Child humor is a treasure that has many lifetime benefits. Happy parents can tell jokes, be entertaining, and provide their offspring with a happy childhood.
It is never too early to start developing a child's sense of humor. And the benefits should last a lifetime. Children with a sense of humor make friends easier and, as adults, seem to get along better with co-workers.
For the most part, humor is social. Although there are times when I laughed at something that I did - or tried to do when no one else was around. The really funny stuff requires another person to be present because the smiling and laughing are human interactive traits.
Child humor brightens any family's life and makes day-to-day living more fun. One of the definitions of humor is: "elicits amusement and laughter". Who won't want to be part of a family with lots of laughter?
Parents that engage in humor with their children are likely to have a closer relationship with them. It is one of many ways to connect.
Can humor be learned? Can one be taught to have a sense of humor? Developmental psychologists say it can be taught. If a child is not born with a naturally good disposition, humor can be learned.
Psychologist believe that the benefits of laughter can last up to 45 minutes. It is also assumed that child humor can result in superior grades and better adaptability to day-to-day challenges.
People who enjoy a good joke and have a better sense of humor tend to have the following:
When a baby learns to laugh, parents are usually ecstatic. Now they can interact with their infant for the first time.
Babies react to spontaneous, unpredictable behavior. It could be putting your head in their abdominal area accompanied by a silly sound. Trial and error will eventually get the result parents want.
It can be repeated over and over again with the same result. They will gurgle with glee.
Babies, I'm told, don't know why you are smiling and happy, but they can sense your joy. Obviously, they don't understand humor, but they enjoy the game.
Eventually, these infants learn that they are individuals - separate from their parents. That is a profound milestone.
Playing peek-a-boo is also fun, but can cause concern for some infants. When mommy's face disappears, a baby may wonder if she will return.
Toddlers, who have mastered some words, will enjoy rhymes or nonsense words and phrases that somehow seem related. Props such as a silly hat or funny glasses can cause laughter and delight.
There are countless ways to entertain toddlers. Did you ever try singing a song using a squeaky or tweety bird voice?
Toddlers can also be very funny - making their parents laugh. They are quick to pick up on this and will make up silly stories or try to make a joke.
Did you ever tell a 3 year old to "point to your ear" and they point to their nose? They expect you to laugh.
Silly costumes and absurd songs or rhymes can make most 4 year olds laugh. Try drawing a picture of a horse with sunglasses or a dog that says "moo".
Jokes eventually get more involved than the usual "knock-knock" jokes. The child may even announce: "I'm going to tell you a joke".
Parents need to keep in mind that their experience with humor can even turn a tantrum in laughter. Using an operatic voice you could tell you child "if you don't eat your carrots, I will be so sad". The toddler may even create another situation just to get you to use that voice.
Children remember the fun and silly family times. Take a puppet or doll and pretend (in a different voice) to be the doll telling a child it is time for bed.
It is also important to make a joke out of a mistake. Remember, we all make mistakes. And it is okay to allow children to laugh with us or even at us as long as it is respectful.
A Sunday school teacher asked her little children, as they were on the way to church service, "And why is it necessary to be quiet in church?"
One bright little girl replied, "Because people are sleeping."
A mother was preparing pancakes for her sons, Kevin, 5, Ryan, 3. The boys began to argue over who would get the first pancake. Their mother saw the opportunity for a moral lesson. "If Jesus were sitting here, He would say 'Let my brother have the first pancake, I can wait."
Kevin turned to his younger brother and said, "Okay Ryan, you be Jesus!"
After the church service a little boy told the pastor, "When I grow up, I'm going to give you some money."
"Well, thank you," the pastor replied, "But why?"
"Because my daddy says you're one of the poorest preachers we've ever had."
Family traditions can be precious. Make child humor a family tradition. Read funny books. Watch funny movies. For parents, be a kid again.
It is not necessary for a parent to be their child's buddy. In fact, it is better to always be a loving parent - a parent that enjoys their children. Children that come from a happy environment will have a happier life and are likely to do well in every aspect of their lives.
Return to the top of Child Humor