Parenting books and articles can suck. They can contain out-dated information or just generally piss you off. Every once in a while, though, they can strike a nerve and help you out.
Months ago, I read a brief little article about a mother who hugged and kissed her children often. When they were growing up, a family member pointed it out and wondered if it wasn't weird. The mom assured her it was fine and continued to do so. Now, as adults, her children report that the affection let them know they were loved.
This made me wonder if I hug and kiss my kids enough. I kiss the baby all the time, but the bigger kids, not so much.
Today, after hugging and kissing the baby, I thought about that and went in to do the same for the bigger kids. The hugs and kisses were returned.
Then it occurred to me that I must be doing something right. They didn't recoil. They didn't ask, "What was that for?" So I'm assuming that the fact that the kids accept it so readily as a normal occurrence is a good thing. I don't feel the need to slather them with kisses and suffocate them with affection all day every day. I do, however, want to make an effort to show them they're loved and to make sure that stays a normal part of their lives.