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What's So Funny? Fostering Humor in Children

by Nicole J. Dillon
July/August 2017
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Article Link: https://www.childcareexchange.com/article/whats-so-funny-fostering-humor-in-children/5023644/

Children have big belly laughs that can make anyone smile. It is estimated that children laugh 400 times a day, while adults laugh less than 10 times. What do children find so funny? How can caregivers foster a sense of humor in children, and why is it important to do so?

Humor has many benefits, not only for children but also for adults. From a health perspective, children who laugh more are less depressed, have lower heart rates, pulse and blood pressure, and have better digestion, improved immune function, and higher pain tolerance. These health benefits have been shown to continue into adulthood. In addition, children who laugh more are happier, more optimistic, have higher self-esteem, and are more liked by their peers. Being happy and optimistic also helps children handle the adversities and conflicts of childhood when they arise.

There are social benefits as well. Having a good sense of humor gives children a multitude of tools to use in various social situations. Humor teaches ­children how to:

  • see from different perspectives.
  • be spontaneous and embrace ­spontaneity in others.
  • see beneath the surface level of ­situations.
  • not take themselves too seriously.
  • enjoy and participate fully in the playful aspects of life.

Life is meant to be enjoyed, embraced, ...

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