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The smile of a child – Huwaida’s goosebump moment

(text video)


Huwaida: “I am from Brunei Darussalam. My goosebump moment is the day I came home and caught sight of my niece who was a year and a half at that time. She was colouring on a piece of paper and when she heard me at the door, without even missing a beat, she just looked up slowly, and when she saw me, her smile just spread. I mean, she has got this cute face and this smile was just sweet and tiny, but it was like beaming and genuine. And then slowly, softly, she went back to her coloring. I literally stood there for another ten seconds just stunned, captivated by that sheer presence, you know, of that smile. It was so amazing. I never felt more accepted in my life, more loved. Yeah, it was amazing.”

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Smiling is an innate act in children

Smiling is so common on children’s faces that we rarely think about how wonderful this act is. Smiling, in addition to expressing joy, influences the maturational, physiological, cognitive, emotional and social process.

Smiling is something innate in children, it is an ability acquired at birth that lasts a lifetime. It is amazing how something so small can make you feel so big. Usually, it is not given much importance, but it is something that should be valued and worked on at home as well.

Their smiles, a wink of hope

At a time when the world needs more than ever to believe that there is something that can stop violence and contains kindness, meeting the smile of a child wraps us in a halo of hope.

We cannot forget that our children are the future, just as we were long ago. Because they are free minds that absorb our teachings as if they were sponges.

The smile of a child is the energy of life, life throbs through smiles and tears. When we see children smile, it’s like living a perfect moment. The result of making beautiful what sometimes is not so beautiful, to spread happiness with the transforming power of laughter.

The importance of smiling

Smiling is one of the most elemental expressions of human beings. We smile, in fact, already before we are born, when we are in our mother’s womb, as ultrasound technology has made it possible to prove. Blind children also smile from birth, even when they obviously have not had the opportunity to “learn” to smile by imitation, by seeing it in their parents or in other people.

Many, many scientific studies have analyzed smiling, its implications, its effects, everything that smiling entails. One of the most outstanding conclusions of these studies is that smiling has great seductive power. Firstly, because smiling is not only an involuntary result of feeling good. It is also possible to force a smile. In line with Charles Darwin, who noted that “the simulation of an emotion tends to arouse it in our minds”, when a person smiles, even if not genuinely, he helps himself feel joy or satisfaction.

Stages of smiling in children

The first stage of smiling is called the reflex smile. It appears a few days after birth, lasts for the first month and is quite fleeting. This type of smile is given by imitation and, from the first moment, the child is already able to associate it with a positive feeling, joy, fun and happiness.

The second stage of the smile corresponds to general laughter and is usually shown at four weeks. The smile is more intense and long-lasting and is provoked by any stimulus the baby likes or by any adult in general. This type of smile lasts until four months, when the child begins to distinguish shapes more clearly.

From then on, the specific, selective smile begins to appear on the baby’s face. The baby is already aware of who he is smiling at, recognizes familiar faces and begins to miss people he does not know. At this stage, the smile is no longer silent as before. If babies hear something they like, they will make a happy sound, a light laugh, guttural or babbling sounds.

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