Wednesday, June 29, 2011

Raising Funny Kids

Kids who grow up in a negative atmosphere are less likely to appreciate a healthy sense of humor and lighthearted living. 

On the other hand, kids raised in a happy, well-adjusted home with an abundance of humor and laughter tend to react more positively to harmless practical jokes, story telling, and mirth. This environment allows kids (and parents) a chance to lighten-up, to participate readily in laughter, to understand humor, and to not take themselves too seriously when they grow up. 

My kids love practical jokes. Hiding their toys and sending instead a slew of ransom notes cracks my son up. My daughter likes humorous, ironic one-liners to add to her messenger window. 

The Humor Index asks 12 questions to help you assess your background and upbringing in terms of permission to be lighthearted.

During childhood and adolescent years...(mark 1 for NEVER/RARELY; 2 for OCCASIONALLY; 3 for SOMETIMES; 4 for QUITE OFTEN; 5 for ALMOST ALWAYS... then add them up at the bottom) 

1. I had permission to laugh out loud. _______
2. I can remember specific incidences when I laughed out loud. _______
3. My mother or adult female caretaker laughed out loud. _______
4. My father or adult male caretaker laughed out loud. _______
5. Our family had a sense of humor, either noisy or quiet. _______
6. There was a sense of optimism in our family. _______
7. We celebrated birthdays, anniversaries, or other significant milestones. _______
8. We had a pet in our home. _______
9. I enjoyed harmless practical jokes. _______
10. We sang, danced or played together, either as a partial or whole family. _______
11. Mealtime was a fun time at our house. _______
12. We ate ice cream or other comfort foods. _______


Scores may vary. While you'd normally find a scale indicating a statistical break-down of how you answered compared to other people, here, you'll only find a heartfelt sentiment - mine.

Celebration, festivity, mirth, story-telling, hilarity, and playfulness builds hope - in ourselves and in others. Children, in particular, love to laugh. It has been reported that children laugh approximately 400 times a day, while adults, if they're lucky, laugh only 15 times.

We don't all need to carry a red, rubber nose and a pair of silly eyeglasses with us, but we could. I mean, why not?  Do the cost-benefit analysis. 

$.78 cents = Making a Kid Laugh.... 
(if you grew up in the 80s, you already know what I'm going to say)

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