With Joe Biden's habit of hugging and touching those he comes in contact with suddenly the subject of much debate in this country, one thing I know is this: hugs are a good thing.

I should know, because anyone who ever meets me will know right away that I am an unabashed hugger. But it wasn't always that way.

From about the fourth grade through high school, I remember how embarrassed I'd get when my dad would hug me in public. While other fathers would give their sons a high five, I recall how self-conscious I felt because my dad showed his affections.

I'm glad to say that I've learned since those earlier years that children, spouses, friends and yes, even strangers, need the security that comes from knowing they are appreciated, accepted and respected, and I show that through my hugs.

I think a lot of kids who grew up without their dads don't know how to show affection when they become fathers. I've also seen it where dads give more hugs to their daughters than to their sons. We live in a time filled with toxic stress. Ironically, it's questioned when men hug when greeting as much as women do.

I just finished reading a study on ABC News in an article titled "Winning Touch: NBA Teams That Touch The Most Win The Most." Tongue-in-cheek, I cracked up laughing, because apparently hugging is good in sports but that's where they should leave it. It sounds just like our culture. But I believe showing affection has a positive impact off the playing field, too.

To dads with sons and daughters, please don't stop hugging them because a father's hug is powerful. Each day, I'm constantly hugging family, co-workers, friends and strangers, displaying affection, respect and giving them words of encouragement. I want them to know that my love and hugs are strong enough to help them with anything that they may face.

Phil Paleologos is the host of The Phil Paleologos Show on 1420 WBSM New Bedford. He can be heard weekdays from 6 a.m. to 10 a.m. Contact him at phil@wbsm.com and follow him on Twitter @PhilPaleologos. The opinions expressed in this commentary are solely those of the author.



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