Written by Donna McClintock, COO with Children’s Choice Learning Centers, Inc.
I’ve often seen single people interviewed about the most important traits that they are looking for when searching for a life partner. More often than not, they list a good sense of humor as one of their requirements. However, when I listen to the character traits that parents want to instill in their children, they rarely mention a good sense of humor.
Did you know that learning to look on the funny side of life is a skill and that it can be taught? Now, if you have raised more than one child or grandchild or even loved more than one child, you know that there are just some children who naturally make you laugh. They seem to arrive with a nature bent toward a sense of humor. We get that. However, a well-developed sense of humor is a tool that serves both children and adults well throughout life. Research has proven that children with a great sense of humor have higher self-esteem, are happier, seem to navigate through the challenges of life with greater ease, and have greater peer approval than those who have not developed in this area.
It’s not just about the children. We know that people who laugh more are healthier. Laugher is good for the soul and the body. Become more spontaneous with your child and teach her to find the humorous side of life and to look at things in an unconventional way.
It is important to understand a child’s level of development to recognize what is and what isn’t funny to him. Guard against crossing the line between affectionate humor and the teasing that he deems unpleasant. However, remember that developing a sense of humor is like any other skill — it can be taught. It might not come as easily to some children as it does to others, but it is our job as advocates for our children to equip them with the tools to be successful in life. A great sense of humor is a skill that each child must have to navigate this great big world. Nothing soothes the soul like laughter with friends and family. Teach your child how to laugh out loud and enjoy the journey with those he loves and those who love him.