Yup, that was the verdict from the powers that be in JDC, and I will expect their wishes--I am a guest in their facility, I will however respectfully disagree for the main reason that no one hugs the kids in JDC, the staff is not allowed to, their parents upon visits are not allowed to and now their crazy yoga lady is not allowed to either. A part of me aches for the kids, NO HUGGING, NO SUPPORTIVE TOUCH of any kind-- it's no wonder that the kids are so longing for a "herd" and when they leave JDC have a return rate of 3.5 days. Understand that this hugging ban will not curtail the benefits of teaching yoga in JDC, it will however take a moment to get used to seeing the kids run up to hug me and then have to respectfully decline.
Exerpts from The Wonderful Effects of Hugging Our Children--Tanisha Burke
Hugging a child is one of the ways of show affection and love. Any adult can share hugs with any child. It has powerful effects that can transform the physical and emotional well-being of the child.
* Helps the body’s immune system
* It cures depression
* It reduces stress
* It induces sleep
* It revitalize
In addition to the above effects children also benefit from hugging as it:
* Makes them feel better about themselves and their surroundings
* Makes them more loving and affectionate
* Induces and is an expression of forgiveness
* Positively affect their development and IQ
* Increases their sense of security, safety, trust and happiness
* Relieves pain
* Relieves loneliness, frustration, anxiety and other negative
* Opens doors to feelings that children may need to share – reducing
the likelihood of explosive behaviours
* Overcomes fear
* Eases tension
* Imparts feelings of belonging
* Transfers energy and gives the child hugged an emotional boost
It is amazing how a simple hug can transform the emotional well-being of our children.
This is supported by scientific research that suggests that every human being needs:
* Four (4) hugs per day to merely survive, that is, minimal emotional
* Eights (8) hugs per day to maintain oneself at a strong emotional
* Twelve (12) hugs per day to grow and become a better person
In his book Touching: The Human Significance of Skin, Dr. Ashley Montagu examines the importance of touch on all aspects of human development. Through an analysis of the study of mammal, monkey, ape and human behaviors, he concludes that just as breathing is a basic physical need for these species, touch is a basic behavioral need and when this need remains unsatisfied, abnormal behavior is a likely outcome. He writes:
"Both the hugger and the person being hugged benefit because they have the immediate positive outcome of feeling good. Hugs are heartwarming and can have the effect of leaving one energized and rejuvenated. A caregiver's hug accurately expresses to a child feelings of love, acceptance, comfort and a desire for closeness."
"Hugging is health-enhancing because it reduces tension and stress, aids the immune system, helps with sleep, assists in building self-esteem and best of all has no negative side effects. When we open our hearts and arms to others, we inspire them to do likewise."