I’m working on the lesson for GIGGLES tonight for the Young Child group. In looking for something else, I came across this article. I have printed the beginning of it here for you, but I strongly encourage you to go read the entire posting. It has some great information about what is appropriate and, in some cases, inappropriate for each age level. It is a fun read.
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Encouraging Your Child’s Sense of Humor
Through the years, 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 of connecting, but 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 make-up, like blue eyes or big feet. But a sense of humor is
actually a learned quality that you can nurture in your child, not
something he or she is born with or without.
So What’s Humor 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 others as well.
A good sense of humor is a tool that your child can rely on throughout life to help him or her:
see things from many perspectives other than the most obvious
grasp unconventional ideas or ways of thinking
see beyond the surface of things
enjoy and participate in the playful aspects of life
not take himself or herself too seriously
Children 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 your child emotionally or socially — research has shown
that people who laugh more are healthier. They are 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. There are few pleasures that rival yukking it up
with your child.