pee-pah-pawOne of my very favourite human qualities is a sense of humour. I must confess that I sometimes find people lacking this wonderful quality, as boring. It isn’t nice of course but I believe a sense of humour is paramount to any human’s well being or even survival. Especially if you’re a mom.

I love all kinds of humour: simple, sophisticated, absurd, or even black humour. By the latter, I mean of course, serious matters that are funny.

When my days are filled with screams and cries and tantrums, the only thing that keeps me afloat is laughing about it. And when I share my pearls of wisdom on Facebook, not only does it make me feel better, it makes others feel better, too. I also love reading snarky, funny, honest posts that make me nod my head in agreement. When times are hard, humour helps me survive.

We all know that parenting is tough and humour can help with that as well. I, for one, rely heavily on it. When my daughter refuses to put on her jacket, I ask her to put on her pj’s. Then her bathing suit. Then her bathrobe. She laughs, says no to all I suggest and puts on her jacket without any problems. That is, obviously provided that I actually remember to laugh instead of to yell.

I often try to persuade my big girl that I have 10 legs. She kindly and patiently explains that no I really can’t have 10 legs. “Why?” I ask her. She tries to explain that humans only have 2 legs but to no avail. I really need to know why I only have 2 legs, not 10. I mean, 2 legs, how lame is that! At some point, she cracks up and so do I and we both laugh until we can’t laugh anymore.

So you see, it is not very surprising that I want my children to have a sense of humour and a big one at that. Puns, laughter and jokes are normal in our house. And already, I begin seeing it in my children. For instance, I loved a recent conversation with my three-year old.

“Mama?”- she asks me, with a glint in her eye, and a smile playing in the corner of her mouth.

“Yes, J?”- I answer, wondering what she’s going to say.

“Mama?”- she repeats, her tone still serious but the smile more visible.

“Yes, J?”- I repeat, not sure what to think of it.

“Pee-Pah-Paw!” she says, out of nowhere, her laughter filling the house. “Pee-pah-paw”- I say, and soon the whole family joins her till our bellies hurt.

My baby has a mischievous smile that makes my heart melt. When he laughs, I think I’m the luckiest mom on Earth. I ‘m sure that he too will grow up to have a sense of humour, just like his sisters.

I especially love when they make multilingual jokes, like “Ja-vocado” and “Nie-vocado” (“ja” is “yes” in German while “nie” means “no” in Polish). When asked what a ja-vocado is, my eldest daughter said that it’s a fruit that is yellow on the outside and pink on the inside and it is sweet and very delicious and that she likes it a lot.Funny that she can imagine liking fruit that doesn’t even exist.

I am always surprised how many functions humour can have: it can help you through tough times. It can turn a rejection into cooperation, in children and adults alike. It makes children clever and great with languages. It makes us see things in a different way.This is why I feel it is so important.

I’m not funny all the time, though and that’s fine. It’s OK to be sad sometimes. I won’t pretend that my day is better than it is. But when I remember, I find in myself the strength to stick my tongue out at the universe and say: “Pee-Pah-Paw”. And laugh until my belly hurts.

Are you raising your kids to have a sense of humour or appreciate humour?

This is an original post to World Moms Blog from our writer in the Netherlands, Olga Mecking.

The image used in this post is credited to cherijoyful. It holds a Flickr Creative Commons attribution license.

Olga Mecking

Olga is a Polish woman living in the Netherlands with her German husband. She is a multilingual expat mom to three trilingual children (even though, theoretically, only one is trilingual since she's old enough to speak). She loves being an expat, exploring new cultures, learning languages, cooking and raising her children. Occasionally, Olga gives trainings in intercultural communication and works as a translator. Otherwise, you can find her sharing her experiences on her blog, The European Mama. Also take a while to visit her Facebook page .

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