How does humour help you be a better parent?

Amanda asks if employing humour can be a valuable parenting tool

By Amanda Factor
How does humour help you be a better parent?

I was lucky to have a really funny mom growing up. She was hilarious, and she would make my sister and I laugh until we cried. Whenever September was approaching, my mother would joke about how happy she was that my sister and I were finally going back to school. She would throw up her hands and sing "Hallelujah! Hallelujah!", much to our delight.

I recently asked on Facebook if anyone had ever used humour to help with a parenting situation. Turns out a number of you have! Here are some examples you gave us:

"Saying the opposite of what I want him to do — mainly eating his food. We say, 'Don't you eat those noodles! They'll make you grow and I don't want you to grow!' and then it turns from a battle to a laughing family and empty plates." -Kim

"We often sing 'You Can't Always Get What You Want' to our kids. They don't like it anymore, LOL, but it helps us. We also sometimes make a funny face at them when it's getting too intense. Or grab them and swing them upside down to make them laugh instead of fight." -Cindy

"My niece was very sad over the loss of her grandmother and wouldn't laugh or smile. I told her of the time my daughter was pooped on by a bird at the zoo and she began to laugh. Now whenever she is sad we say, 'Remember when the bird...' and it always makes her laugh and smile!" -Tara

I started talking like my five-year-old, whining and being bossy. She started laughing and stopped. We try to use it when we can." -Rebecca

"When my son 'accidentally' peed in the garbage can beside the toilet, it was the most ridiculous situation and I was horrified, but I didn't want to create anxiety about it." -Rhonda

Love these examples! What about you? Have you ever turned a tense parenting situation into a funny one by using humour?

Photo by angelina_koh via Flickr.

This article was originally published on Feb 10, 2012

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