Question: “Is it really true that it’s important for me as a dad to hug my kids all the time? I heard that and how much it helps my relationship with them and gives them confidence..but right now it seems like the last thing my kids want to do is hug me?..the idea of hugging each other every time we see each other is kind of awkward. How important is it to you that your Dad (or mom) hugs you?”– AwkwarDad, 37, IL

Answer: “Teenagers need to feel loved but we don’t like to admit it. We want to be independent while still feeling safe. A hug lets us know that you care and still love us despite what we’ve done. Most teenagers will not like to be hugged in public or around their friends, however if when we’re at home and you see us in the kitchen you walk up next to us and give us a side hug – that speaks volumes. It doesn’t have to be a full on embrace – many teenagers may not be open to this, especially if it hasn’t been a regular thing but a quick hug will open the door.” – Paul, 18, OH

Answer: “I think it is so so SO important that parents hug their children. I am blessed to have a great relationship with my dad especially, and he always hugs me and tells me how beautiful I am or that he’s proud of me. I can’t explain how much that means to me. Sure, your kids might not always act like they want you to hug them, and I can guarantee that it WILL be awkward for quite some time until it just becomes expected. Don’t give it up though, because your child might not always tell you how much it means to them, but it could mean the world to him/her.

Just a tip: Don’t try to hug your child in public TOO soon. That would be embarrassing and even more awkward. There will be a time when it’s okay to do that, and your child will welcome you with open arms.” – Kristina, 17, IL

Answer: “It isn’t all that important in my opinion to hug alot, but it is important that they know that they are loved and that they have a close relationship with there dad, so find a different way to connect with them first and then maybe hugging wouldn’t be as awkward anymore.” – Anonymous

Answer: “It is important to hug them when you or they leave the house, or leave on a trip. It’s hard on a kid when you don’t show them some kind of affection they start to not want to be around the parents. It meant a lot when my parents hugged me because it showed me that they truly did care for me.” – Kelly, 14, OH

Answer: “I believe that hugging is good between a father and his kids. It’s pretty important to me that my mom and dad give me hugs. It’s showing your love and almost a security connection. I don’t think you need to hug them every time you see them, but maybe once a day or so. Plus, if you just stopped hugging them they could think “Dad must be mad or upset with us” since you do hug them often.” Nate, 15, IL

What do you think?