“Humor is a rubber sword—it allows you to make a point without drawing blood.” —Mary Hirsch
Careful here, Dad. Sarcasm ain’t funny. Making fun of your daughter’s new hairstyle is not a good idea. Joking with your son about his falling batting average is a formula for a cold shoulder.
On the other hand, a little laughter will often help defuse an uncomfortable situation.
When your two middle-schoolers are arguing about what TV program to watch, you could insist on watching the Shirley Temple movie marathon. When your 17-year-old daughter whines that her car (which you bought for her) isn’t swanky enough, reminisce how you walked 10 miles to school in the snow, uphill both ways. When your seven-year-old won’t eat his asparagus, grab a stalk from your plate and challenge him to a fencing duel. Loser must finish his veggies.
Humor works. But don’t make your kid the punch line. The best humor for dads is the self-deprecating kind in which the laughter is directed back at you.
Dad, I think you can take it. Especially if your kids are laughing right along with you.
What about you?
If you find yourself mocking or teasing your kid, back off. It may be impossible to know when they’re okay with it. Or when their spirit or self-image is being crushed. Better to make yourself the butt of jokes. And just laugh it off.
Adapted from: One-Minute Devotions for Dads. Copyright © 2012 by Jay Payleitner. Published by Harvest House Publishers, Eugene, OR. Used by permission.