Joy as an Emotional Reaction in the Child

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How the Child Express Joy?

The child expresses feelings of joy through increased muscle activity, lively movements, a smile or loud laughter. The main source of joy in childhood is the feeling of comfort when satisfying a physiological need, then contact, play, fun, and conversation with other family members, achieving success in their endeavors and receiving gifts. It is characteristic of a child that mentally develops in a healthy way, that in it, a joyful mood prevails over emotions of fear, anger or envy.

What Does a Child’s Smile Mean?

A smile as an expression of joy occurs for the first time when a child is 2 months old. It is caused by social stimuli, such as approaching parents and them talking to the child. For the first 5 months, the baby smiles equally with friendly and unfriendly faces and voices. During development, it smiles only with pleasant appearances. The older it gets, the more often a smile appears on its face, and the stimuli to which the child most often responds to with a smile, change. Ames L. B.: Development of interpersonal smiling responses in the preschool years found that 18-month-olds smile the most with their own gestures. Children from 2 to 2 and a half years of age most often smile when adults tend to them, and at the age of 3 and a half, a child’s smile most provokes the company of other children.

What Is the Difference Between a Child’s Smile and Laughter?

A 3-month-old baby already starts to laugh out loud. Laughter is a less socially conditioned reaction than a smile. The infant laughs most about its own activity and less about the presence of other people. Therefore, laughter is considered a more primitive psychomotor reaction than a smile, although it occurs somewhat later in a child’s development.

What Is the Social Meaning of a Child’s Laughter?

During development, the child increasingly laughs in the presence of other people. At the age of 2, it laughs the most at various movements, either its own or someone else’s. But now it also laughs at awkward, socially unacceptable forms of someone’s behavior, such as the fact that someone is urinating in the presence of other people. Such motives are most often the cause of a 3-year-old’s laughter. It already laughs at various grimaces, jokes and word games. The older the child, the more often it laughs at other people’s awkwardness or failure, and in those situations in which it can show its superiority, for example, in playing with other children.

What motivates a child’s laughter?

These data on the motive of children’s laughter tell us that laughter – unlike a smile – is often an expression of children’s egocentrism and even aggression towards the environment. It increasingly serves to ridicule other people’s weaknesses as the child develops. But the child also laughs when it suddenly gets rid of some fear and anxiety, for example when it realizes that its fear was unreasonable. It also laughs when it experiences something contrary to what it expected, for example, when it takes some of the adults’ remarks seriously, and then suddenly realizes that the adults are just joking. Laughter can also be the result of a satisfied desire, or an expression of life’s joy.

How the Child’s Intelligence Affect Its Sense of Humor?

The more intelligent the child is, the more often it laughs. Intelligence gives it the ability to perceive what is funny, i.e. various nonsense, inconsistencies, mistakes in someone else’s activity, or other people’s weaknesses. Along with intellectual maturation, there is a sense of humor, understanding of jokes, witty allusions and jokes. At the age of 7 to 13, the child better understands visual jokes with the help of drawings, pictures and the like. It is only in puberty and later that it begins to understand various jokes, comedies and more.

How a Child’s Emotional Maturation Affect Its Sense of Humor?

Emotional maturation also contributes a lot to the development of a sense of humor. The sense of a witty, harmless joke, a joke that is free from malice, envy, and malevolence, is a characteristic feature of emotionally mature, orderly people, who know how to adapt to other people and cooperate with them in a constructive way. Caustic, vicious humor, as well as lack of a sense of humor, stiff reactions, and insults to other people’s jokes, is a sign of an emotionally damaged person.