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Kids Need 17 Hugs a Day

Research shows that children need 17 hugs a day. At least that is what a needlepoint pillow that was given to me at my third baby’s shower said. It was a sweet thought that was thrown into the crib with the other bedding until baby’s arrival.

Since the shower, that statement has run through my head thousands of times. It was something that I consciously put into practice in my home of three boys.

I am not a huggy person. Our household is a potpourri of sensory issues.

And 17 hugs is a lot!

But it is my daily goal.

When the boys were little, reaching the goal was pretty easy. I grabbed the chance when I could and even on days that I failed…we still got quite a few hugs in!

As the boys have gotten older, it is more challenging. There is definitely no public hugging! That would be mortifying.

When I was regularly not making my goal of 17, I let them in on the secret. Suddenly they were invested in the goal of 17. Suddenly it became a competition to out-hug a brother.

Meanwhile, I am racking up the hugs.

Every once in a while, a grumpy boy will be hug-resistant. I will chase him around the house on a hug-hunt that will have us both giggling before it is over.

Even a half-hearted hug is better than no hug.

Our 17 hugs a day has become a part of our family tradition. It is the first thing that is done in the morning and the last thing done before bed.

Lately, I have been on a search for the source of this research. It doesn’t seem to exist. But who is going to refute it? Who would dare say it isn’t true?

I have empirical evidence and children who feel cheated if they only receive 16 hugs today.

Yes! I love this. I definitely am going to implement way more hugs for my 3 boys too! Thank you.

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