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Book:H20:Install#9/Humor-Bridge Over Troubled Waters

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Installment #11/Ch 3/Gaining Perspective/Introduction

Installment #8, #9, #10-

H20 to Go! Chapter 2: Humor Bridge Over Troubled Waters


H20 to Go!

Growing Emotional Resilience and Navigating Through Childhood with Heart, Humor & Optimism

By Margo Judge

Updated 2009

H20 to Go! Copyright, 2004
By  Margo Judge

All rights reserved.
All material on this website protected.
Permission granted for reprinting with
Attribution to Margo@MomOpinion Matters (TM)


Exerpt from Preface

....Next Humor.

The second attribute, following closely behind Heart is Humor. As with Heart, Humor is not what it seems on the surface.

When we think Humor, we think funny-- something we hear, or see, or do that makes us chuckle or laugh.

Children have a natural affinity with humor. That is why so many young children’s books, videos and music

are filled with humorous anecdotes, scenes and lyrics. Very young children love the exaggerated,

the absurd or the silly. And there is nothing more infectious than the sound of a small child’s giggles.

Laughter has also been said to increase the heart rate and relieve stress.

My grandfather knew of a Russian doctor who would prescribe tickling for 15 minutes to bring down a child’s fever!


But Humor offers much more than making our children laugh and feel better. It serves as way to better understand their world.

It is actually the very, very beginnings of Perspective. When young children see a car in the shape of a banana,

or a candelabra that sings, a rat as a chef, or a penguin tap dancing, they are being offered an alternative interpretation of their physical world.

When they can view something turn upside down, or inside out, become larger than life, or shrunk to bite size,

they are learning perspective in a very creative, child-friendly way. As our children move into tweenhood, and teenage hood,

the ability to step back and view circumstances from an such an alternative perspective will be critical

in keeping them from getting stuck in the moment—the single most destructive trap into which a middle school or High School student can fall

(I speak of this in detail in Chapter 3 and 4--Taking in The View)


Installment #8, #9, #10
Installment #8/
Chapter Two Preview
A Truism:
When we smile, our children begin to smile.
When we laugh, our children learn to laugh.
When we show joy, our children will know Joy. 
Preview of Chapter Two:
We are charging our little one's Heart. It will take a long time to fully charge.
Until then Heart remains fragile, vulnerable and in great need of our protection. Protecting Heart
Our baby is growing quickly into toddlerhood.
And just as quickly, its new world comes blasting in view.
How to interpret and cope with all our child will see and hear and do?
Why Humor?  What is Humor's more serious purpose?
And how does it apply in grade school?
Wdnesday, we will talk seriously about Humor.
 Until then, a little humor for us!
Where is The Translator For Mom?
Pricilla Dunstan, from Australia
who has actually actually deciphered goo goo's and ga-ga's,
can tell us what babies are actually saying, asking or complaining about!
Link: Baby Language
Who knew that:
  Neh-means I'm hungry
  Uah-Im sleepy
  Eairh- I have lower gas
  Eh-I need to burp!
Her theory holds that all babies make reflex sounds and by recognizing those reflex sounds, we moms and dads can understand

what our babies are trying to tell us.

I actually think that babies are getting far too much ‘observation' attention! It's not fair!

They are offered all sorts of developmental toys and music tapes,colors and sounds, activities videos

and all for the sole purpose of developing that little nescient mind-to grow as smart as ten colleges! (As my aunt used to say!)

Well, what about us parents? Where are our fun developmental toys

that could take us from new mom cluelessness to savoir faire!!??

Where are the music tapes that could calm us after being up all night

treating earaches, stomach aches, or exhausted all day from colic and/or teething?

All we get are books (like mine!?) and magazines, and lectures and websites (like mine??!!)

And most importantly, where is that someone, anywhere in the world,

willing to study the universal reflex expressions that every new parent has?

Wouldn't it be most beneficial for a spouse to be able to translate and understand

the following desperate looks:

I don't want to cook!
I need help with the laundry!
I want to take a shower-uninterrupted!
I am begging for one full night's sleep!

Or, how about getting our babies to understand the word
Precilla, are you listening?

Installment #9
Humor-A Bridge Over Troubled Waters
Look! A bridge! It will take us safely across the currents. We can look out and below.
We can lean over and watch the water churn, swirl and punch the nearby rocks. Tomorrow will bring calmer winds.
But until then, let's take in the view and laugh at such aqua Kung Fu imagining the waves having a very bad hair day fighting the enemy!
Long before the world comes calling,
and people flash messages too bright and loud,
our children can laugh at all they see,
and find humor somewhere in that noisy crowd ..
"It might be helpful for you to know that Lisa's mobile contains a scene from the Sistine Ceiling.
She never plays with toys just for fun, and she is working with an eye consultant to develop her eye contact
because she seems interested in neurosurgery.
She is in the 90th percentile of her sandbox!
'Toilet Trained for Yale' by Ralph Shoenstein
It was time for new books, and a friend and I decided to have lunch and both go to the bookstore.
We had never discussed our children's reading, so this was to be our first joint foray.
I thought together, we would browse, select, compare and in my case, ultimately buy more than was really necessary at one time.
But when we walked inside, how quickly instinct took over, and how clear it became that this was not to be a "shared experience."
She veered off in the direction of "serious" reading appropriate for eight or nine year olds and I found myself once again,
pulled to the Humor Section for--I can't even say "appropriate" rather, whatever would be funny to an eight or nine year old.
We were aisles apart for quite some time. I caught a glimpse of her at one point, engrossed in the back cover of a paperback.
I looked down at my own selection. I turned to the back. Hilarious! Lots of whimsy! A delight for all ages!
And I thought just for a moment that maybe I needed to grow up! Maybe, my son needed to get serious about life! Maybe.
But that "maybe" only lasted a moment. I held tight to my books.
We met up finally and she showed me one of the two books she had selected- a true story about a young girl traveling out west
in a covered wagon, and all the struggles and perils that accompanied such an arduous trip. My friend said she felt it necessary
for fortunate children like ours, to know how difficult times were and how hard and dangerous every day existence was for other children.
And what did I get? Certainly, the books I had chosen would in no way expand my son's awareness
of the challenging or frightening aspects growing up in a particular era, or environment.
No, they would just make him laugh at characters in various silly or outrageous situations.
I showed her my books without comment. She said, oh light reading, huh? I simply smiled back and said,
Yes, light reading for us both!  Another difference--She was no longer reading with her son. I still was.
Looking back on that day, I remember exactly how I felt and I have not changed my opinion in all these years 
(My son is now 23)
Growing a child has three main parts. The first, Growing A Heart, I've already talked about in Chapter One with
Honoring Shyness, Nurturing Sensitivity and Safekeeping Spirituality.Heart The second will be offering Humor.
As I said in my preface,Preface it is the very early beginnings of Perspective which will be very needed in middle school.
Perspective will probably be the single most important escape hatch a growing child and young teen can have
in their moment driven existence. It forms the foundation for what will later become the capacity to step outside of themselves
and see more clearly both their present and their future. Perspective eventually leads to Optimism-an important motivator in high school.
For very young children, Humor offers a way to view their world and as they grow older, a technique for coping with it.
We want our children to develop as many coping skills as possible for we don't want them getting stuck inside a particular feeling for too long-
a big theme in this book. Humor offers a chance for our children to relax and interpret circumstances that may be beyond their control.
If Heart is like a battery that needs to connect and charge, then Humor is the filter on a lens.
And I profoundly believe that until children turn eleven, this filter should be used in abundance.
Children will discover the sharp reality of their world all too soon.
They will view it on television, on the Internet, at school, with their peers.
When they become all too aware of the scenes before them, we can make Humor equal in power
to anything they might hear or see that's disturbing or frightening.
Humor is absolutely vital for children's physical and emotional well being.
We know that a child who seldom smiles or laughs will not be an emotionally healthy child.
Often, we don't think to make a conscious effort to get our children laughing.
We get caught up in worries about their social or cognitive development, or about our families, or our work,
and we literally forget. And so, in between setting limits, standing firm on consequences, nagging about homework and chores,
treating an illness or injury, we want to make sure our children also regularly laugh. If we can offer as many ways as possible
then later on, they will be able to laugh at themselves; they will not take the world around them too seriously;
they will have a release mechanism and a way to cope. Particularly in today's world, where it seems increasingly difficult
to protect our children from realities they should not be exposed to until much later, they need the Humor filter on their camera lens.
There are a myriad of choices for introducing Humor to toddlers. But, how can we continue Humor for our grade school children?
We can encourage them to describe and and allow them to act out situations in the privacy of our homes. If they had a bad teacher day, for example,
we can say that it sounds like the teacher had a bad hair day-explain the expression and suggest she might need a different hairstyle!
And what do you both think could be done with her hair? Oh well, we all have bad hair days and wouldn't it be nice
if we could change our hair when that happens. Maybe we would feel better if we looked different.
(Again, the beginning of Perspective which is what we want to promote) Next time, your child has a tough teacher day,
he/she will think of the hair. And in the car, or when you arrive home, you can ask, so? What kind of a hair day was it? Really? Why?
Oh dear, that sounds like major hair change time, huh? Quick! Get the hair dye, and the brush and the comb!
And if Mommy had a bad hair day, you both can compare notes! Let you child offer suggestions about what should be done
with your co-worker's hair! (Hmm, that would be fun!)
We can also share past experiences of our own.  We all have stories that when we look back, now seem humorous.
If not, we can make stories funny simply by laughing when we tell them. That signals to our children that we can laugh at a situation or ourselves.
We can encourage them towards humor in their writing assignments for school. We can compete with them when they're little
for what's sillier,(make up silly combinations or scenarios) when they're older-what's funnier,(compare movies) when they're teenagers-what's more outrageous (u-tube videos, or news reports) (will discuss this further on in the book)
In the end, Humor can hand to our children a very creative form of self-expression as well as a tool for emotional resilience
that will remain invaluable throughout their lives. And, if we are growing an adult, let's be honest.
Who doesn't want to marry someone with a sense of humor? And who wouldn't want a parent with a sense of humor?
So, about traveling out west in a covered wagon? Unless it was an 8 year old's version of "Blazing Saddles"
I would not have bought it!  The capacity to feel concern for another comes from Heart and Love
and from acts of kindness and a sense of generosity started very early in a child's immediate surroundings.
My son did grew into a very serious student. However, many hilarious discussions did go on with his father
(who is largely responsible for instilling the kind of humor that had me both cringing and laughing hysterically in our kitchen)
before they both got down to more seriousness of purpose!!
They continue to this day to verbally spar, and shoot witty darts at each other-and still, in the kitchen!

 Let's laugh a lot with our grade schoolers. And no matter what might be going on in our personal and/or work life,
we can learn to put on a happy face. This is part of our homework as parents and so important for our children.
They watch our faces very closely and they can gain tremendous emotional sustenance simply from our positive expressions.
If Humor can play an active role all through elementary school, our kids will develop some much needed emotional padding
when middle school comes calling to challenge their identity, their sense of self-confidence and their social and academic standing.
Even if it means our children laugh at us. That's ok. At some point they will move on to funnier targets. The ingrates!!
And remember-a hearty laugh at ourselves is sometimes the best example we can set for our kids.
Installment #10
An Easy To Do Idea for bringing Humor to the kitchen table every day.

The Final Word:

‘Talkin Silly'
I mentioned this before, but it is also in my book.
"Silly Sentences" is a fun way to bring Humor to the dinner table.

1)  Your child/children will bring home a vocabulary list.
2)  If you have more than one child and several lists designate one list per meal.
3)  Take the first word from the list and present its meaning to all at the table.
4)  Then everyone present gets to make up funny sentences with that word.
     The sentences can be as silly or outrageous as everyone would like,
     as long as the word stays true to its meaning.
5)  Go through the entire list of words.

One of the added advantages of playing "Silly Sentences" is that kids actually remember the words.
They might grin or chuckle during a quiz, but you can explain why at the parent/teacher conference.
Also, if anyone has had a bad hair day,
using words and humor is a good stress reliever.
Finally, it can become a tradition and something to put in the Memory Chest
Collecting Good Memories

Silly Sentences can be played any time--
while fixing food,, driving, bath time-
all you need is your child and the list.
So, have a fun weekend ‘talkin silly'

See you next week when H20 to Go! gets on the road.

I will be spending a lot of time on Perspective from Grade School

through Middle School. Here we go-on the road to Optimism,

Moral Courage, and Emotional Maturity.

Next Installment #11

Installment #11/Ch 3/Gaining Perspective/Introduction


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