So many times we read articles about cuddling with toddlers and babies, but I want to chat with you about why I still cuddle with my tween.
About a year ago I noticed my older kids were becoming less “huggy.” Yes, I know they are getting older, and they want to be more independent, but there was something in me that said this was not a good thing for our relationship.
So I changed things up.
Every night I started giving my kids 17 hugs. It was a simple gesture of affection, but it was one that would stir in my kids a renewed affection towards their mom.
I have to admit it’s so easy to cuddle those chubby little toddlers,/a> and have loads of tickle wars with them as tweens aren’t so small and clingy. But, I found something out.
My tween still needs cuddles. And you know what? I do too.
We’re living in a very unstable and sometimes cruel world. Our tweens need to know that even as they grow older their moms will be there to hug and comfort them. They need to know that they can still cry on mom’s shoulder when it seems the whole world is falling apart.
One of my daughters has grown exceptionally kind and sweet since our 17 hugs ritual began. She now cuddles up to me on the couch while I’m on the phone and quietly holds my hand. She also wants to sit beside me at restaurants and church. Whatever we’re doing, she likes to squish up close to me.
I learned not to push away my older kids and assume they’re just “going through a stage.” Instead, I found that they appreciate me being the first one to insist on all of us having a close-knit relationship where we still express affection in the tween and teen years.
If there is ever a time your child needs affection and cuddles from you, it’s during those tween years. So many things are changing and friends and peers can become harsh, critical and cold. Sometimes your child can even become excluded. If your kids are facing exclusion , here’s a great post to grab some help and wisdom in that area as well.
Why I Still Cuddle With My Tween
We’re all on this parenting journey together and through our shared success and failures we can find what truly works for most families.
The past year has taught me that I shouldn’t only focus on my young children or household duties and forget about my tweens. They still need a goodnight hug and an assuring embrace when days get tough.
As your kids grow older, don’t be fooled by an outer layer of “too cool” to be a “huggy” type of person. Instead, focus on gaining their love and affection once again. When kids are babies, you don’t have to prove anything, but a kids grow up and mature they need to see your parental love through your actions, words and deeds.
Start cuddling with your tween today and start a new, affectionate routine! 17 hugs a day is a good place to start — or even 37. Just pick a fun, odd number and go with it! Your kids are bound to be entertained with the fact that you came up with a silly way to get in daily cuddles!
Enjoy your babies, your toddlers — and your tweens!