When my kids were little, I hugged them all the time. I swept them up into my arms and cuddled with them. There is nothing like a newborn baby smell and feel. They are snuggly bundles of goodness. As the kids grew and I had more, I became a little overwhelmed. At one point, I had 4 kids under 5. That is stressful and puts strain on everything, including a marriage. It is super easy to get caught up in daily struggles that I would sometimes forget to hug the older kids. My oldest got into some drugs at 14 and that was the worst nightmare for me. I saw my little precious baby who was completely lost. I cried and wondered what is it I can do? Instead of thinking what I can do for punishment, I thought “what is this child missing?” What am I doing or not doing? As I thought about it, I realized I don’t know when the last time I actually hugged her was. That is when it hit me hard! I began, against her will, hugging her 3 times a day and saying I loved her. At first she would push me away and say “don’t touch me!” My response was “I birthed you, I can hug you.” I didn’t stop hugging her and telling her 3 times a day I loved her and valued her. Almost 3 weeks into this routine, she began meeting me at the door when I got home from anywhere I went. She would meet me at the door and say “welcome home” and hug me! I couldn’t believe it! I would hug her and she was receptive! It’s amazing how such a small act, such as hugging, can make such a huge difference. I know as a parent, I am extremely busy and life gets super crazy. It is easy to skip these small but big things in life. I challenge you to think about when the last time you hugged your older child is. If you realize you don’t do it everyday, start today by hugging them. If you lose touch with them, it is easy for them to get into other bad things such as drugs. They will go looking for acceptance elsewhere. I know this because I did this too. As I look back on my life, I realize I should have died on numerous occasions. The substances I was putting into my body to numb myself, were horrendous. I wish there were a booklet on parenting, but there isn’t. We are learning as we go. Don’t be too hard on yourself, you will make mistakes and mess up big time. Just learn from it and move on.
Have a super wonderful day!!!!!