Advice and Tips

Cuddling children is a vital part of bringing them up.

Mothers should be taught how to cuddle and talk to their babies as part of a major Government drive to stop children descending into a life of crime as they grow up

Mothers should be taught how to cuddle and talk to their babies as part of a major Government drive to stop children descending into a life of crime as they grow up.  Reports  the Telegraph 20th January 2011

A Coalition-backed report published today warns how many parents, particularly those on low incomes, are “ill-informed or poorly motivated” when it comes to raising their children.

It recommends that a national parenting campaign – primarily aimed at pregnant women – should be launched to give all children “healthy, stable and strong social and emotional foundations” in the early years.

Mr Allen’s study, which draws on international evidence, says the quality of a child's relationships and learning experiences in the family has more influence on their achievement than any innate abilities, material circumstances or the quality of their nursery and school.

Give children “healthy, stable and strong social and emotional foundations” in the early years national parenting campaign

To read full report click here:

Cuddling children is a vital part of bringing them up.

But what most parents don't realise is that those cuddles can help children become happy and stable adults, by releasing chemicals in the brain which aid the development of healthy stress-regulating systems.

Without these systems, it can lead to traits such as alcoholism and depression, according to many health experts.

Author and children's mental health expert Margot Sunderland says: "Parenting dramatically affects chemicals in the brain, and the effects are long term."

The child psychotherapist, who drew on more than 800 research studies to write the book, stresses: "There are very clear, proved connections between early stress and depression, alcoholism and all the ills of society in later life."

High stress is very damaging for the brain's chemical systems, and she warns that controlled crying in babies is a prime example of this.

A baby's brain hasn't yet developed the capacity to calm itself so it needs its parents' help.

 If this help doesn't come, as in controlled crying, the brain pathways which enable the child to calm itself don't develop.

"If you're not very careful about comforting them in the first few years of life, you can blight this system," Sutherland warns.

And it's not something you can remedy in the future, as studies show that children who have had little affection when young will not release oxytocin, a stress-relieving hormone, even if they're cuddled at a later stage.

Sunderland says affection is particularly important in the first five years of life and that, of course, includes the terrible twos, when she believes parents should comfort toddlers during tantrums.

This, she explains, is because some tantrums emanate from a child's pain system.

And parents also need to reduce their child's stress levels after disciplining them.

"We're not asking for perfect parents," Sutherland says, "but if you shout or scream, repair it. Don't leave the child in a state of shock pick them up, and bring down the state of alarm.

About us | Advertise with us | Contact us