Does your child know how to have fun? Do you encourage liberal amounts of giggling and lighthearted humor in your home? If so, you have discovered one of the secrets of helping your child cope with the constant stresses of daily life. Laughter really is the best medicine for good physical, mental, and spiritual health. You don’t need to be a comedian or a good joke teller. You just need to smile a lot and be open to seeing and using humor, especially in times of tension or difficulty.
Some even would go so far as to consider humor essential in raising children. What better way is there to let kids be kids. Seeing the funny side of offenses, mistakes, and childish behavior helps to model appropriate responses to some unavoidable experiences. Making a mountain out of a molehill is often viewed in hindsight with regret by many parents. A hardy round of laughter at the tunnel the cat has licked in the butter just before company arrives helps to put things in perspective and allows children to see one good way adults handle everyday mishaps.
Here are some ideas to keep your family laughing together.
Look for funny family incidents that can be recalled by any family member at any time and bring the same response. When any member of our family says the word “pud,” everyone breaks out in fits of uncontrollable laughter. I don’t have to share why, but it’s a word that has surely helped us enjoy each other.
Practice enjoying riddles and rhymes with your children. Young children love silly riddles and funny one-liners. These come in very handy during dull and boring but necessary life experiences.
Be spontaneous! Have a little fun. Focus on the here and now rather than the past or the future. Enjoy moments of pleasure with your child.
Help your child see God in the small things of life and take joy in them.
Don’t take yourself so seriously. Children will watch and learn from you. This is how you will teach them to relax and enjoy themselves.
Enjoy reading humorous literature with your child. Select books that have plots you can laugh about. Also choose books that have silly words and funny pictures to enjoy. How about reading the comics with your child?
Be very cautious. Do not confuse ridicule, teasing, and sarcasm with humor. Never laugh at another person’s expense. Don’t let a jealous brother tell unflattering jokes about his sister. With children, unless everyone can laugh, it isn’t funny.
…..Karin Klein Ed.D., Administrator, Red Hill School, Red Hill, PA.
Parent Connection Archive
The Busy Bin
Praise and Encouragement
Your Child’s Fears
Your Child and Play
Teaching Your Child Responsibility
Make a Book With Your Child
Getting Ready For School
Learning to Laugh
Learning to Eat Healthy Food
Stress and Children
TV and Children