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So we’ve been told that laughter is the best medicine. But honestly, at times of desperation (to get kids dressed up for school, to get kids to finish their homework, to get kids into the showers…), laughter just seems to be the last thing on your mind. To help you (and convince you!) along, we’ve decided to do a little research and present you with a list of 11 reasons why you should laugh with your child (despite feeling uptight).

    • A good sense of humor (learnt from a child’s environment) helps the child be better able to see things in different perspectives

 

  • Makes them spontaneous and not rigid

 

 

  • Helps them to understand unconventional ideas or ways of thinking (promotes creativity)

 

 

  • See implications beyond the surface of things

 

 

  • Enjoy and participate actively in the things they do

 

 

  • Reduce the possibility of developing depression (also in later years)

 

 

  • Cope better in stressful situations

 

 

  • Children laugh more when there are people around them

 

 

  • May have an increased resistance in illness and or physical problems (less stress, lower blood pressure, better digestion)

 

 

  • Laughter increases blood flow by 20%

 

 

  • Your child would probably not laugh as much when he/she grows older. (Children on average laugh 200 times a day, adults on average laugh 15-18 times a day)

 

 

That said, it is also important to draw boundaries in humor as with all other areas. Avoid mean-spirited, hurtful and inappropriate jokes at all cost. Take time to explain why those jokes are not funny and how they would hurt people’s feelings.

With all the boundaries in place, go ahead and have a good laugh!

References
Caps, D. (2006). The Psychological Benefits of Humor. Pastoral Psychology 54(5), 393-411. DOI: 10.1007/s11089-005-0007-9.Chapman, A. J. (1975). Humorous laughter in children. Journal of Personality and Social Psychology 31(1), 42-49. DOI:10.1037/h0076235

Kids Health (n.d.). Encouraging your child’s sense of humor. Retrieved from http://kidshealth.org/parent/growth/learning/child_humor.html#