Whether we want to admit it or not, every parent secretly desires for their child to be the smartest among their friends. They do countless things to make sure that their kids are intelligent and smart, nourishing their potential as much as possible. It all begins very early- from choosing the best mobile with brain-stimulating patterns to exposing them to as many foreign languages as possible. According to new research, one of the easiest and best ways to increase your child`s intelligence is by giving them enough hugs. Per the study, hugging, a form of physical affection, is very important while the child is in their developmental stage. The research was done by Nationwide Children`s Hospital in Ohio and it suggests that hugging triggers children`s brain to grow and helps them become smarter.
Everyone knows that physical affection is useful, particularly in the case of premature babies. This isn’t a new concept. As a matter of fact, maternal skin-to-skin contact was proven to enhance premature born infants` cognitive control and physiological organization for the first ten years of life. According to Psychology Today, this was published in a 2014 study. A survey done in 2017 shows that hugging is way more powerful than we can imagine. The research was done on 125 babies where their reactions to physical touch were analyzed.
The research studied pre-term and full-term babies and analyzed the way physical touch impacts their brain development, along with their cognition, social development, and perception. It was found that supportive experiences like hugs, skin-to-skin care, and breastfeeding triggered brain responses that aid in the growth of the brain in healthier manner.
“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 is great to know that hugging your child can result in them becoming smarter. This simple yet powerful act is enough to affect their wiring and could help them respond to and benefit from such stimuli for several years.
Babies who get lots of hugs are flooded with good feelings. On the other hand, medical experts claim that babies who are deprived of hugging can experience brain shrinkage. As explained by development researcher Nathan Fox, tactile stimulation promotes brain development during a time when babies are most easily influenced.
“The idea is that those kids who develop a secure attachment actually show enhanced brain activity at age 8,” said Fox. Regardless of the research, babies get plenty of hugs on a daily basis. Now that we know that this form of affection helps them get smarter, it gives us a reason to never let go of them.
There are many other benefits of hugging, such as triggering the release of oxytocin (feel-good hormone), which helps in strengthening child`s immune system and helping wounds to heal faster. Also, hugs are known to be beneficial for child`s emotional health and stability.