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Affective Touching Can Avoid Violence

Affective Touching Can Avoid Violence

Touching……From the first day that we are born we people need to be touched.

Without touching each other we would die. Unfortunatly we live in a culture where touching each other is disappearing more and more.

It isn’t normal anymore to touch each other with love. As a child hugging still is normal, but during the expiring of time it becomes less, because it isn’t cool anymore, it just is not right anymore. I see this with boys in my neighbourhood. Unfortunatly this is collective behaviour.



I am aware of this now. I now work more than 20 years in eduction. After I did the Mind Body Coach Course with Roy Martina, I came to the insight that we all need touching. We just are not aware anymore of this need, and some of us even have negative associations with touching.

When babies receive affective en loving massage, you notice that cry babies will cry less, the children become peacefull. It relaxes the child and gives the child peace of mind, and most important, a feeling of protection.

It gives also more self-confidence and a positive effect on growth, health, consent, learning abilities, the ability to conduct social behaviour, bodyawareness and the capacity to communicate.

It has scientific been proved, for instance in the Touch Research Institure in Florida (US), that patients who are touched with tenderness will heal faster.

A few years ago I introduced touching in my class of toddlers. It al went naturally, playwaywise.

First I had the kids massaging each other. It all started with a little song we always sang when we had played outside and went into the classroom. During this song I had the children stamp with their feet and palpitate each others clothes to get the sand out. The children lined up and palpitated the sand out of the cloths of the child in front of them.

We extended this habit more and more. We palpitated each other, even when no one had been playing in the sand. After that we rubbed each others backs, massaged shoulders, ears and head. This way the line massage came to existence. The children enjoyed it, and it became a new ritual.

One of my favorite exercises is the Carwash

We started to do the line-massage indoors as well. By playing the massage became extended. For example by letting the children in pairs draw figures with their hands on the back of each other, one had to draw, and the other one had to guess what was drawed. From the Dutch book called.."Touching, a first necessity of life" (Aanraken een eerste levensbehoefte) I got even more massage games. This book is a real recommendation for massaging of children, from toddlers to youngsters.

One of my favorite exercises is the carwash. De children create groups of 4 or 5 children. One child is in the middle, and the others surround the child. The child sitting in the middle (on hands and feets) is the dirty car. The other children surrounding the child in the middle are the carwash, and this way the dirty car will be cleaned. By figure of speak they put water on the car (the child), soap, cleansing with water, drying and waxing…The children have a lot of fun and enjoy it.

This is also became a steady part of my PlayWayWise (Spelenderwijs) Workshops. It is great to see that the most grown ups have the same fun and are enjoying it.


I also introduced cuddling with children on purpose. We have frequently moments for cuddling in the group. A moment where they are allowed to give everyone a cuddle. When we started this there were children that didn’t want to participate. It was ok. They were cuddled by children, but they stayed passed in giving cuddles. But after a while all children participated.

It was great to see, how children congratulated the child that had his birthday. A reception was made, and every child could congratulate the child in question on his own way; high fives, hands, kiss, cuddle.

The child receives, after everyone is used to touching/cuddling, a cuddle of every child…He is feeling great!

Parents told me that their children became more affective at home as well, they cuddled more. Some parents with children that had autistic charateristics told me that they started to cuddle with their parents. These were children that never had cuddled with their parents before.


I noticed, that in groups where I introduced massage, touching and cuddling, there was less need to fight with each other. Children are more affective to each other.

Children do have a natural need to touch each other. But because of the fact that in our culture affective touching like hugging and massage is abnormal, children seek another way to touch each other. These touches are in forms like hitting, kicking or other forms of violence.


When 2 children are fighting, and one of them kicks or hits the other child one or both get hurt. But when you ask him/her if it was the intention to hurt the other child, most children say no. Most kids are shocked when you ask them this question for the first time. They aren’t aware of the fact that they are hurting the other child. They just wanted to hit of kick each other (read touch).

I am convinced, that when children grow up used to touch, massage and cuddling each other, there will be less useless violence.



Author: Ellen-Noor Langeslag
Translation: Fred Eijkenboom

Ellen-Noor Langeslag has her hart is with children. She is mother of 2 children and author of the Dutch book Spelenderwijs (PlayWayWise) and also made a CD with the same title. She is teacher in primary school and at the moment employed in special primary school. She is also Mind Body Coach (for grown ups and children) and Chi Neng Qi Gong Instructor.


The intention of Synergy Marketing International is to get the book translated in all languages in order to achieve the purpose why Ellen-Noor wrote the book…..
To give all children a great gift, by giving them a great self esteem, so they can become strong grown ups, that can change the world in to a better place…..for everyone….



For more information:

www. playwaywise. com / www.spelenderwijs.com
e-mail: fred@playwaywise.com / info@spelenderwijs.com

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Comment by Latifa El Azhar on July 22, 2008 at 6:01pm
Thanks for translating this article and sharing it with us Fred. It's true that touching is very important for living, loving others and being loved. A child can die if he is not loved and touched as say Louise Hay. It's true that adults become more and more distant with each other in this "modern society" because love and affection values disappear more and more. Hopefully that many people now observ all this and are gathering their efforts to make love and affection happen...Hopefully that there is persons like those who created the Law of Attraction community who aim to establish true relationships and sharings between people who share the same positive ideas. Let's work together to affirm this : THE WORLD IS ONE BODY; IF A MEMBER ACHES, THE WHOLE BODY FEELS IT.
Warm Hugs to all the Law of Attraction Community, Latifa

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