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Loving our kids gives parents warm, fuzzy feelings, is a powerful motivator, and a source of inspiration. Even better? Research shows that parental love offers tangible benefits to kids, too! Virtually every aspect of children’s lives are improved by unconditional love and affection. Here are just a few of the ways those hugs and kisses make a meaningful impact.

Sky-High Self-Esteem

Children who grow up with affectionate, loving parents become teens and adults who are confident, resilient, and self-assured. Self-worth allows people to advocate for themselves, to make healthy choices in their careers, lives, and partnerships, and to stand strong in the face of challenges.

Success Stories

Decades of studies show a major marker of success is a supportive, loving parental relationship in childhood. This foundation is one of the best predictors of future achievement and happiness. Children don’t need to wait until adulthood to see these benefits, either; higher academic achievement is another effect of parental love and support!

Mental Health and Mindfulness

Children who feel rejected, ashamed, or neglected are at higher risk for developing depression, substance abuse, and behavioral issues. People raised in loving environments are much more likely to be psychologically well-adjusted and have strong emotional awareness and regulation skills.

Physical Perk

The effects of parental love even have an impact on bodies themselves. In one study, children who didn’t experience loving parent relationships were more than twice as likely to develop significant health problems and illness in adulthood than their peers. Love is powerful medicine!

Next time you find yourself holding a mysteriously-sticky hand, planting kisses on a sleepy baby’s head, or snuggled up on the couch with giggling wiggleworms, don’t worry that you’re not doing “enough” – you’re busy making the best possible investment in your child’s future!