Love is magical, they say. And everyone, especially your kids, needs the touch and magic of love to develop emotionally and physically. Love that causes your kids’ brains to develop more rapidly may seem like a little piece of magic, but a new study has found that to be exactly the case.

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The study says the more you hug your kids, the more their brains develop. Oxytocin is responsible for aiding this development. And this article will provide a break down of the process and why you should hug your kids more. Isn’t love just wonderful?

What is oxytocin?

There’s a hormone the brain secretes known as the Love Hormone. Scientifically it is called oxytocin. This love hormone is present in everyone, both male and female. It is responsible for initiating the entire process of human reproduction, starting with trust and sexual arousal.

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Thus, being the hormone triggering a cycle of human life in which we fall in love, have a baby, and raise the child, it is hardly surprising that it helps build a bond between parents and children. It does this by stimulating pleasure and reward centres, the basis from which social bonding grows with people closest to you.

Furthermore, oxytocin is also great at aiding brain development. To be more specific, it supports the formation of blood vessels in the pituitary gland. And this gland is responsible for psychological processes such as reproduction, stress and growth.

Why you should hug your kids more

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As we have established the importance and functions of oxytocin to humans.  There are three ways it is released in the human body. And when released it does wonders for kids and their brains, improving the bond between child and parents. This is enough reason for most parents to want to kill their kids with physical love. But how can a parent trigger its release? Simply put: by hugging.

According to Infant Grapevine, oxytocin is released from three separate pathways. It is like a switch that activates and enhances the release of other pleasure hormones like serotonindopamine, noradrenaline, and opioids. Therefore, when this activation happens, some different behavioural and psychological effects take place. The action is improved and arranged in adaptive patterns. Environmental conditions and types of touch can influence these effects.

“Oxytocin can be released by activation of several types of sensory nerves. Light pressure, warmth and stroking contribute to oxytocin release caused by ‘pleasant’ or ‘non-noxious’ sensory stimulation of the skin.”

Physical love is not the strongest suit of most African parents. However, the more you interact and hug your kids, there’s more production of oxytocin is not just the kids but the parents too. In addition, we pass a love hormone through these interactions. Affectionate touch takes over as the method for triggering oxytocin immediately a child is weaned from the mother.

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This article was first published on AfricaParent.com



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