Lately my girls make me laugh. For the right reasons, too. They say and do things to be funny and they succeed. I am delighted to report that my daughters have a terrific sense of healthy humour. But, then I wonder, how did that happen? I worked hard to teach them morals and values, respect and discipline, but I never gave humour lessons. How did that slip through the cracks?
Of course our children absorb the humour we exhibit, we lead by example. But should we not be giving a stronger emphasis on tickling the funny bone in our parenting roles.
Everything else we teach is so dry and serious: chores, homework, stand up straight, be kind to others, eat your veggies, blah, blah, blech. After all, ask any parent and they will tell you the one thing they want most is for their kids to grow up and be happy. Should we not insert some, “how to be a stand-up comic” types of lessons? Here are a few good ones:
- Everyone should know a couple of commonly-accepted, non-offensive jokes to insert into conversation or break the ice. Why did the chicken really cross the road?
- Laugh at yourself without putting yourself down. Do not use this method too frequently or others will question your self-confidence, but a few well-placed zingers can spice up a conversation. “I thought that remark accusing me of having amnesia was uncalled for. I just wish I could remember who said it.” ~ former U.S. President Ronald Reagan.
- Look for comedy in everyday life. Have competitions with your kids to see who can find the most non-offensive things to giggle about during the day. Start with all those curious-baby-animals-get-into-awkward-situations videos.
- Find humor in stressful situations. Kids stressed about exams? How about writing some puns? Examinations – the only way to know something at least for a few days.
According to MD Junction, laughing has been shown to improve your immune system by helping your body produce more infection fighting materials and lower the amount of stress hormones in your body.
Aside from that it has also been shown to relax your muscles and lower your blood pressure, making it a great way to keep your heart healthy and lower your chances of having a heart attack or stroke.
Another benefit of having a good sense of humour is that laughing is good for your brain. According to a study by the University of London of Neurology good jokes can activate the part of the brain that is important for learning and comprehending. Simply by listening to new jokes we are working those muscles and that may improve our brain in other ways.
While I am thrilled and proud of my daughters’ humour, I wish I had emphasized the importance of it when they were younger. As a parent, I am always slipping on banana peels…