Tuesday, May 20, 2008

Hug Your Kids Day

We talk a lot about verbal communication here, but today I’d like to make a plug for a much more powerful message between you and your children.

I recently heard from my friend Michelle Nichols, the former Savvy Selling columnist for BusinessWeek, who has now devoted herself full time to creating a national Hug Your Kids Day on July 21. The effort already has a great deal of momentum, with two major outdoor media companies providing billboard space around the country, and a new book coming out in a few weeks.

This is a very personal quest for Nichols, who suddenly and tragically lost her own son to brain cancer before his ninth birthday. Today, she is trying to get working parents all over the country to “carpe kid” (seize your kid) and celebrate the good times and the bad times alike in those irreplaceable moments as your children grow up. Her goal is to have every parent hug their children at least once a day

Hugs are a powerful metaphor for our deepest human relationships, in a world where experts estimate that 93% of our communication is non-verbal. They reaffirm love, caring, and safety in ways that no verbal dialogue could ever accomplish. And they can be life changing moments, for grownups as well as children: I will never forget the day that cute girl I was getting to know put her arm around me and drew me closer, because it turned “just another date” into the start of a relationship I still cherish after decades of marriage.

So go visit Michelle’s website www.HugYourKidsToday.com, check out her new book and speaking engagements – and then go hug your kids. OK?

1 comment:

Michelle said...

Rich, Thanks for your beautiful write up about National Hug Your Kids Day and the work behind it. I'm embarassed to admit for the first few months of this project, I thought about all the parents whose lives would be improved by remembering to hug their kids before they parted each morning. It was only when a friend of mine reminded me of all the children whose lives would also be improved in the process, that I really understood the power of parents hugging their kids on a daily basis.
Mark your calendars for Monday, July 21, for National Hug Your Kids Day - but if you have kids, start hugging them today. Hugs matter.