How to hug your kid today

Try a hugging meditation. (this works with adults too)

Warning, this is NOT a typical hug and release.  Please take the time to read the instructions.

1.  Make space and time:  When you can pause a few minutes and not be interrupted, ask your child if they want a hug.  If they say yes*, take a position you can hold for a long time.   Resist the urge to pat their back and move along.  For instance, I sit on the floor with our 2 year old to hug her.  I stand to hug our 12 year old (I will soon need a stool to stand on).
2.  Be in the moment:  Recognize how they are hugging you.  Is it a tight, strong hold, or a relaxed, melt in your arms hug?  Relinquish the power and make yourself aware of when the hug changes.
3.  Stay as long as the child wants: When they pull away, or otherwise indicate that it is over, then it is.  Don't talk about it unless they initiate a discussion.
4.  Were there any needs of yours that were filled by this activity?  Did you sense or discuss any needs that were met for your child(ren)?

*If they say no, you have the opportunity to remember that they have other unmet needs than yours at that moment.  This is a request, not a demand.

Background:  NVC helps us connect at the heart level.  This can be a challenge to do authentically when we are busy moving ourselves and children from one activity to the next.  I first saw a demonstration of a "hug meditation" between two adults in Dr. Bill Kerley's Ordinary Life Class.  It struck me as a powerful way to connect with our kids while silently demonstrating that we are available to them, even on our busiest days.  It is difficult to practice nonviolent communication when we feel disconnected.  This technique can help build the foundation we need to be authentic in our nvc practice.

   Happy hugging