Evolutionary Explanation

Does anybody know the evolutionary explanation of why little kids lie on their backs when they are unhappy? They all do it, and it’s like an instinct. Unhappy, boom, drop down. What’s the mechanism here?

A lot of stuff that little kids do becomes instantly clear when you look at the evolutionary advantage. As I always say, nothing teaches evolution like parenthood.

10 thoughts on “Evolutionary Explanation

    1. So cute! And it’s absolutely true, the small children’s first goal is to be fed but being entertained comes as a very close second. 🙂


    1. This analogy doesn’t fit well — dogs very often don’t do that if they’re unhappy and insecure, because showing their bellies makes them vulnerable. They’re more likely to pace, refuse to sit or lie down, or lie on their stomachs and refuse to roll over. You can condition a dog to lie on their backs more often and in certain situations, but it’s by far not an instinctual thing.


  1. “why little kids lie on their backs when they are unhappy? ”

    Not sure about why they lie down but I think lying on their back is less dangerous (can still see predators or other approaching dangers).
    Maybe at young ages the emotion interferes with physical control so they lie down to keep from falling or collapsing….


  2. Without civilization, when you lie on your back, you look at the sky. The sky is so grand both during the day and the night that it’s possible it helps you put your problems into perspective. Looking at the sky is also very calming. I think it’s just a natural soothing mechanism.


  3. Lying on your back sends a message to the brain that it’s time to sleep, which in turn triggers parasympathetic nervous system, shifting emotions away from anger towards a calmer state.

    Liked by 1 person

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