Our society loves to laugh.
People flock to comedic movies.
Many schedule time to watch their weekly sit-com (sometimes even petitioning the “powers to be” if the show gets canceled).
Some stay up way past my bedtime to watch Saturday Night Live each weekend.
And the number one answer when asking what people look for in a lover: “someone who makes me laugh.”
So, I wonder, with all of this love for and value placed on laughter, why don’t we teach humor to our kids?
We focus on teaching our children to be good citizens, to read, write, perform math, be physically active and to have manners. Why don’t we also teach them how to have a sense of humor? Clowning classes for kiddies as part of the Core Curriculum?
I know it sounds silly. But I am actually not trying to be funny. I’m dead serious.
5 Benefits of Laughter and Humor
1. Laughter is definitely good medicine. It has been proven scientifically that a multitude of illnesses and disease, including high blood pressure and depression, can be combatted through laughing. But don’t just take my word for it, check out http://www.webmd.com/balance/features/give-your-body-boost-with-laughter. Have that daily dose of funny to keep mentally, physically and emotionally healthy.
2. Laughter brings people together. It’s a connecter. Share a laugh with someone and friendships are created, family bonds are strengthened.
3. Laughter levels the playing field. When you share a laugh with a child, you are both on the same level. You have a joke, sometimes an inside-joke. And kids love to be treated like an equal. Of course, jokes must not be at another’s expense. But telling stories of your own embarrassing moments can also help dissolve shame and embarrassment in others.
4. Laughter reduces stress. Think kids don’t have stress? Think again! Many of us cannot remember what it was like to have absolutely NO SAY in what you do, where you do it and when. Imagine constantly being told what to do while also developing your own personality. Yeah….stress.
5. Laughter diffuses anger. In a world that talks too much with hostile words and fists, teaching our kids to “find the funny” and lighten up a bit is invaluable.
I just love silly, wacky, and quirky picture books. I love to read them to myself, share them with others and even write my own.
I am done feeling inadequate because there is no “higher agenda” in my stories. Silly picture books that make kids and adults laugh-out-loud create bonds, instill a love of reading and share the gift of entertainment.
My picture books don’t set out to teach a lesson. My books, and the books I tend to enjoy the most, put FUN FIRST. And you know, perhaps that is more than enough.
Quick, find a kid. Grab a funny, laugh-out-loud picture book. And have a blast! You will be teaching a world of good.
6/28/2013 10:01:19 pm
So well said and so true! There is nothing more enjoyable than reading an absolutely silly picture book to a class of squirming first graders. Everybody sits up, pays attention and there's always lots of "audience participation." Laughter helps them relax, refocus and forget their petty annoyances with each other. A good belly laugh also blows all the tension out of the classroom and kids are able to get back to their work refreshed and uplifted. I love a good book that informs students with a lesson, but there's nothing like sharing an all-out silly book. We all come away with big smiles, a joyful classroom memory--and better class work!
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