Tickling kids can be more harmful than good. While many among us would frown upon suggesting this, a study shows that only 32% of respondents reported enjoying being tickled, with 32% giving neutral responses, and 36% saying that they disliked it. We’ve all been tickled from time to time as children, so we assume it to be normal. But remember that back in those days, not wearing a seat belt also used to be normal!
Analyzing various research conducted on this topic, Bright Side wants to explain why you should skip tickling and find another way to have fun — perhaps sharing a joke or playing together is a better idea.
Why tickling kids is not okay
“Tickle me, Mama… pleeeeease,” my five-year-old son pleads, as he pokes his head from beneath his Pikachu covers. It’s an ungodly hour of the morning and, looking into his big brown eyes — an equal mixture of mischief and innocence — I’m tempted to give in to his giggly demands. Yet, something holds me back.
Here’s the thing: I’m not what you would classify as a helicopter parent. If you had to put a label on it, I’m more of a free range mom. I try not to sweat the small stuff or worry too much about things I can’t control. But that’s precisely where tickling comes in. This is something I can control… to an extent. And in today’s society, teaching our kids about things like consent and body autonomy — which are intrinsically linked to tickling — is a big deal.
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