The Fun & Powerful Discipline Tool that Actually Works
For more tips on humor, listen to our podcast episode The Secret Discipline Tool We All Need to Use More Often.
One of the most effective tools in discipline is also the most underutilized. Imagine getting your kids to do what you ask immediately AND with a smile on their face! What is this amazing and secret tool? It’s HUMOR, of course!
Now, if you are anything like me, then you aren’t naturally comical or funny. But that’s OK. Kids don’t care! Kids can find the smallest attempts humorous…unless you have a teenager. In that case their sense of humor may be robbed for a couple of years and you are pretty much just a dork. So good luck! Seriously though, although they can be a tougher audience, humor can even work with teens.
Benefits of Using Humor
- Builds connection (and discipline is about connection)
- Disarms a potentially tense situation
- Usually gets a much easier buy-in to the task
For those who don’t easily find the humor in every situation, here is a list of ways to use humor with kids:
Use Silly Voices
Make voices for your kids things, that they want to be put away or taken better care of
Jump around and get silly, act like a big ape, as you instruct your child or help her get started in the direction of doing what you’ve asked.
Make It a Game
Make a game of cleaning up or getting ready to go
Use Puppets or Stuffed Animals
They can act out a scenario with a lesson or they can give the instructions rather than you
Make Silly Faces
When your child is struggling to gain control of his emotions, hurt himself, or gets mad when ask him to do something, you can try asking, “What’s wrong with your face?! It looks like this!” Then imitate in a silly, fun-loving way. If your child gets more upset though, stop immediately and remedy the situation pronto! Which leads us to the one and only…
Pitfall to Humor
If your child is taking offense and/or getting more upset:
- Stop immediately
- Explain – you were trying to make things more fun and that you never meant to hurt her feelings. Then cross that technique and/or that scenario off your list for a while.