Family Advice: How Will My Child Be Funny?

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Written By Pinang Driod

When kids are in the fart joke phase, it can be quite stressful for parents. Why are some kids funnier than others? Is humor an attitude, and how do kids learn to have limits? In this episode of our Series ‘Family Council’ answers Moritz Daum, professor of developmental psychology at the University of Zurich.

TIME ONLINE: Mr. Daum, how do children become funny?

Moritz Daum:
In 1979, psychologist Paul McGhee described the development of humor in children in a staged model: children start laughing when they are only a few months old. Around the age of one and a half, children develop a kind of sensorimotor humor: for example, they find it funny to be tickled and to tickle others. Also halfway through the second year, children start to reinterpret things. They use objects for something other than what they are intended for, such as ringing a bell with a toy car. So you start to understand that it can be funny if something is done differently than it was intended. In the toddler and preschool age Children develop verbal skillsthey love puns and rhymes and understand that things can be called something other than what they are actually called. They can get really into something like that and find it incredibly funny to constantly call a book ‘bottle’.

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