I came across this lovely poem above from TransCultural Group’s September 2022 Newsletter. It made me imagine a smile, especially a child, a baby. It never fails to melt my heart, and I’m sure it melts yours, too, especially when it comes from your little one. But did you know that beyond relieving our stress, it also has wonderful benefits for them?
Below are the surprising benefits of smile on children.
1. Relieves stress and keeps them calm
Just like us, our children also get stressed. Smiling can help them fight off stress. A smile lets out “feel-good” chemicals in the brain – dopamine, endorphins, and serotonin – that boost mood and lower the stress-causing chemical cortisol.
2. Calms an anxious child
Making a child smile can also help calm an anxious child. The mood-boosting chemicals released by smiling also lower heart rate helping the child relax. So when your little ones are about to go on stage or on the field, throw a quick smile at them, and when they smile back, they will feel more relaxed.
3. Helps relieve pain
Have you noticed that when you make a child smile or laugh after getting a boo-boo, they stop crying and almost instantly forget about it? It’s because apart from boosting mood, smiling actually helps relieve pain naturally by releasing endorphins.
4. Spreads happiness
Research has shown that when someone smiles, it can also make somebody else around them smile, consciously or unconsciously. We have the instinct to simulate and mimic facial expressions like a smile that allows us to experience other people’s feelings, too. So when a child smiles, children and other people around them also feel better and happier.
5. Builds friendships
Happy and smiling children make them more approachable, attracting more friends. These friendships can help children foster values like kindness, respect, empathy, and humility. They will also develop communication and team skills. In short, friendships help with children’s social development, which is a crucial aspect of growing up.
Remember, no smile is wasted. Keep spreading that smile at home so your children can bring it wherever they go.