Some say that laughter is the best medicine. The power of humor benefits everyone, especially our children. Finding laughter in our daily lives can relieve stress, ease depression, loosen muscles and strengthen relationships. Did you know that children, on average, laugh 200 times per day? How awesome is that! But even good humor has manners and there’s no time like the present to get laughing. Along with helping our kids to learn what is funny, we need to help them learn that time and place play into whether something is funny. SheKnows offers some tips on teaching the greatest stand-up act yet:

  • Even before kids can walk and talk, they will be absorbing the idea that things are funny. You can encourage a sense of humor by telling jokes, laughing out loud, and telling stories that make you smile. It helps to explain to your kids why you think things are funny.
  • Remember your parents telling jokes you thought were awful? Well, same goes for your kids, and vice versa. What is funny to one age isn’t as funny to another. Take their jokes seriously and praise them for trying to be funny.
  • There is a time and place for everything, and same goes for humor. Help your kids understand that humor generally is not a part of certain occasions. On the flip side, knowing a few funny jokes can help break the ice in a tense situation.
  • Humor isn’t so humorous when it hurts someone’s feelings. If someone tells a hurtful or inappropriate joke, don’t laugh. Take the time to explain to your child why that joke isn’t funny.

As a mother and former teacher herself, Kiddie Academy® Educational Child Care’s director of education Renee Thompson knows a thing or two about children’s humor. “My second graders used to make up excruciatingly unfunny knock-knock jokes that made no sense to adults, but other kids thought they were hilarious. When kids get positive feedback for taking a risk, it encourages them to express themselves creatively,” says Thompson. “Parents should laugh and support their child’s attempt at telling or making up jokes (even if they are not funny to you!), as your child is taking a risk by endeavoring to entertain.”

When kids get positive feedback for taking a risk, it encourages them to express themselves creatively. So grin and bear it! Teaching humor is part of Kiddie Academy’s® character education program.