Daddy Diaries: Tickle PARTY

Hello again! So, since you have last heard from me I’ve done a lot of “soul searching” if you will, to find out what it is I love so much about parenting. There are the obvious reasons of “I just love my kids and I can’t imagine life without them” or the classic “My kids are what make me whole and caring for them is all I need!” Both are good answers, but dumb. What I have really been searching for, the real nucleus of my feelings for my children, has to be something profound right? WRONG YOU ARE! And before we go on any further, don’t act like you know me. I’ve choked bigger men than you.

Simon and Coley

I have found that the thing that connects me to my kids on an anatomic level is indeed…..the tickles. I know what you’re thinking. You are saying to yourself right now “anyone can tickle children” and “childbirth means so much more than a simple tickle” or maybe even “Is this guy for real? I’m going to stop reading now.” All valid things to think, but once again I say to you, tickles are immensely important. I believe that tickles are at the center of any good relationship; and this includes spousal relationships, friendly relationships, and any other relationship where you and another person are close. I mean think about it, even people that don’t come to smiles easily can have this tickle relationship. A spouse who tickles is a spouse still very much in love. A friend who tickles is a friend that knows me better than most. A boss who tickles is a boss who needs to visit human resources.

I’ve done a decent amount of research on tickling.  Once you stop giggling at the vision of a full-grown man researching the importance of tickling, remember I am a student and 50% of my day, any day, consists of research of some kind. Some studies show that tickling is actually HARMFUL to children and that to tickle a child is to abuse them because, in fact, most children do not like the feeling. The laughter response is actually caused from your body handling the stimulation in a way that is deemed “acceptable” to the tickler. Apparently, we have evolved this natural response over millions of years of trying to be nice to people that are almost hurting us. Anyone else think this is a load of garbage?

Well, Juniper Russo thinks along the same line as me, that tickling is a bonding agent in parenting that cannot be overlooked. Ms. Russo is a contributor for Yahoo and has done more research on the matter than I have. She gives 5 reasons, and research to back her theories, why we should in fact tickle our children.

1) It’s the whole reason kids are ticklish.

2) It strengthens bonds and trust.

3) It relieves stress.

4) It helps development.

5) It’s fun.

Now, of course I want to believe these findings.  Getting a cheap laugh from my girls is one of my favorite things.  But her research is amazing. I won’t get into all of her findings, but if you get a chance just Google “5 reasons to tickle your kids,” look for the name Juniper Russo, and read what she has to say about it.

Don’t miss the opportunity to tickle the little ones! Before you know it, they will be too old and get mad at you for touching them. I have two girls and I don’t care if sometimes their laughter is forced, at least they are laughing with me. My 8 month-old, Stella, will sometimes look at me with those big beautiful eyes and lift up her arms just asking to be tickled. Coley is my 4 year old, and she does the same. When they do this, all of my stresses and worries are gone for a little while and my feelings towards those girls help me realize that I love them so much it hurts.

Simon and Stella

While studying for this post I came across a quote I want to leave you with. After reading this, go give someone a glass of milk and then tickle them. While you are cleaning the mess they will ask you why you would ever do such a thing. I want your response to just be “because I love you”.

“At the height of laughter, the universe is flung into a kaleidoscope of new possibilities.”

                -Jean Houston


Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.