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.