Before you even know you are pregnant, your baby has started developing their sense of touch. It is the earliest sense to develop and the one that is critical for healthy development. Touch has its own language. It is how we bond. It is how we learn to trust. Although we are never formally educated in how to interpret it, somehow we understand. We are wired to understand.
A tap on the shoulder means “excuse me.” Taking a hand and gently squeezing it means “I’m here to support you.” Nail biting means “I’m feeling anxious.” A warm hug can calm us and fill us with a sense of security.
Make sure you feed your children a daily diet of touch and affection. Snuggle often. Give a little shoulder squeeze as you pass by. Play wrestling or “I’m gonna get you!” type touch games. Even when you’re discipling them, remember to keep a hand on their shoulder to stay connected. Of course, there are times when they won’t want to be touched. That happens to all of us. Make sure to notice and respect those times, too.
Touch communicates when there are no words. Small touches make a big difference, even if they feel uncomfortable at first. With practice, daily doses of affection will help your family stay strong, secure, and happy.