Dads have a special and very different kind of humor and that helps kids develop their own understanding and sense of humor. Humor is much more than a reaction to a funny event, it is really a series of complex thinking. Children first need to notice what is happening and recognize that it is not usual or normal. In order to respond on an emotional level, kids have to figure out if this unusual situation is funny or not. Then, children need to match their feelings to their behavior, either laughing or displaying another reaction. That’s several things that all need to be connected.
Have you ever listened to kids telling jokes? They do not always get the right punch line, because they are still figuring out the connections and developing their sense of humor.
These two jokes seem to be typical of dad humor:
Q. What does a dad say when you ask to leave the table?
A. “Where do you want to leave it?”
Q. What does a dad say when he is asked to put the barbecue on?
A. “I don’t think it will fit me.”
There is a super book called “My Dad Thinks He’s Funny” written by Katrina Germein and illustrated by Tom Jellet. The whole book has pages of examples, such as:
When I say, “Dad, do you know what?” he says,
“No, I don’t know What but I know his brother.” and
When I tell Dad my foot hurts, he says, “No problem. You’ve got another.”
The entire book has more of dads’ special flavor of humor. To both celebrate Father’s Day and help children develop their own sense of humor, talk with them about how dad is funny. Maybe they could learn a joke that they could share with their dad. What other funny things do dads do and say?