Being a parent is a serious subject. However, it must be balanced by a sense of humor. I don’t know about you, but I love cooking shows. Yes, I am a dad and love the food network. One of the goals that is continuously reinforced is to balance flavors and textures. Sweet, sour, rich, light, creamy, and crispy can always be found in a chef’s determination to provide a balanced dish. I would like to assert that your parenting is like a dish that you wish to serve.
We all want smart and socially adapted children. We want them to be strong and prepared for life once they leave our “kitchen”. However, if you don’t include a sense of humor in your upbringing, your child will lack a real sense of balance. We cannot take every issue or situation without laughing at life’s little curve balls, mistakes, or misunderstandings.
You have to laugh. Laugh at yourself and each other. Yes, I said “and each other”. Life is too short. Laughter is a healing, healthy, and fun activity. My favorite sound in the world is a babies laugh. You know the one I’m talking about…when they just cackle. If you don’t know what I’m talking about, go on youtube and select babies laughing. I can watch that for a long time.
Kids need to laugh. They need to see you laugh. They need to laugh at you. They need to laugh at themselves. They need to feel that bond that they can develop with a laugh partner. I remember when my kids were little. I would do the dumbest things to get them to laugh. I would embarrass myself, tell jokes, tickle them. They needed to see that side of me.
So many times I hear about fathers that weren’t around. I also hear about fathers that had no sense of humor. Wow, that’s kind of like NOT being there if you ask me. As serious and ugly as life can be, they need to see your joy. That relaxes a child. It lowers their stress. With lower stress levels, your child is healthier, happier, and can learn better.
Check out this link. https://kidshealth.org/en/parents/child-humor.html
Laugh with your kids. Watch funny videos. Tell funny stories, and be able to laugh at life. As a dad, you are going to make a lot of mistakes. Obviously not everything is a joke. However, the more you can laugh at or laugh off, will lesson your feelings of inadiquacy. I have tripped, made messes, and even had to chase my own car. All of which still prompt laughs and smiles today. Yes, I said chase my car.
When my kids were little I had my dream car. It was a 1972 VW Beetle. I loved that car. However, it had some issues. In addition to the fact that my wife called it an Easter Egg because of its paint job, it had starting issues. Therefore, when the turn of the key did not do it, I had 2 wires that would crank the engine when touched together. Keep in mind that the engine of this particualr vehicle is in the back.
One evening, I needed to go to the store. The bug was parked out front in the street. This particular day was a “no key start” day. So I had to get out of the car, go to the back, lift up the hood, and touch the 2 wires together so it would turn over. With my wife on te porch, and my youngest 2 children outside playing in the sprinkler, I cranked over the engine. However, I had forgotten that I had the car in gear. To my amazement and horor, the wires connected and grabbed together. This cause the cranking to continue and my car took off. Yes, going down the street without me.
The initial reaction was one of shock, to everyone. I jumped up from my squatted position and took off running. Thank goodness the door was open. I dove into the car, slamming on my brake with my hand as my legs were dangling outside. The car came to a studdering start without the clutch pushed in. I took a sigh of relief, then immediately realized my embarrassment. A half block away, I heard laughing. My kids were in stitches. My wife was rolling on the porch.
You may be thinking that this could have been serious. However, since my body and the car were safe, it instantly turned into a frenzy of roaring laughter that lasted for at least 20 minutes. It is now a story for all social occasions and gets the same amount laughs. Funny things, dumb things, and unplanned things are going to happen. Be a dad that can laugh at yourself. Be a dad that doesn’t take everything so seriously. Be the best dad possible.