Parents want to do whatever they can to prepare their kids for joyful, purposeful lives. New research suggests that a well-developed sense of humor is connected to happier and more optimistic children with strong self-esteem. Furthermore (please say this out loud in a formal British accent a la Monty Python), additional research indicates that a sense of humor can be learned.
You don’t have to introduce a slapstick routine into your family’s life to help your little ones learn to laugh. Giggling when your dog steals a pancake from the breakfast table or chuckling when your spouse says something that, if you weren’t in such a rush, really is funny teaches your kids that humor is everywhere and if they take the time to look for and notice it, life is a lot easier.
Another way to encourage the development of a sense of humor in your kids is to take time to be silly (Note: being silly with your children will accelerate the learning process in your kids, but, by all means, be silly on your own!). Funny voices, inside jokes, goofy selfies, singing REALLY loudly in the car and frequently shaking your groove thing are all great ways to take life a little less seriously with your child. Instant – and long term – positive results are guaranteed.
Humor, like empathy, kindness and tolerance, can be learned. And, like each of the aforementioned (once again, please assume your best formal British accent and say this word out loud) attributes, humor makes the world a much happier place.