to be happier and more socially ‘in tune’ adults.
This information is this article is intended for general purposes only. If you have any concerns about your health or the health of your child, you should always consult with a healthcare professional.