Handshakes and Hugs

I am passing this blog piece on as it is a wonderful addition to my last post on creating greeting rituals with children. These are very fun, simple handshakes and hugs! Tanna Strom

Kindergarten Nana

Research shows that the one of the best ways to build connections between people is eye contact and touch.  I was always looking for good ways to foster relationships so I loved including special “handshakes” in our morning routines.  We sometimes called them handshakes, other times we referred to hugs.

I introduced these one at a time at the beginning of the year.  The children would be standing in a circle, I would demonstrate the handshake and do it with the child on my right, I always tried to remind the children to turn and look at their partner while they were shaking hands.  Then that child would turn and “pass the handshake” to the next child, and so on around the circle – back to me.  After the children knew a variety of hugs, the special helper would choose which handshake we would do each day.

For most of…

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A Pinky Hug, A Cool Handshake . . . Create Your Own Welcome Ritual with Your Child

handshakes_0007Ever do a “pinky hug”? Or have your own original hand shake? Creating your own special greeting with your loved one can be fun and unique to your relationship. And why not add a bit of fun to our greeting. There are all kinds of potential greeting rituals. Maybe a high-five or a hip or knuckle bump or a series of actions that you design with your child.  One of the fun parts could be coming up with your own “signature greeting”. I found a wonderful blog piece that I will re-blog for you to look at the many different handshakes this teacher has used with her children.  So be on the lookout for this blog piece that will appear on my blog. It is titled Handshakes and Hugs by Kindergarten Nana. She has Thumb Kisses, Butterfly hugs, Fish Hug and much more to consider as a potential greeting.

thumb kiss

Another possibility could be a special phrase or term of endearment phrase you use only for your child. If you have more than one child, each having their own greeting will give them each a sense of being unique. I do think checking in with your child as to if they like what you are using is a respectful thing to do.

I have heard many terms of endearments or nicknames. Most I think are liked by children, especially if they are positive and have a nice feel to them.  Being mindful and thoughtful as to choosing something that does not have any kind of negative connotation is important I think. What we may teasingly use, can be hurtful to a sensitive child.

I also think as children get older they may or may not like the special name or ritual of greeting, so keep alert to their feelings and do a ck in with them. Creating a new greeting can make sense as they grow.

A shout out to the mom who shared her “pinky hug” ritual with me.  This is simply the pair looping their picky figures.  This might be nice if you have a child who is embarrassed by a full hug. Of course for some the traditional full hug may be just the ticket.

Good luck in coming up with your own special connecting ritual with each of your children. This ritual will live on in your child’s memory way after they are grown.