A week ago I had six children instead of four. We adopted two British 17 year old teens for a television show we were asked to be on. Even though the filming was only 8 days, I think all of us, our family, the two teens, and the camera crew learned a lot about love and why some people struggle with certain behaviors.
There was one time during the week when my 17 year old adopted son, J, got really frustrated. He was stressed because we were short on time, and he had lots he wanted to accomplish. He had a bit of a break down. He cried, and yelled, and displayed attitude problems. I was just about to begin the rule of three when I had an epiphany. J needed to know someone really cared and loved him before he could care about changing his attitude and behavior. I knew he needed a hug. I asked J if I could give him a hug.
He and I embraced. Almost immediately when we started to hug J's stress and anger just melted away. He emotionally collapsed in my arms. I told him that I knew he was stressed and that he didn't need to worry, but that he could make a new plan so that things wouldn't take him so long.
J lightened up. He decided to stop worrying and start doing. This was a huge moment in our week. "Seek to understand, then to be understood."
I can not say enough about how important it is that your children know you love and understand them. Touch them if they like touch. Show them you care in their "love language." Then tell them in a kind loving voice that you know, or understand, what they are feeling. Sometimes just knowing someone understands makes it possible to see the way to change.
Can a hug really change a person? YES, definitely yes! In fact, it has been proven that people who are hugged for at least 15 seconds per day are happier, more content people. So, make a family culture that hugs and you will have a joyful marriage, and more secure children.