The undying affection of a parent never ceases to amaze. Every child needs the parental love that nurtures.
Parental love heals and spurs a child’s growth. It’s crucial for his or her happiness. Life Advancer explains why it’s essential for a child’s development.
The Benefits of Showing Parental Love
Parental love does wonders for a child. It aids his or her development in these ways.
1. Helps A Child’s Mental Well-being
First of all, parental warmth helps a child feel emotionally fulfilled and stress-free, according to a study by the UCLA.
The researchers elaborated on these findings, sharing that a lack of parental love can put pressure on children to succeed without affection to provide balance. As a result, children become susceptible to health risks like heart disease and high blood pressure.
2. Improves physical Health
Parental love also enhances a child’s physical well-being. A study by the University of Montreal revealed that children who have authoritarian parents were more likely to be obese than their peers. This tendency increased with older children.
Children aged between two to five years were 30% more likely to be overweight, while children aged between six to twelve were 37% more likely to experience obesity.
Fewer Authoritative parents, who discipline their children while providing unconditional love, were far less likely than Authoritarian ones to have too-plump children. The researchers involved in this study shared that Authoritarian parents scolded their children for being fat without explaining why certain foods were unhealthy.
Authoritative ones were firm but also spent time suggesting why their children should avoid certain foods.
3. Increases Memory Power
Another study from Washington University in St Louis shared that children who received love from their parents had better brain development. They took X-rays of children and found that a child with a nurturing, loving mother tended to have a larger hippocampus than his or her peers.
Parents should try to show outward affection for their children as it has a significant impact on their well-being.
4. Creates Stronger Bonds
The love between a mother and child builds firm bonds, as a 2013 study by the University of Missouri- Columbia shows. It measured how much mothers dictated the use of toys during play. Children of mothers who did so too often showed negative feelings.
5. Makes A Child Less Fearful
Some parents deliberately withdraw affection when their children don’t meet their expectations. Such merit-based parenting inspires fear.
The British Psychological Society found that such children tended to engage in activities they were comfortable with and seldom chose to learn anything new. Therefore, they remained anxious and undeveloped.
How Parental Love Affects A Child’s Health, Happiness, and Future
Science supports the fact that parental warmth and affection ends in positive outcomes for children. Children who experience parental love have higher self-esteem, fewer behavioral problems, are less anxious than, and perform better academically than their peers.
Researchers at Duke’s University kept track of the development of 500 children from their infancy to their 30s. They confirmed that children raised by loving, yet firm parents were less anxious than their peers and grew up to become well-adjusted adults.
They concluded that affection causes the release of the hormone oxytocin, which is responsible for giving people feelings of happiness. It results in them having feelings of emotional warmth and joy. Another study on parental attachment proved that those who used the ‘love language‘ raised children who were more resilient than others.
Other experts conclude that children who experience skin-to-skin contact with their parents have lower levels of the hormone cortisol than those who don’t.
Showing Parental Love
You don’t have to wait for a special occasion to show your parental love. Do it every day. It’s the little, thoughtful gestures, not expensive gifts, that have meaning. Do these things to tell your child how much he or she means to you.
1. Love Letters
You can, first of all, write a love letter to him or her. In it, list the reasons he or she is important to you. Mail it and watch him or her bubble over with joy when he or she takes it out of the mailbox.
2. Surprise your child
You can skip your activities one day and use the afternoon to pick your child up from school. Take him or her ice skating, or for a picnic for a change.
3. Read your child r a story
Why not practice your acting skills? Read your child a story when he or she asks for it. He or she will enjoy the extra attention.
4. Frame a photo
Children love seeing images of themselves. Select one that has particular meaning for your child. Frame it up and give it to him or her to keep. Write a note explaining why it’s a favorite.
5. Share special moments
Tell your child about your favorite memory of him or her. It could be the story of his or her birth, or about an event that made you proud of him or her. The sharing will create a bond between you.
6. Double, or multiply the love
Hug your child multiple times and kiss him or her as often as you can. Your child may complain about the silliness of the amount but will enjoy the attention and make him feel attached to you.
7. Music and art
Dance to your favorite songs or complete a craft project together. Your child will enjoy the time he or she spends with you. Music is really important for your child, even for you too.
8. Lunch Box Love
Japanese mothers are known for putting together ‘bento‘ or lunch boxes for their children. These usually contain rice arranged in a cute pattern. Your child will feel your love even if you are apart.
9. Forget the rules
Let your child be one, and break the rules sometimes. Allow him the treats that he enjoys on special occasions, or allow him or her to play with his or her toys when he or she deserves a break. Enjoy these moments of freedom.
10. Tell your child that you love him or her
The words ‘I Love You’ may sound over-emotional, but are usually accurate. Speaking or writing this phrase will tell your child instantly that you love him or her.
In all, parental love is a powerful way to nurture a child. Showing it will increase her sense of fulfillment and move him or her ahead in life.
By Michelle L.