Hug Your Teenager

Young adults can be difficult at times, can’t they? Of course, if we are being honest, we can be a little difficult at times, too! In all the emotional hubbub, it can be all too easy to forget that our growing kids sometimes need affection.

Kids are not always easy to like. They talk back, they yell at us, they get irritable, and they are moody. It can be difficult to know how to handle those raging emotions. As parents, our first reaction is often to be strict and firm; nipping the disobedience as quickly as possible. Our desire is to remedy the situation and get things back to normal.

I wonder how often such circumstances could be dissolved with a simple hug. Instead of laying down the law, what if we chose affection? Would this solve the problem and excuse their disobedience? Definitely not. I imagine it might prevent the problem from escalating, however.

Play With Me, Mommy

When our children understand that we love them and only want what’s best for them, when they feel our affection for them, they are more likely to hear our words. If we were to start our correction or training with encouragement and understanding our children might be more willing to admit failure and reconcile.

To be fair, most of the time our young adults don’t even know what upsets them. Hormones are raging through their system and even little things set them off. Receiving a comforting hug or squeeze on the shoulder helps center them and bring them back into focus. It might help to remember how we felt at their age.

Hopefully this will encourage each of us to reach out to our young people. Discipline is not the only answer, sometimes what our kids need is a hug.

Time to Chime In: Do you find it hard to be affectionate with your teen? Share your ideas on how you bond with your young adult.

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18 thoughts on “Hug Your Teenager

  1. Oh, the hormones. LOL. Yes, we do a lot of hugging and slowing down our days. I find that when my kiddos are tired, the hormonal energy tends to kick into high gear and we just need to slow down for a day. We also get outside on those rough days. Sometimes a simple walk or a change of scenery can change everyone’s mood. Every stage has its amazing moments and its tough ones. I love that I get to experience them with my kids as I am sure you do too. What a wonderful gift.

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  2. My 17 year old and I (it’s only the two of us) always part with an I Love You!!! He is not a difficult child, but of course struggles with things. I have tried to let him handle more on his own. It’s so easy to want to protect, handle, arrange…however even a 17 year old is closer to an adult than a child. Best thing – he still gives hugs!!!!

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  3. I have two teenage sons. A long time ago when they were 5 and 6 years old, I read the Five Love Languages. Since then I have hugged my boys every morning. I hug them every day. Several times a day if they let me ( : When they get fussy I’ll ask if how they slept and let them know that they are being grumpy. They usually let me know why and we leave it at that. I respect that they might need to be left alone. They always talk to me when they are dealing with feelings.

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  4. My son is only 7, so not quite a teenager yet, but I completely agree that giving some sort of affection stops the bad attitude from escalating. If he gets irritable or talks back, I have noticed that when I do give him a hug rather than to just say no dessert or a different punishment he is more apt to be open and talk to me why he is upset or what bothered him so much he had to yell at me. I don’t think it takes away from the fact what he did was wrong, but it helps him to understand he doesn’t need to yell to get a point across. It is often hard to take a step back and not give a punishment right away (especially after work or a hard day,) but I think it is worth it.

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    • I agree; affection doesn’t take away from them receiving correction. It simply helps them separate your love from their consequences; you aren’t doing this because you are mad, but because they deserve the punishment for their own actions. Great point!

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  5. When my turned 12 I found a Feeling Witchy Halloween top and we would put it on each other’s bed after one of us had upset the other…. Afterwards we couldn’t look at each other without giggling… It was the best way for us to get back on track… My finest moment of mothering my daughter….

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  6. Mine are not teens yet, so I hope you don’t mind me chiming in. But I agree fully, sometimes they just need affection and some extra attention. My sons whole demeanor can be changed with a hug. What a beautiful pic of you and your daughter 🙂

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  7. In my experience, loving your children during their teenage years is one of the hardest, time-consuming things to do, but ultimately, it’s the most rewarding and important thing we ever do as a parents. They need validation (don’t we all?) and to have it consistently given when the world doesn’t give it is paramount to their growth and maturity.

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  8. well said! Indeed a hug, and often times, a listening ear is all it takes to relate again to the teen. My general rule is to always treat them how I want to be treated. Can I admit that that so far (4th child just became a teen!) the teen years have been a blessing!

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  9. As a mother of two adult men…I can assure you that hugging is of the utmost importance. We always said “love you” and never said “good bye” only “see ya”. Still follow the same suit, even as they approach their 30’s. It is never a wasted hug! Great blog post!!

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