Parenting Tip: Reach Out and Touch

Lisa Cherry —  April 11, 2011

By Lisa Cherry

Image courtesy of Shelley Cunningham

I remember the days when my rocking chair time rivaled my daily sleeping time.  Nothing was sweeter than holding and rocking my babies with them nestled into my shoulder.  The surge of love that would warm my heart was positively addictive.  With my youngest child at four now, I miss those multi-hour baby snuggling days.

But who ever said the closeness of those "rocking days" should be over?  I have discovered over the years that my children and I desperately still need the connection of physical touch.  My challenge as a mom is to change my tactics, methods, and strategies to nourish my children with affection as they grow from babyhood to maturity.

Some of my children still love to plunk down on my lap even when their legs are as long as mine.  But others are just not as "touchy feely" so I have to be more creative to show them affection.  A shoulder rub or even a playful "slap" on the back is more their style.

Moms and dads, as your children grow I urge you to continue to be the ones to "hold" them.  We cannot afford to let anyone or anything replace us in our kids’ lives.  Nurture them.  Hold them.  Jostle them.  And even bop them.  Let your touches show them the same love you used to give them when they were cute babies. 

Remember that Jesus used touch liberally to bless, heal, and instruct; He was comfortable with His disciples touching Him.   Your physical contact will strengthen your relationship with your children as it nourishes their souls, and cause them to turn their hearts toward you and your leadership.