When you’re a parent, you are responsible for a lot of things which includes keeping your child fed and cleaned, ensuring their wellbeing and safety, and of course, keeping them happy.
Having a laugh or two with your children is a crucial part of being a parent, and humour is an excellent way to develop a bond. Even as babies, children are instantly attracted to people who make them laugh and keep them happy.
However, for many parents, figuring out how to build a relationship with your kids based on humour and laughter can be difficult.
That’s why in this article you’ll find some tips on how you can inject a little humour into parenting and bring light and laughter into your children’s lives. For more advice on this topic, why not visit momnkids.org, where you’ll find helpful articles on parenting advice, baby products, and everything else parenting related.
Why is humour important in parenting?
Parenting is largely seen as a serious job, something that is based on discipline and strictness. That may have held up 70 years ago, but that is hardly the case anymore. Being a good parent now means establishing a bond with your children, and a great way to do so is through humour.
There’s nothing that children love more than laughing, and when you make them laugh or you laugh with them, they’ll immediately feel a deeper sense of affection and attachment towards you.
How to insert some humour into your parenting
If you want to adopt “happy” parenting and exert the best influence possible on your children so that they grow up to be positive, forward-looking individuals, here are some do’s and don’ts you’ll find useful.
- It’s not a “one-size-fits-all” situationOne of the first things to remember about humour in parenting is that it is not a “one size fits all” situation. You can’t joke with a preschooler the same way you do with a baby or an adolescent. If you want to build a relationship based on humour with your children, then you have to be receptive to their age and their interests. Similarly, if you have more than one child, you can not expect that each of them will find humour in the same thing. Your sense of humour might be a hit with one, but with the other not so much. So, as a parent, it is up to you to appeal to each child’s sense of humour separately.
- Watch what you sayWhen you’re joking around, there is the possibility that you might let slip something that isn’t necessarily appropriate for your children. This is natural, as most of us tend to let our guard down when we’re laughing or having fun, but it is important to be alert around your kids. A single curse word or inappropriate phrase muttered around your kids could stick with them, and since children tend to often replicate or mimic what they see and hear, they might just go and say that to someone else.
- Keep boundaries in placeAs kids grow up, they begin to understand what humour is. But they cannot distinguish between what should be laughed about and what should not be. At this age, they also begin to pick up mannerisms and ideas from other sources and people. So they might start seeing bullying or insults as humour and a means of eliciting laughter. As a parent, it is important to teach them the concept of boundaries and right and wrong. If you don’t do so, there is the chance that your kids may end up developing a skewed sense of humour, that is hurtful to others, which is something you surely wouldn’t want.
- Use it as a way to educateIf your kids love humour, and you’ve noticed them reacting positively to it, then you can use humour as a tool to teach and educate them. This applies not only to academic knowledge but morals as well. You can influence them to learn more by appealing to their sense of humour and providing them books, shows, and more content that educate through the means of humour. You can also provide them access to humour-based children’s websites and digital content, but make sure you have parental controls and safe search on.
- Teach them to use humour for goodHumour is an excellent weapon of comfort, and a lot of historical figures, such as people like Charlie Chaplin, have always used humour as a way to bring light and joy into people’s lives and make hard times easier to live through. This is an excellent lesson to teach your children. You can tell them how they can use humour to bring happiness to the people around them, and make them feel better when they are down. This is something that they’ll cherish as they grow up, and will shape them into positive people. But at the same time, you should also tell them what is appropriate when.
- Find joy in simple thingsLast but not least, a crucial tip to remember when you’re including humour into your parenting is to tell your children to find joy and humour in simple things. There isn’t always going to be a funny incident when they’re down, and often, there won’t be someone to make them laugh. In that situation, it will be up to them to find joy in the simple things. Show this to them practically, by finding humour in ordinary things, whether it’s a joke or a TV show. This will make them cherish humour even more, and it will help them become balanced and non-materialistic individuals, with a bright outlook towards life.