Laughter is infectious. We only have to listen to a baby or a young child laughing to be able to piggy back on their happiness. Laughing with your child is a way to connect with him in a very positive way.
Very often we mistakenly believe that a happy baby is simply born that way, but in fact, a healthy sense of humour is not passed down through the genes but is rather something that you can help your baby develop.
Teaching him to laugh and find the humour in life is a gift he will carry into adulthood, and this gift is sure to make coping with life’s ups and downs far easier. There really is truth in the saying that laughter is the best medicine.
If you can work on developing his sense of humour you will find him to be much happier, more confident in himself, and less likely to suffer from depression in his adult years. An adult in touch with his humorous side is generally more resistant to illnesses and will not experience the stress levels that others often do. A lower heart rate, a stable blood pressure and better digestion are just some of the many physical benefits associated with being happy and with laughing.
Changing the game
But in order to get your child to the point where he will grow into a happy adult, you have to constantly change your game according to your child’s age because he will find different things funny at different stages of his life.
Although babies don’t really understand humour as such, they do respond when you’re smiling and happy. When you make funny noises or pull funny faces and then laugh or smile, your baby will sense your happiness and more often than not he will try to imitate you. As your baby grows into the toddler stage his sense of joy will include playing games like hide-and-seek, trying to give you a fright, or laughing hysterically at kiddies rhymes and sing-a-longs. He may even start to imitate cartoon characters on television in an attempt to make you laugh.
At preschool age cartoon pictures will be hilarious to him, while children at school will use their growing command of their home language to make silly talk which, once again, he will find side-splitting if he gets a response from you.
The gift of happiness
Your only role in giving the gift of happiness to your child is to recognise what he is able to comprehend as funny and grow it. But be sure to change the playful games as he grows so that you are always in touch with his abilities to find laughter along his path of life. Children can, however, go overboard because they haven’t established that all mishaps are not necessarily funny. So it is up to you to keep the boundaries in check.
With children, silly fun is great fun. Why not take a journey back in time to re-ignite your own silly sense of humour and at the same time you can show your child how easy it is to have fun!