Research suggests that children laugh up to 300 times per day, which is miles off the average 17.5 times that us grown-ups let out a chuckle. It does make sense, but why?
Kids have less worries
Generally, children have less worries through their day than adults. They say your childhood days are the best days of your life, and that is because we adults have work stress, we can have financial worries, and just general adult life playing on our minds. Adults have responsibilities. While we are in the kitchen with a glass of wine looking at our expenses, the kids biggest worry is whether they are having ketchup or BBQ sauce with their tea tonight.
Adults have less social time
While we adults have to arrange to meet up for a coffee when we need some social time, children spend Monday-Friday with their mates. Of course they are learning, but school is a literal social playground. With roughly 30 peers in their class alone, it’s no wonder the little ones have so much to chuckle about in one day. Particularly in nursery and the early years of school, play is massively encouraged, because it is amazing for the physical and mental development of our little ones.
Babies are taught to be social
We don’t realise, but babies are taught by the grown ups around them that laughter is social. Think about it, babies don’t understand our jokes. Before about 7 months of age, it is not understood to babies that laughter is a reaction to something. They psychologically learn that their laughter gets a positive reaction from adults. Babies know that when they laugh, you will laugh, creating a bond before they can even talk.
Kids don’t really have a filter
We’ve all had it at some point. A little one absolutely cracks up when we’ve fallen over, or steals our sandwich and laughs right in our face; things that we adults just don’t do, even if the sandwich is cheese, which is our favourite. It gets to a point in your life where it is not acceptable to do these things, however much we want to. This is another reason children laugh more than adults. They can get away with laughing in the slap on your leg, funny times that we can’t.
Now, I absolutely love a good game of peek-a-boo, however I can’t say i’ve been reduced to tears of laughter playing it in a good 20+ years. That is due to humour development, as our mind matures, so does our humour. This is why grown up jokes consist of innuendos and sarcasm, and children’s jokes consist of poo. It doesn’t take as much to make a child laugh, which means they will also laugh more throughout the day.
So it turns out there is a lot more science behind children’s laughter than we thought. Now we understand why us adults don’t laugh enough, let’s make sure we spare some time to get those extra giggles in today. He he.
If you would like to talk to Pete about some accountability, coaching or Laughter, please email him or call 0333 567 1587