When adults have good memories of their childhood, especially of their parents, they are less likely to suffer from depression, chronic illnesses and have better health all around. Time to give extra cuddles at bedtime tonight!
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Mother’s Love Matters
A new study links a mother’s love to their child’s physical and mental health. Adults who had fond memories of their childhood, specifically of their moms, were less likely to suffer from depression, chronic illness and had better health all around.
The study suggests that living in a loving home is less stressful and that having a happy childhood encourages people to live better. Makes sense!
Researchers from Michigan State University reviewed more than 22,000 responses from the National Survey of Midlife Development in the United States, and the Health and Retirement Study.
The participants in these studies were asked “how much their parents understood their problems as children, as well as how much affection they gave and how much they tried to teach them about the world” (source).
Then they were asked about their health and if they suffered from 27 different illnesses and conditions.
Those who remember receiving high levels of affection from their moms were healthier and less likely to be depressed. Amazing!
So what can we do as mom’s to make sure our children are getting the attention and affection they need to be healthier adults?
We need to stop internalizing our love and make sure we physically show that love. We make lunches, do laundry, clean the house, etc. all to take care of our kids. We love them and spend a lot of time taking care of them. But that care may not be what they remember as adults.
The memories of you reading to them, hugging them, playing with them is what they are going to remember, so we need to make sure that is the priority. The dishes and laundry can wait (I know, easier said then done!)
Tips to Show Your Love Everyday
1. Read Books that have hugging and kissing as part of the story:
Biggest Kisses by Joanna Walsh (Amazon)
Counting Kisses: A Kiss & Read Book by Karen Katz (Amazon)
For Dad: Daddy Hugs by Karen Katz (Amazon)
2. Play Games:
- 5 Baby Activities to Stimulate Your Newborn
- How to Raise Smart Kids: Play this classic game
- Play peek a boo – hide behind doors or simply cover your eyes
Toddlers & Preschoolers:
- Hide & Seek
- Board Games:
- Take them somewhere fun: 13 Great Places to take a toddler
Put Notes in their lunch box (these are super cute from Amazon and will remind you to use them):
Ask questions beyond “how was your day” – This great journal from Amazon has a question for every day of the year for 3 years so you can keep track of their answers and keep it as a keepsake.
A mother’s affection towards her child shapes a lot of who they will be later in life and how happy and healthy they will be. Slow down and make sure your kids know you love them everyday. Take time to play and have fun with them! It’s good for your health too!