A sense of humor is as important as any other part of a child’s education. We teach our children math, science, and English, but do we teach them how to laugh at life? Why don’t we teach them this critical skill? A sense of humor is critical because it helps us through the difficulties of life. Some people think that the only way to deal with life is to be serious about everything. However, people who say this don’t realize that humor is a very good way to deal with the really serious problems in life. It is not a method for escaping life, but for dealing with it in a positive and productive manner. Life is simply too difficult to pass through without laughing at it. Your children also need to develop a good sense of humor if they are going to roll with the punches of life. As with so many things, your children learn how to behave and react by watching their parents. They know what is funny and what is not funny according to what their parents find funny or not funny. There are lots of methods for encouraging a sense of humor in a child. You will find the best methods through experimentation and practice. But what if your child starts to laugh at the wrong things? Most children don’t know what is really appropriate and what is not when it comes to humor. They might not intend to hurt someone’s feelings, but they might anyway if they don’t know what lines they should not cross. So how do you encourage your child to have a good sense of humor, and by good I don’t just mean that they laugh at everything, but that they laugh at things that are appropriate to laugh at?
The first thing to remember is that your kids will try to imitate your sense of humor. If you are ashamed of some of the things you laugh at, your children might not know this. They will observe you laughing and think that it is okay to participate. So a first step is to simply watch out for the inappropriate things that you laugh at.
However, this does not mean that your child will not laugh at something inappropriate. Children need to be taught that some things simply are not okay to laugh at. When your child starts to laugh at something that they should not be laughing at, make sure to reprimand them. Explain why it is not appropriate. Help them to understand that it hurts someone’s feelings. Most children are fairly compassionate and do not want to harm others. If you explain their bevahior in terms of its impact on other people, they will be far more likely to respond. If you simply reprimand them they will never really learn why laughing at the wrong thing is wrong.
Another important step is to encourage your child to laugh at the right things. If children find that laughing at good things produces more of a result than laughing at bad things, they will be more inclined to laugh at the right things. Encourage your child’s sense of humor by limiting the material they laugh at to only appropriate sources. This will develop a particular type of sense of humor and one that is shocked by inappropriate jokes or laughter. Finally, show your children that you are also horrified by this type of humor. Make a dramatic comment about how inappropriate it is. Following these techniques will help your child develop a positive and strong sense of humor.