Do you remember the saying,
"Give me a fish and I'll eat for a day, teach me to fish and I'll eat for a lifetime"?
It is as true for laughter as it is for seafood!
"Tell me a joke, and I'll laugh for a minute.
Teach me good humor, and I'll laugh for a lifetime."
This actually became one of my parenting goals: to teach my kids good humor in the context and safety of home. In the process of learning how to do this, some basic principles began to emerge. I call them my 10 Rules & Regs for Humor. (This quick list is excerpted from one of the most popular workshops I ever presented, The Hilarious Homeschool.)
1) Don't gain a laugh at someone else's expense—If it makes fun of someone else, don't do it.
2) Snide remarks, put-downs, and demeaning sarcasm are NOT allowed—Speak the truth in LOVE.
3) Ethnic jokes CAN be, "We belong, they don't!"—Making fun of other cultures and people-groups devalues those made in God's image.
4) Crude jokes are in bad taste—Adults need to be the ones who set the standard for wholesome humor.
6) Memorize a few good jokes—Give your kids success through tried-and-true laughter makers!
7) Play with language—Try traditional ways, like limericks or "spoonerisms."
8) Home must be safe—Make sure your entire family plays by these rules: demeaning, disrespect, and making fun of others is NOT ALLOWED.
9) Practice makes funny—Take time and make the effort to play with humor. . .Put it on your calendar and in your schedule!
10) Good humor at home uses wisdom—"Finally, brothers and sisters, whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable—if anything is excellent or praiseworthy—think about such things." Philippians 4:8
According to Proverbs 17:22, "A cheerful heart is good medicine. . ." And, believe me, you need this kind of prescription!
Remember, laughter is one of the best ways to cheer up a home, especially one filled with fun-loving kids!!
For more explanation of these ten rules and regs, along with some of the funniest stories from my homeschool adventures, check out my Hilarious Homeschool Workshop on CD.