In the recent days, the best kind of humour at our home is the silly talks and gestures of our 2-year old. The little boy had done all the similar kinds of silly things as a toddler, but today that he’s outgrown doing such things, he finds humour when he sees his baby sister doing it all. Sometimes, it’s only when my son laughs aloud for a funny pronunciation of her’s that I realize the humour in it, for otherwise the adult in me goes on with the mundane chores, blind to the sense of humour of the children’s kind.
This post is a part of a series of posts on this blog on The Things that really matter to Children. Scroll to the bottom of this post to see the complete list of posts in the series.
H for Humour: Seeing the Humour in our Children – where it belongs to!
Children develop a sense of humour very early as infants. Babies giggle as we throw them in the air, they laugh as we tickle them and they find our silly faces and sounds very very funny! As I wonder how little children relate and respond to these triggers with humour and amusement, it makes me assume perhaps it is to them that humour belongs, for it is so spontaneous to them.
When toddlers grow to the next stage, they understand they shouldn’t be laughing when thrown in air and that wearing the shoes wrong side isn’t funny anymore. But still the funny verses of Mr. Men Classics are sure to ignite a cacophony of laughter riots among preschoolers and kindergartens.
And as socialization gets bigger, their sense of humour takes in a different dimension when children begin to laugh for the sake of the fun they get in a group. Throwing in a meaningless rhyme, singing mismatched words and anything small that is out-of-place of its belonging is funny to a group of children. When they are among their peer group, humour is a matter of great importance because it gives them the feeling of being included and involved in the group.
Seeing humour in my children, I realize how different it is from our’s. Though I admire and smile when I see my little girl laughing even at the 12th round of peekaboo, I cannot but feel bored for the 13th round. While I listen to the very important, very serious conversion between my boy and my girl about taking the teddy bear to the doctor because it has fever and has to be given a bandage, I quietly laugh to myself, though I fail to bring out the spontaneous outrage of laughter that children will do if they understood incongruities as this.
If you’ve known me personally as a hostel mate or a colleague, you will know the ‘terribility’ in my laughter waves. I could easily be triggered to laugh and once started it would go unpredictably. However, the version of my humour sense wasn’t the same after years I left college and work. Just like children, our ability to pick up humour depends on our social circle, and so when we reach parenthood and begin to interact with the funny sides of children, we will have to fine tune a balance between not being so rigid about children’s humour and not giving away the originality of our emotions.
I do laugh with my son when my girl tries to put in both her legs into one side of the pant, but it is funny in the real sense to my 6-year old boy and not as much to me as it is for him. Yet, at every parenting stage, regardless of how preoccupied or busy I am with my adult chores, I’ve realized celebrating humour with children is as important as feeding any of their other creative interests. Many times have gone past without me having noticed an opportunity to laugh with my children. As I write this, I tell myself to be easy with them a little more, may be not as much as to be easy on a cup of spilt milk on the sofa though it isn’t bad if I do it once in a while, if it is going to make me laugh with them.
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List of posts in the Series
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