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Hugging Your Kids Makes Them Smarter And Every Hug Matters, Says Science

Hugging Your Kids Makes Them Smarter And Every Hug Matters, Says Science

Out of all the things you can do to promote your child's intelligence, hugging might be the most effective.

Every parent wants their child to be the smartest one among their friends, in class, and everywhere they go. Parents do countless things in order to make sure that their children are intelligent and are nurturing their potential as much as they can. It all starts when their kid is just an infant - from choosing mobiles with brain-stimulating patterns to playing classical music to exposing their tiny ears to as many foreign languages as possible, many parents try to provide tools to sharpen intelligence. A new research now states that one of the best and easiest ways to boost your child's intelligence is by making sure you give them enough hugs. According to this, hugging, as a form of physical affection, when the child is in their developmental stage is very important. The affection in the form of touch that these babies get triggers their brains to grow, and helps them become smarter. The research was conducted in 2017 and was done by Nationwide Children’s Hospital in Ohio.

Everyone knows that physical affection is beneficial, especially in the case of premature babies. This is not a new concept. The benefits of physical affection are said to last for years. In fact, maternal skin-to-skin contact was found to enhance prematurely born infants' physiological organization and cognitive control for the first 10 years of life. This was published in a study in 2014, according to Psychology Today. A survey conducted in 2017 reveals that hugging is way more powerful than most of us thought it was. The research survey was conducted on 125 babies where their reactions to physical touch were studied closely.

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The research studied both pre-term and full-term babies and analyzed how light physical touch affects their brain development, along with their perception, cognition, and social development. The researchers discovered that supportive experiences such as breastfeeding, skin-to-skin care, affectionate hugs, helped trigger brain responses which aid in the growth of the brain in a faster and more healthy manner. It also showed that painful experiences such as skin punctures and tube insertions hindered the brains development to the same touch stimuli.

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“Making sure that preterm babies receive positive, supportive touch such as skin-to-skin care by parents is essential to help their brains respond to gentle touch in ways similar to those of babies who experienced an entire pregnancy inside their mother’s womb,” explained researcher Nathalie Maitre to Science Daily. It sure is amazing to know that simply snuggling and hugging your child results in them becoming a lot smarter. The simple act is enough to influence their wiring and could also help them respond to and benefit from such touch stimuli for several years.

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Babies who get lots of hugs and attention are flooded with good feelings and regulatory hormones that do more for their brains than any amount of organic baby food or flash cards could ever do. Medical experts have also mentioned that babies who are deprived of this affection can witness brain shrinkage. The undeniable truth, as University of Maryland child development researcher Nathan Fox explained to Live Science, is that tactile stimulation promotes brain development during a time when babies are at their most malleable. 

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Just like how skin-to-skin contact have benefits that last yeas long for premature babies, so do the smarts that come with lots and lots of early hugs. "The idea is that those kids who develop a secure attachment actually show enhanced brain activity at age 8," said Fox. Well, regardless of the research, babies get plenty of hugs and snuggles all day long. Now that we know that it helps them get smarter, it gives us a reason to never let go of them. This research also looks at making sure that children who are victims of parental neglect are also given whatever they need to trigger their development.

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There are many other benefits of hugging other than an increase in the child's intelligence. For starters, it helps in physical development. Hugging triggers the release of oxytocin. This feel-good hormone has many important effects on our body - one of them being growth stimulation. The release of this hormone also helps in strengthening the child's immune system. It lowers the plasma levels of thyroid hormones, which help wounds to heal faster. Hugs are also known to be good for the child's emotional health and stability. They help in putting an end to or reducing the number of temper tantrums.

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This feel-good hormone that is released while hugging helps reduce the levels of stress and anxiety in children as well. Lesser stress results in better reasoning skills as well. It also helps the child avoid slipping into depression when they grow up. Needless to say, that hugs help you bond with children. Physical affection makes them happy and helps them trust you. They are more open with you and are less scared of how you would react when they confess to doing something wrong. It is one of the best ways to increase their self-esteem as well. So make sure to give children loads and loads of hugs!

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