In many households around the world the Power of Touch is underutilised, or rarely used at all except in a negative sense. Touch as one of our major sensory inputs is designed to help us feel our way in the world, is it hard or soft? is it hot or cold? etc. With our sense of touch, we learn much as we grow as a child, exploring new things and through it connecting to our world. As life changing as touch is in opening new levels to a young child’s mind through playing, touch between human beings exceeds it.
Now because of the world we live in and the widespread abuse of power in things pertaining to the human body I must clarify some significant points. When I am speaking of the power of touch in this teaching I am not speaking in any way of physical or sexual abuse, but rather as an opportunity to communicate kindness and understanding between a father and his child.
One of the challenges we face as men and fathers is that many of us were not raised in homes where love and affection were shared freely, and so in many ways we remain emotionally stunted in this fantastically fulfilling area of life. This does not mean that we cannot learn and change as a man and become more of an affectionate father to our own children than we ever received as a child. Sometimes the pathway to our own emotional freedom may involve forgiving our fathers or even both parents for being emotional recluses, understanding that they too may have been brought up in homes without loving touch.
A child’s needs are not merely physical things like food, shelter and clothing, but they also have emotional, mental and spiritual needs. As a father you have a unique opportunity to impart your love to your child through the power of touch, and by doing so you will change your child’s life and future. Whether it’s picking up and holding your new-born baby in the hospital ward or comforting a crying child at 3 am while your wife tries desperately to get some sleep, a father’s love is a powerful force in a child’s life.
Hugs and cuddles with daddy on the bed or couch are a great way to begin to develop your child’s emotional diet for the enjoyment and acceptance of touch, and once activated this often becomes a lifelong closeness in your relationship. Whether it’s a ruffling of your son’s hair as he heads out the door on the way to school or holding your daughter’s hand as you walk through the local shopping mall, there are many opportunities daily that present themselves for us as fathers to express the love we feel for our child.
Positive parenting occurs when we as fathers communicate love and kindness to our child through touch, imparting the very best part of ourselves to their hearts. When children are lovingly held and caressed they feel an incredible sense of acceptance, they know the strengthening of belonging to a family. Touch has the power to heal hurts both emotional and physical, and as we develop this ability and make it part of our relationship with our child, we will go a long way to blessing their life and future.
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