Encouraging Your Child's Sense of Humour

A sense of humor can brighten family life. You can blow raspberries on a baby’s belly, put on a silly hat and chase a 3-year-old, or pretend to fall into a pile of leaves to amuse a first-grader. As kids grow into preteens and teens, you can share puns and jokes as their sense of what’s funny grows more sophisticated.

Laughing together is a way to connect, and a good sense of humor also can make kids smarter, healthier, and better able to cope with challenges.

We tend to think of humor as part of our genetic makeup, like blue eyes or big feet. But a sense of humor actually is a learned quality that can be developed in kids, not something they’re born with.

What’s So Funny Anyway?

Humor is what makes something funny; a sense of humor is the ability to recognize it. Someone with a well-developed sense of humor has the ability to recognize what’s funny in others and can amuse them as well.

A good sense of humor is a tool that kids can rely on throughout life to help them:

  • see things from many perspectives other than the most obvious
  • be spontaneous
  • grasp unconventional ideas or ways of thinking
  • see beyond the surface of things
  • enjoy and participate in the playful aspects of life
  • not take themselves too seriously

Kids with a well-developed sense of humor are happier and more optimistic, have higher self-esteem, and can handle differences (their own and others’) well. Kids who can appreciate and share humor are better liked by their peers and more able to handle the adversities of childhood — from moving to a new town, to teasing, to torment by playground bullies.

And a good sense of humor doesn’t just help kids emotionally or socially. Research has shown that people who laugh more are healthier — they’re less likely to be depressed and may even have an increased resistance to illness or physical problems. They experience less stress; have lower heart rates, pulses, and blood pressure; and have better digestion. Laughter may even help humans better endure pain, and studies have shown that it improves our immune function.

But most of all, a sense of humor is what makes life fun. Few pleasures rival yukking it up with your kids.

to read more on these subjects …. http://kidshealth.org/parent/growth/learning/child_humor.html#cat163

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