In today’s blog, I would like to emphasize the importance of not only “feeling love” towards one’s family and children but just as crucially “Expressing Love and Affection” among one another as a family unit – parents towards each other, siblings among themselves and parents with regards to their children and vice versa. AYA Animations lays great emphasis on ensuring that overtly affectionate behavior (verbal and physical) within the family unit appear throughout our animations as a constant and recurring leitmotif. Here’s why:
Endless studies have proven that feeling and showing affection (both enjoying and then reciprocating) nurture children with a very powerful tool – that of relieving anxiety and stress when challenges arise in their lives… as well as of course helping them to create strong bonds of friendship and demonstrate social intelligence and empathy towards others that will benefit them from the classroom to the boardroom. Being able to appreciate and reciprocate affection is so vital, it will be their “secret weapon and innate super strength” throughout their childhood and adult lives. The mere memory of loving, secure moments they enjoyed and the ability to express love towards siblings and /or parents during moments of need (through a letter or a voice message or a hug) has been scientifically proven to lower anxiety and blood pressure and of course all the maladies and behavior that these negative states trigger and foster.
So many parents and relatives curl up next to their children at bed-time, or the family all huddle up together on a sofa in the late afternoon to share a very special time dedicated and allocated to the treasured “bed time story”. These wonderful narrated tales of adventure often inspire children with symbolic props and costumes that represent confidence and strength as the heroes wade through territories that are at times marvelous, and others precarious, until they reach safe shores and happy endings having overcome challenges both physical and emotional.
In the real world, things are much simpler… no need for “fairy-tale potions, glittering arms, or flying carpets”: regular warm hugs, loving words, and the encouragement for them to express their gratitude and affection – whether through a hand-made thank you card or good night peck on the cheek or a kind motivating phrase… will pump confidence and inner strength into your children and turn them into the heroes of their own individual goals and destinies.
From a personal experience, I recently surprised a four-year-old relative with a toy as I came over to play and bond. The 4 year old expressed his thank you with words that shot straight from his lips into my heart like a cupid’s arrow and left me under a powerful spell of fulfillment and endearment that will never ever fade and that keeps echoing in my mind: “Amma… the Angels on your right hand side shoulder are going to give you so many points now” he beamed with a large smile and radiant excited eyes.
Knowing how those words of genuine appreciation made me feel as a mature adult – it only reinforced my faith in the enchanting, captivating, touching power of kind words and gestures; in the importance of expressing affection and love; and in the endless ripple effect of positivity that will ricochet. Here was a child who was confident enough to feel and show love and make my world most definitely a happier place, encouraging me to do all I can to continue to spread joy.
I am left with images of swans intertwining their necks in gestures of loyalty and tenderness; mother bears cuddling their cubs; ducks nestled above their chicks – and with the thought that God surely created our bodies and language to show love and empower our young ones with it.
“That is the good news God gives to His servants who believe and do good deeds. Say ‘I ask of you no wage for it, except affection among the near of kin’” Whoever does a good deed, we will increase its goodness for him. God is forgiving and appreciative”
(Ash-Shura. Aya 23)