Humor and the Healthy Child
Summary: Having a sense of humor is incredibly important. We talk to Ellen Reddick of the Impact Factory about the affect of humor on our children socially, emoionally, mentally, and even physically. What humor does for children is: Give them the ability/judgment to recognize what is funny/humorous from something that is not–so they laugh at appropriate things and time Laughter is a way of connecting with others A good sense of humor is a tool that your child can rely on throughout life to help him or her: see things from many perspectives other than the most obvious be spontaneous grasp unconventional ideas or ways of thinking see beyond the surface of things enjoy and participate in the playful aspects of life not take himself or herself too seriously Children with a well-developed sense of humor are happier and more optimistic, have higher self-esteem, and can handle differences (their own and others’) well. Kids who can appreciate and share humor are better liked by their peers and more able to handle the adversities of childhood — from moving to a new town, to teasing, to torment by playground bullies. And a good sense of humor doesn’t just help your child emotionally or socially — research has shown that people who laugh more are healthier. They are less likely to be depressed and may even have an increased resistance to illness or physical problems. They experience less stress; have lower heart rates, pulses, and blood pressure; and have better digestion. Laughter may even help humans better endure pain and studies have shown that it improves our immune function. But most of all, a sense of humor is what makes life fun. There are few pleasures that rival yukking it up with your child.