– Sometimes, it’s really difficult to know which and how many marks of affection to provide to your child. According to parenting expert and top-selling author Sue Atkins, the more hugs parents provide the better, but the type of love needed changes as the kid grow up. Read below Atkin’s advice about which different kinds of affection you should give to your children over the years.

From 0 to 1 year: Probably the most important period. Babies need a lot of frequent sensory stimulation for their optimum brain and body development, such as skin-to-skin contact, hugging, eye-to-eye contact and to be talked to. Research has shown, for example, that the growth of infants deprived of physical contact can be seriously impaired, even if they get a normal intake of nutrients.

From 2 to 4 years: Cuddles continue to have a big impact on children later in life. Physical affection remains very important for a toddler’s development and a lack of it can lead to confidence issues in the future.

From 5 to 7 years: Loving parents allow their children to make mistakes in order to learn from them (the mistakes), and not to fear them (both mistakes and parents). However, telling all the time to your kids they are great is not the best way to enhance their self-esteem. The goal is to guide them through experiences that will help them feel capable and accepted, without missing to tell them that effort and perseverance are required to achieve at school, at work, and in life.

From 8 to 15 years: Yes, even teenagers need affection, even if they may be reluctant to confess they expect it from their parents. In any case, the feeling of being loved will increase their self-confidence and diminish their anxiety.

  Mother and Child in a Boat - Edmund C. Tarbell - GoogleArtProject - Wikipedia

Mother and Child in a Boat by Edmund C. Tarbell (GoogleArtProject – Wikipedia)