Finding humor in life is an important life skill to learn early.
Life’s stresses both small and large are amplified when you take yourself too seriously. Developing a strong sense of humor during childhood is an effective way to help you navigate the ups and downs with grace and strength.
“Kids with a good sense of humor are happier, more optimistic, have higher self esteem, handle adversity more easily, and are better liked by peers,” says Katie Udenberg, DO, FAAP, Prevea Health Pediatrician. “A child who lacks a sense of humor may have self-esteem issues, difficulty bonding with others, and trouble dealing with differences and adversity.”
A strong sense of humor also helps kids be spontaneous, enjoy play, and better understand different perspectives.
4 Great Ways to Laugh
Kids are not born with a sense of humor. They must learn to cultivate it, according to Dr. Udenberg. Parents can help their children see the lighter side of life by showing how to:
- Shrug off mistakes.
- Keep tasks simple.
- Enjoy jokes.
- Share humor.
“If you are having fun, your child will, too,” Dr. Udenberg says. “Laugh with your kids!”
If you have an infant, focus attention on physical stimuli, such as blowing raspberries and tickling. If you have a toddler, spend time surprising him and making up rhymes. When your child enters school age, tell jokes using puns, riddles, and kind sarcasm.
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