Never underestimate the value of a long and loving hug.
Never underestimate the value of a long and loving hug. Nadezhda1906

Give that jitter bug a hug

THERE are many fabulous online resources to support parents and teachers.

A favourite of mine is the Raising Children Network - - a contemporary ad-free Australian parenting site with myriad videos, articles, webinars, apps and interactive resources.

I highly recommend it as a one-stop shop for everything to help your family, or the families you work alongside, to flourish.

It is not long now before our children are heading to school, some for the first time.

The Raising Children Network has a range of resources to help you prepare your children as they start preschool, or primary or secondary school.

The site offers practical ideas and real-life examples to consider, and many helpful tips for starting school and talking to your child or teenager about school.

Life can be challenging, and so equipping ourselves with resources to empower our children during transitions is important.

This week I have been thinking about the power of simple affirmations and rituals that support wellbeing and self-esteem.

I found myself watching a YouTube clip about Claire Crosby (she and her dad sing beautiful and heartwarming duets), and, at the time of filming it was the night before she was starting kindergarten.

In the clip she shared that she was nervous about the next day, and then she ran off to get a poster of a poem called Jitter Glitter.

Attached to the poem was a small pack of glitter she was going to put under her pillow to calm her jitters and help her to have a magical sleep.

This seems like such a lovely approach to talking with children about things they are nervous about.

Parents and teachers can do a lot to alleviate kids' jitters and worries.

Looking into our children's eyes and affirming they are loved while offering a tender hug is a powerful strategy.

Never underestimate the value of a long and loving hug.

During a cuddle oxytocin is released, and good feelings and emotions are experienced, increasing trust and reducing fear.

During the hug, add some encouragement where you acknowledge your child or teenager's uniqueness, efforts, kindness, courage, choices, strengths and growth.

Engaging in loving everyday interactions eases stress and anxiety, builds strong relationships and instils a sense of belonging.