Joy, sadness, fear ... All of them are emotions that children are born with and all of them are necessary, although some of them make us feel better than others. Joy is the emotion of childhood and the one that all fathers and mothers in the world want for their children. For them, feeling safe, loved and unconditionally valued is their main reason for joy. But what else can we do to work joy with children?
Joy is an emotion that occurs in the face of favorable events for us (for example, having reached a goal that we had set ourselves) or for other people we love very much. Usually it is the emotion that most favors interpersonal communication because it is an extroverted and not selective emotion. We can and want to share the joy with anyone!
It is very important to teach children to live happily, to live with joy, to enjoy the little things that life offers us, and it is also necessaryteach them to celebrate the small positive moments of each day. It is very easy to share joy and communicate it, but it is also very easy and dangerous to fall into 'laughing at' instead of 'laughing with'. Here you have to be very careful: children must know how to differentiate these two concepts from a young age.
What can children learn from this emotion and what is joy for? It is the emotion that drives us the most to speak, to express, to relate ... It is synonymous with smile and laughter, which in turn causes changes in the functioning of the thymus, which strengthens the immune system and produces physical and mental well-being.
That is why it is good that we give room to that emotion from the family home, because sometimes if adults are not happy because the day has not gone very well or we are a little frustrated, we try to suppress the joy of the children and not share with them .
Adults must learn to celebrate good times with children, but you also have to know that sometimes you have to control it. At certain times that joy, which they usually express with shouts, should be diminished, for example, if the grandmother is ill at the hospital.
Unfortunately, there may be children who do not express joy and here parents have to observe them a lot in order to help them. When a child does not express this emotion, there is a problem! When they don't express it spontaneously, something happens to our son! They are children who perceive the world as a hostile place and for whom relationships with others are not pleasant (due to shyness or because they have negative experiences); children who are self-conscious, inhibited and appear rather sad.
In this case, it is best to observe to find the reason or motive: if it is when he comes from school, when he is at home or, if it is the case, that he has entered an emotional state in which he cannot be seen smiling.
The stories are a versatile resource. Through stories, children enrich their vocabulary, improve their reading ability, increase their concentration and, in the case of the story that we are going to tell you, 'Omar's treasures', by Begoña IbarrolaThey also discover what joy is.
Omar lives in a shanty town in Bombay. His mother died and he lives alone. He cannot read or write and his job is to search for treasures with other children in the rubble of a garbage dump. Although some might think that his look is sad, not at all! They celebrate any finds they can find in the trash. One day Omar came across something special:
- Guys, look what I found! A treasure! - said Omar.
- Show us! - Commented the rest of the children.
It was a glass paperweight with a fairy inside that covered in snow.
- That has a lot of value, sell it and tonight you will go to bed with a full stomach! exclaimed his companions.
- I'm not going to do that, I'll keep it! - Omar answered.
When Omar found a treasure, he always uttered a phrase that he remembered from his mother: 'Thank you to the person who allows me to eat today, thank you and blessings for her.' And he added: 'May he never lack joy and be happy.'
The next day, Omar found another great treasure, a baseball, which he kept in his backpack along with the paperweight. And another day he came across a broken music box. Inside he had a ballerina, who looked like his mother, so he decided to keep her too.
One summer day, when the heat was unbearable, Omar decided to leave his city. He began a long journey north, but soon became hungry and stopped in a village.
- Please, can I have something to eat? I will help you with what you need - Omar told an old woman.
And this is how the boy spent a night at this woman's house: he took a shower, had dinner and when he went to sleep, the lady told him a story. In gratitude, Omar, gave him the music box.
The next morning, Omar continued on his way. When he was only a few kilometers away, a car hit him. The driver got out immediately and came to his aid, luckily he was a doctor! Omar told him his story and the man took him home.
There Omar handed him the baseball and was pleasantly surprised, a child like him, although that child did not smile and his face looked like a robot.
- Don't worry, he has some problems and hardly speaks. He doesn't like people- his father apologized.
Before getting into bed, Omar took the crystal ball out of his backpack. The boy shook the ball and smiled. It was her first smile in a long time. It was a magical moment!
- I give it to you - Omar said - but in return you have to tell me a story.
- Done! I know a lot that my father has told - replied the boy.
Omar was left without treasures, but in return he found a home and a family and realized that those were now his new treasures.
Parents have to provide children with tools so that, first, they can know this emotion and, second, they can handle it in different situations that arise in life. To help them develop it, here are some tips!
- Children learn by modeling and by imitation, so like 'homework' you have to express frequently and in different situations in which joy has a place.
- You express your joy when you really feel it, that's why if the child does not want to, do not force him to smile nor to be happy.
- It is very good what our body can say, but also joy must be worked from within.
- Dinner time can be a great time to talk about how the day has gone and share the emotions that have been experienced. And if it is joy, much better!
- We have said that it is not necessary to force, but neither to repress and, if possible, look for reasons to celebrateFinishing homework on time, getting home from work early ... I'm sure you'll find a million reasons to celebrate!
- What makes you feel good? And your little one? Maybe a bike ride, a home theater session, tell him a story ... In the little things, which sometimes we don't give importance to, there is also a lot of joy.
- Laughter is associated with joy, but here you have to be very careful and make the child understand that 'Laughing at' is not the same as 'laughing with'.
- Too humor is an important pillar of this emotion. Where to find it? In a joke or in a game. Search it!
- And, finally, there will be circumstances, such as a wake, in which joy should not be expressed out of respect for people who are sad. This is also important that we explain to children from a young age.
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