Humor is the best medicine for the ills of life. We have all heard these sorts of sayings. In life we all find that they are very true. Life is simply too hard and absurd not to laugh at it sometimes. It is extremely difficult and serious, which is why we need to take it a little less seriously sometimes. Some people think that laughter is laziness, but those of us who have been through difficult times know that laughter helps you to get a fresh perspective on life. It can actually help you to confront a difficult situation. Because laughter is such a good practice, we would all like to see our children laugh a bit more. But how do you encourage a good sense of humor in your child? Encouraging a good sense of humor is a slow process that requires patience. Children have their own unique personalities and traits. You can’t just alter them at will or as you please, but you can help to encourage the sense of humor that is already there. This can be done through a number of different methods, all of which depend on the child and on their age. A very important age for the development of humor in a child is when they are in elementary or grade school. This is when they are forming social attachments and a personality. In many ways it will be the personality that they take with them through the rest of their lives. Because this is such an important time in their development you need to encourage their sense of humor appropriately. Here are a few good ideas for developing your elementary age child’s sense of humor:
1. Kids in the first few years of elementary or grade school will be mostly interested in simple jokes and slapstick. They will probably like fairly stupid physical humor. This is okay for their age group. You probably don’t want it to go too far past the first couple of grades, but for the time being it is fine.
Encourage them through foolish but funny jokes and maybe some silly movies. Help them by setting an example and laughing at the things they laugh at. Children tend to learn almost everything about behavior from their parents. If they see you laughing they will know that it is okay to laugh.
2. As the child gets older their sense of humor might change. They will probably be more verbal and will try to make jokes based on funny things with words. Children in this age group will also start to be sarcastic and might even start to make fun of their parents. A good way to encourage children at this stage is to present them with more developed jokes and concepts. See if they understand certain types of sarcasm found in movies or in books. This is the time when kids will be starting to see how humor will help them in life. Do not belittle their sense of humor. Show them that the sophisticated sense of humor they have is something used by adults. Laugh at their jokes in a sincere way. This will help them to see that they can participate in more grown up forms of humor.
These are just a few of several different suggestions about how you might encourage your elementary or gradeschool age child to develop a good sense of humor. Good luck with your young child!