In the state of Virginia, for example, the hug is king. There, fathers of families take courses to learn how to embrace their children, as detailed in this report . American dads of Korean origin, who during their early youth were (really) not used to this kind of affection from their paternal. Above all, the father symbolized authority, miserly in speech (and sometimes quite simply in the presence). During the practical workshops of the Duranno Father School, these anonymous thirties and quadras (and sometimes septuagenarians!) Understand that they can be “more loving and applied” fathers. Even if it means twisting the arm to certain prejudices sketching the “pater familias” in a distant and insensitive silhouette.
In what looks almost like group therapy, you don’t hug the ultimate solution, no. But we take the opportunity to debate in a round table way what it crystallizes: the possibility of a more open education, the importance of communicating freely with his children and of engaging the father in this relationship .
And this “relationship” precisely, there are many voices advocating its virtues today. On the side of the specialized journal Psychologies, the neuropsychologist Céline Rivière insists on the physical benefits of this more complex gesture than it seems. According to the author of Cuddling – A prescription for happiness , the cuddle releases oxytocin, a hormone that has the effect of an immediate feeling of “appeasement and well being” (this hormone is also secreted by the body of women during childbirth).
When his father embraces him, the child thus feels less anxious. Safe, confident. And that is why it would be necessary to embrace the child “from the first seconds of his life”, specifies the specialist, who sees there the pure expression of “benevolence”. Benevolent, the “new fathers” described by the sociologist Christine Castelain-Meunier in her work L’Instinct paternel (Larousse editions) are. They question the virile stereotypes and, practicing to lighten the mental load of their spouse, get involved in the tasks of the home. And in the development of the child. Research director Martine Van Puyvelde deplores this following her experience: men very often leave this implication to the mother because “they think that she has a privileged physiological link with the little one, due to pregnancy”. However, “the paternal instinct” exists. And it has something to do with tenderness.
The power of hugs