Don’t Forget the Hugs

January 15, 2009 by  
Filed under Child Development

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“Children need to know they are loved simply for existing, not because of what they do, what grades they bring home, but just because of who they are.”
Vicki Panaccione, Ph.D., child psychologist

Parents spend a lot of time telling kids to clean their room, do their homework, wash the dishes, stop fighting with their siblings, brush their teeth and go to bed. When it comes to raising responsible and loving children, discipline is an important part of parenting. But so is affection.

Yet, sometimes, during hectic days, parents simply forget to show their children love, and no one can afford to do that.

Melbourne child psychologist (Dr.) Vicki Panaccione wants parents to show love, not just assume their children already know. She hung a sign outside of her office that reads: Dr. Vicki Says “Hug Your Kids Today”.

“It’s important to spread the word about how parents can have great relationships with their kids,” Panaccione said. “In the hustle and bustle of the day and week, a lot of times we forget. It kind of passes, and we’ve missed the moment, particularly as our kids get older.”

She’s gotten a lot of response to the sign from parents who honk horns in agreement or pull over to follow the sign’s advice.

“I think knowing that you are unconditionally loved is the most important thing a child needs to know,” Panaccione said. “The need to know they are loved simply for existing, not because of what they do, what grades they bring home.

“First, you have to receive love in order to be able to give love,” she added. “You must feel that you are a lovable person in order to gain confidence and self-esteem.”

As published in Florida Today.
Florida Today

© MMVI Vicki Panaccione, Ph.D.

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