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Contrary to popular belief, humans aren’t born with funny bones.

Your sense of humor isn’t a molecule in your DNA. You learned your funny business from your family, beginning on the day you were born. Which may explain a lot, right?

Here’s how it works:

Babies don’t actually understand what is funny, but they sure do understand the language of joy. Go ahead, if you must, and smile at your newborn. And when your baby is about nine months old, she’ll giggle at your gootchie-gootchies, tickles, and tummy-raspberries! Sigh. Is there anything better than a baby laughing?

Toddlers are natural clowns. If you let them know they’re funny, they’ll just keep trying to make you laugh! And if you do something silly, like putting their pants on your head, their little giggle-boxes will turn upside down! Go for it, Mom. Show your kids that parents can be funny, too.

Preschoolers are too smart for their own good. They know what gets your goat. They know potty humor is hilarious and naughty. And they are master performers. Go ahead and laugh with them, but good luck getting the giggles back in the box!

Helping your child grow up with a sense of humor is as important as feeding them healthy foods. Here are some of the benefits:

  • They’re happier, better adjusted, and have higher self-esteem.
  • They’re usually liked by their peers.
  • They’re able to diffuse situations with positive action.
  • They’re less stressed and have better digestion and lower heart rates and blood pressure.
  • And studies indicate that laughter helps us to endure pain and improves our immune system.

We’re collecting good-spirited funny stuff on our Pinterest board called Let’s Be Silly. You’ll definitely want to get your Pins ready, because April Fools’ Day is this Friday!

So be silly, my friends. Be silly.

Artwork by Jannie Ho, from Wheels on the Bus.