OK. Sometimes I have a wicked sense of humor. So if you are offended, I apologize. The other day I was in J C Penney's and saw a t shirt that said "I'm a Tree Hugger." I couldn't help but laugh and think "Yes. I hug a tree every day." Meaning my son. He gets stiff as a board and it is very much like hugging a tree. So we practice hugging now and then. Here are the rules set by Nancy Thomas and our therapist about hugging. They cannot clasp their own hands in the back as then they are being careful not to touch you and in a sense are hugging themselves. They should not make their arms carefully exactly parallel to each other as though hugging a disgusting creature. They should not pat your back or rub your hand or anything that hints of being the parent or comforting you. You are there to comfort them. So, pop a caramel or something sweet in your child's mouth. You put it in their mouth for them and tell them you are going to practice hugging. Have them practice trying to relax and soften. Demonstrate the difference of how that feels. Then when they do it right assure them they are safe and can trust. Be a tree hugger today!