At the dinner table instead of asking, "How was your day?" I'll say, "Tell me something funny that happened today." My children will then respond with jokes, puns, or simply a story about an event during the day that made them smile. They end up making me laugh, both at their jokes and their antics. Not only is it important to foster humor at home, but it's important to support it, too.
Sometimes, it's how you word things. I can instead ask them, "Tell me something crummy that happened today," and while a grown-up could easily go on for 20 minutes, a kid will laugh - at the word crummy - cause for them, that sounds funny. Often times in the car, I'll go off and sputter out a hoopla of funny words. "That lady at the check-out counter was soooo hootie tootie today. What a fribble! That was just plain poppycock. I mean, she didn't have to act so high and mighty. I thought giving her that drawing instead of money was really nice of me. She didn't have to be so persnickety about the whole matter. Now look at my drawing. Tell me this isn't worth $123.14."
When you're focused on fun, cartoons and silly cards start arriving via e-and-snail mail both. Now, instead of colleagues sending me peer-reviewed articles with a note, they send me cartoon strips. Once people know you enjoy humor, they tend to be more upbeat and share positive stories with you. I like that!
Even my extended family has taken notice of my focus on humor. Growing up on a horse ranch, they know I didn't exactly enjoy country music. The other day, one of my cousins sent me pages of unsolicited country-western comics and song titles in the mail.