I am beginning to believe that developing a good sense of humor as a child just might be one of the most important puzzle pieces to a successful and healthy future.Even though we attempt to plan for our future, life has a way of dealing out unpredictable surprises. In the midst of the most sad and serious moments I have had to endure, I like to believe God is the one sending me a silly moment that makes me chuckle to lighten the burden.
As a parent and grandparent I believe It is so important to encourage a child’s sense of humor. Be silly, read silly books with your child, make humor and laughter a part of each day. It is never to late to teach a child to develop a healthy sense of humor. I heard someone say once that a good sense of humor in life, is like shock absorbers are to vehicles. It can take away some of those nasty, unpleasant bumps. It truly is as Bill Cosby puts it, once you find laughter, know matter how painful your situation might be you can survive it. Be sure to make many fun and silly memories, so your child has many to select from when experiencing a difficult time!
As a caregiver I have seen the positive effects of humor. It can diffuse aggression and anger, as well as turn tears into a smile. It also has a calming effect when someone feels nervous or embarrassed. Small children respond to “Oh no, You must have forgot to put your smile on this morning!” Causing the child to stop and think about getting dressed and physically putting a smile on, just might be enough to redirect the unhappy thought and mood and engage them in a playful imaginary hunt for their lost smile.
A very important thing to remember is humor must never be hurtful or disrespectful. It is possible to recognize funny situations or find humor in a funny story without making fun of a person. I really believe that our “bullying” situations in our schools are simply misguided children, attempting to get people to like them or get noticed by making others laugh, at the expense of another person. I have seen adults with low self-esteem attempt to make themselves look better by tearing another person down and then boasting about their own abilities. Sadly many times they are not at all aware of what they are doing. This is simply what they have felt they needed to do and have been doing it their entire lives.
I found a beautiful blog: Sending Hope by: Tracy Hodge That speaks of this very issue. She puts it so perfectly that I am feeling the need to share her words. This is how she put it… Great people, truly great people, are not afraid of the greatness of others. They are not intimidated nor are they threatened when others around them succeed or even surpass them. Great people enjoy lifting others up and never mind showing others the way. On the other hand, small people like to be surrounded by other small people. Small people tear others down in laughter and seldom offer a kind word unless it is to flatter someone in their favor. Small people gossip out of jealousy and have no concept of loyalty. (You can read the entire blog by clicking here)
Two very important things to remember….. Always remember before you put on a frown, make absolutely certain there are no smiles available. and…..If you meet someone without a smile, give them one of yours. You may never know what a positive affect that may bring to the person who has none.
With respect, hope, joy and love, Carmela