We assume that it’s normal to be tickled as a child since we have all been tickled when we were kids too. However, there were many other things that were considered normal like not wearing a seatbelt. So in accordance with the studies and research conducted on this topic, it would be better to skip out on tickling your kids to get them excited and burst out in laughter. Here are some reasons why tickling kids is harmful and isn’t good for your kid:

A child may not enjoy being tickled even if they are giggling

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Kids who feel more ticklish than other can’t help but laugh non-stop when they are tickled and you never know if they are actually enjoying it or completely loathe it. This is called reflexive laughter and it gives parents the illusion that their child is enjoying it when they’re really not. A study conducted by scientists at the University of California in 1997, revealed that tickling does not necessarily incite feelings of happiness which tend to make a person laugh at any joke. It only creates the illusion that they are laughing because they are happy.

Tickling can even be interpreted as a way of asserting dominance

tickling kids is harmful

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Why tickling kids is harmful is because a person can lose self-control when they get tickled. Regaining this control can be a big struggle especially for a child which can even make them feel humiliated to the point where this can become an unpleasant memory for a lifetime. Adults mostly mean to have fun with their kids when they tickle them, but the outcome can sometimes be rather harmful. Dr. Richard Alexander, a Professor of Evolutionary Biology at the University of Michigan, says that tickling can also be another form of asserting one’s dominance. The ensuing laughter is an evolutionary way of exhibiting submissiveness.

People have been tortured for ages with tickling

tickling kids is harmful

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The Han Dynasty in China used tickling as a method of torturing nobility since it left no marks and the victim could easily make a swift recovery. Thus, tickling has been used since ancient times as a way of torture. This method of torture was also popular in Japan where it was specifically termed: “kusuguri-zeme” meaning merciless tickling.

According to a study conducted in the University of Kentucky wherein 150 adults who were abused by their siblings during childhood were studied. There were many of the study subjects who reported tickling as a form of physical abuse. It was also concluded by the study that tickling tends to provoke extreme physiological reactions in a victim such as loss of consciousness and vomiting due to being unable to breathe properly while laughing.

Your child might not be able to tell you to stop

tickling kids is harmful

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Once you start laughing it can be quite hard to stop, and tickling causes you to have fits of uncontrollable laughter. Continuous tickling can make a person laugh so much that they reach a point where they can no longer breathe properly and they will not be able to tell you that they are in a difficult situation.

Even if the intention behind tickling the person was just for the sake of some fun, it could nonetheless result in serious medical complications. There are many other ways to have fun together besides tickling since you know tickling ids can be harmful.

Tickling can make a person develop lifelong trust issues

tickling kids is harmful

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Tickling someone against their will can only cause them great mental pain which may even linger for a lifetime. In fact, tickling during childhood can result in grownups having a hard time with emotional challenges. When adults sometimes talk about their emotional challenges during their childhood, they often mention tickling in many instances as an experience that was hurtful.

It results in a traumatic situation in which a person can no longer relax when others are in close proximity to them. Their insecurity is such that they remain internally on guard all the time even when sleeping beside their trusted partner and even when engaging in casual touching with someone they love.

Other than tickling your baby there are better ways to express your love to them

tickling kids is harmful

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For parents tickling their child is a normal thing as they generally think that they know what’s good and what isn’t good for their children. But, tickling does have various drawbacks and the sooner they understand this the quicker they realize that it would be far better to avoid tickling their baby to make them laugh and bond with them.

If you really wish to tickle your child, then it would be a good idea to seek your child’s approval first. Before touching your child’s body or making any decision that would affect their body in any way, parents should always ask their child first. Nevertheless, tickling kids can be harmful and can substituted for other methods of bonding and having fun with your child.