Parenting Coach

Practical ideas for social, emotional and behavioral challenges

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Joke around.

What you can do

Make good humor part of your daily encounters with your child. Share and discuss amusing observations. Praise your child for being funny.

Explain how humor can be used to defuse teasing and difficult social situations. Show him how to use humor and laugh at himself. Whenever possible, share stories about how you used humor to be part of the joke, not the butt of it.

What you can say

“Jacob, you have a great sense of humor. Use it. When someone makes fun of you, he’s looking to get a reaction from you. He might not expect you to react with humor and laughter.”

“When I got teased as a kid about being short, I’d tell whoever was teasing me that I’d hoped he wouldn’t notice I’m short, but he was just too clever. If someone teases you about being short, you could thank him for pointing this out and say that now you finally know why you can’t reach things that are high up. And then smile or giggle. It’s hard to make fun of someone who’s laughing with you.”

Why this will help

Humor can allow your child to be part of the group, not outside it. Cultivating humor can help make social interactions easier and more enjoyable, setting the stage for friendships. It can help your child deal with feelings of anger and even inferiority.

If he can laugh at himself, others will be laughing with him, not at him. This can also help your child accept his own weaknesses and at the same time redirect the focus to an area of strength, such as humor or big-heartedness.

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