A sense of humour is said to be a clear indicator of a person’s intelligence. And if nothing else, it clearly suggests the flexibility of mental activity, the feeling of truth and untruth, of wit and spirituality.
But is a person born with a sense of humour? Is it brought up?
When does a person start laughing?
Humour is the spice of life. Have you ever wondered when the feeling begins to develop and when a child begins to understand jokes? Scientists have finally found the answer – and it happens to be surprisingly early in the development process!
Maybe you’ve wondered when exactly your child will start to understand your jokes, or even when they’ll start cracking jokes themselves for the first time. A group of scientists are just as interested to find out and so they decide to study it in depth.
A research team from the University of Portsmouth found that a child can use facial expressions or different sounds from 7-8 months of age to deliberately make adults laugh, writes the BBC.
Children gradually develop their sense of humour
As children develop their imagination, speech and understanding, they also develop their sense of humour and their ability to recognize that you’ve just made a joke.
Experts note that this pace is individual for each child, but we can summarize the individual phases and thus give at least an approximate classification of how a child’s sense of humour develops. This roundup is courtesy of the BBC:
Babies start laughing when they are 3 months old. During this period, visual sensations can trigger laughter, mostly in response to visual stimuli such as a grimace their parents make. They may also find some sounds funny.
As we mentioned at the beginning, during this period the child learns to work with his facial expression, voice or body movements in order to make the parents laugh. At this stage we can also observe evidence of conscious repetition: when your child does something to make you laugh, he may do it again.
During this time, you can very often notice that a smile will appear on their face when they do something they shouldn’t. This is how they begin to develop a “teasing” sense of humour.
During this period, you can notice even more that when a child does some “mischief”, he will look pleased with himself. But the really interesting thing at this point is that it has already started to distinguish your real jokes from “sarcasm”: for example, when you intend to drink from his bottle.
Based on the development of the child’s vocabulary, we can observe the first attempts to verbally express jokes at this age. So, as you can see, they understand humour in all its forms extremely early – and probably earlier than you thought.
Can we somehow develop a sense of humour?
As mentioned above, even the smallest baby can smile, but of course, you can help develop this ability from the very first months.
Different games or fun doodles can be great for you and your child to have a chance to laugh at the pictures you just created.
When your baby is older, another great way to develop a sense of humour is to watch or read funny stories. For example, after reading a story, you can ask your child if there was anything in the story that made them laugh, or if they can think of something funny that one of the characters might say.