2023 Author: Anita Thornton | [email protected]. Last modified: 2023-07-31 02:08
The guili-guili and antics you multiply to make your child laugh are the seeds you sow to develop their sense of humor. After all, laughter is he alth!
Brief and yet unforgettable, the moment of the first smile is the very first building block of your child's sense of humor. It usually appears during the first months of its life. The children's pleasure is then fueled by stimuli that are up to their level of understanding.
Before a new stimulation, baby will be impassive at first. He will then sketch smiles, make a few sounds, then raise his arms in the air and begin to kick in the air to express his pleasure. A moment that all parents look forward to, let's face it!
Naturally, the child will react according to his age and level of development. If the stimulation is too simple or too complex, he will not necessarily respond. For example, comedic riddles that make preschoolers laugh will leave them indifferent when they're older, while a joke that relies on puns or contains "adult" references won't.will not join if they have not yet reached this stage of development.
Unpredictability and the unexpected are definitely winning elements! From the first cuckoo clocks behind hidden hands to make babies react to more elaborate surprises for older children, children love it!
It is around the age of four, when they have acquired the ability to distinguish between reality and imagination, that children are able to separate jokes and lies from the same basket.
Babies and toddlers react first to humor that uses motor stimuli, i.e. gestures and physical actions: this is what psychologist Bruno Fortin calls visual humor. The toddler will laugh, for example, when seeing a person with a clown's nose. He will then try to make people laugh too with this type of humor. Then, as he grows older, his sense of humor will use more verbal language and puns.
Verbal humor emerges around the age of three, when the child is amused when playing with simple words, after which, around the age of four, it is rhyming ridiculous things that will make him react. It is the sounds produced by these rhymes (think nursery rhymes and jingles from your childhood!) that make him laugh, more than their meaning, which he will only respond to a little later in his development.
You will have to wait around the age of six for your little clown to start repeatingadult jokes. And then, watch out! Awkward moments can multiply as the school-aged child is exposed to a larger pool of people…and humor!
Research shows that children in the first cycle of elementary school try to make people laugh with phonetic riddles or using words with double or triple meanings. By the end of primary school, their riddles and jokes will be more refined and will show that they have a better understanding of the intricacies of the language.
The big steps
Several theories dissect the stages of the development of a sense of humor. Here are the highlights.
The first stage, which is characterized by the ability to attribute an unusual use to objects, generally appears around the age of two. For example, the child puts a bowl on his father's head, pretending that it is a hat.
When words gradually replace gestures and the child can invent little puns, this is a sign that he has reached the second stage; he gradually masters the links between words.
In Third Stage, the four- or five-year-old can place objects and situations into categories; he is now able to recognize an abnormal or unusual situation (a man fully dressed in his bath, for example). He also begins, between the ages of five and seven, to appreciate jokes tinged with exaggeration.
The fourth stage of the development of a sense of humor in children(around the age of seven) marks his ability to transform a situation or an object according to his own desires. It was then that he began to amaze the gallery with his riddles and puns. Or at the very least try to!
Your child will make you laugh with increasingly subtle humor from the age of 10; the awkward and first-level antics will give way to slightly more elaborate jokes… However, it is also at this age that he will try, often clumsily, to provoke fun with pranks with sexual content…!
Learn to laugh and make people laugh
Don't worry about making your child the class jester or the future comedian of the hour. According to Thomas Shultz, a McGill University psychology professor who has done research on children's sense of humor, to facilitate the development of children's sense of humor, play and be happy with your children and Humor will come naturally…”.
Learning begins very early: baby smiles when mum or dad laughs, puts himself in "comical mimicry" mode or tickles him and a little later, he will laugh in turn. It goes without saying that parents who laugh at seeing or hearing their child clowning around encourage him to repeat the experience and promote the development of his sense of humor.
No research has shown that watching comedy movies or television shows helps make children into peoplefunnier. The children of professional comedians will not necessarily be better equipped to develop a great sense of humor, adds Dr. Shultz.
The guili-guili, the tickles, the rhymes, the personifications, and all the other possible funny situations are not useless, quite the contrary… Laugh as a family on all occasions, everyone will benefit greatly from it!
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