Create Connection With a Powerful Sign

As a child, I remember my mum teaching me the “I love you” squeeze that my parents began doing on their honeymoon. It’s been 50 years since their honeymoon and those three quick squeezes are still being used in our family, now passed onto my own children.

The squeeze was used subtly in so many different situations. It was a powerful way to connect without words and in silence. I remember receiving it before performing in piano recitals, and in the back of the car on long road trips, squashed between my two siblings. It was also part of the teary goodbye routine as a teenager, when heading back to boarding school.

This action made me feel connected to my mum and her to me and so, feel-good chemicals were triggered in our brains! When humans experience strong social bonding, each party produces oxytocin, creating feelings of safety, love and protection. What a powerful squeeze!

I passed the squeeze onto my firstborn when she was two or three years old. Now seven years old, she does it to me during the day in the classroom (I’m her teacher this year) and it’s the last thing she does when I kiss her goodnight. My youngest gives me many of these squeezes during the bedtime routine, always with a big smile on her face.

Before a swimming lesson one day, the eldest turned the squeeze into a gesture that we could do when out of arm's length. This was ground-breaking! It meant we could communicate I love you from a distance. 


Just yesterday my youngest was doing a school assembly presentation. I could see she looked a little nervous, getting ready to speak to the whole school for the first time. So I gave her the gesture and she returned it to me. This tiny, powerful signal created a connection between us from the stage to the audience, giving her 5 year old self the courage to speak to 200+ people!


Create an “I love you” gesture to use with your own children! You could use sign language for “I love you” or place your hand against the chest area. Something subtle means you might be able to keep using it even when they’re teenagers!


Oxytocin is one of the most important neurochemicals for healthy brain development which is why it forms the basis of My Amazing Brain. If you already have the book, try these oxytocin-boosters:

* Backboard p22

* Family Tree p24

* Aroma Massage p28

* Good Night, Sleep Tight p98

* Love Letters p120

This brain-based activity book combines Connection, Movement, Nature, Music, Creativity and Aroma to help you and your kids, thrive and shine! To enhance connections within your family, order My Amazing Brain today

Written by Victoria Jenkins

 Victoria is the founder of Brain Essentials, a Primary Educator, Author of My Amazing Brain and ph30 Parenting Facilitator.