Dr. Kangos' Blogs from 2012
Attention Children: Let’s Joke Around and Think “Outside the Box”
A recent study in England, published by United Press International, looked at different ways for parents to communicate with their toddlers (age 15-24 months) including ways to develop a sense of humor. It is worthwhile to think about our own sense of humor and how we developed it and how we use it. It can be helpful in many situations. Making friends, thinking creatively and dealing with stress are facilitated and better understood through our sense of humor.
As Dr. Elena Hoicka of the University of Stirling points out, some very special shared moments with our children can involve “joking around”. Parents take on a greater sense of animation and excitement when joking with their toddlers and preschoolers. The young child can begin to understand the difference between pretending and joking. Playing imaginary games with the intent that they are true, is interaction on one level. However, proposing an absurd idea or scenario just for the sake of humor involves a different level of interaction. The child and parent can express multiple ideas, each building on the other, in an entertaining and creative way. A sense of the absurd can be taught at a young age!
Certainly, this creative, and instructive, social dialogue with our children strengthens our relationships with them. Their future relationships with their childhood and adult peers will be enhanced as well.