Tuesday, 17 December 2013

Laughing, it's a serious matter.

My matriarchy ever increaseth. I am grateful.

I've told you lot before, and I'll say it again, despite what anyone expects of me, I don't hand out a lot of parenting advice, because I'm not you.

Oh for SURE, there are aspects I disapprove of. There are things I think are important. It's not that I don't have plenty of opinions, it's just that I know what it's like to be a young mother trying her hardest, and being criticized by those whose opinions I don't want to hear, thank you very much. We all just do our best.

But here is a bit of advice I feel comfortable sharing.

Teach your kids to be funny.

There are all sorts of negatives in this world, but a person without a sense of humour is a walking tragedy. They have nothing to fall back on when life is unfair, or ridiculous, or plain brutal.

However, there's a proviso with this. In order to be funny, first you have to know what is serious. It's like everything else. There is a yin yang in life. A dark and a light. You cannot have one without the other.

Because just as there are those who are always serious, and look as if their faces would crack if they laugh, there are also those so frivolous, so "light" that they are pretty much 2D. Cardboard cutout people.

One of the things kids often get "wrong" is knowing the boundary, beyond which silliness becomes a problem for others. You remember doing it yourself, having the giggles and getting into Big Trouble for it, because it went on too long, or in the wrong place, at the wrong time.

So, they have to know when to stop.

But they also have to know when to start, and they learn both best by example.

This will come as no surprise to you but my kids were raised on Monty Python. It was already vintage by the time they were born, but it didn't really suffer for it. One of the reasons it stands out as classic comedy is that it dared to cross barriers, rarely crossed before. In doing so it often highlighted aspects of life we took too seriously, and by freeing minds up allowed us to judge what mattered, what we needed to take seriously.

Comedy is often thought of as very serious stuff!

In recent years satire has become mainstream but I'm not sure it's always understood. The masses, with their 3 second attention span, still prefer the cheap laughs. I've noticed that I can tell a LOT about a person's intellect and character as to whether they appreciate the likes of Python, or today's finest comedian Eddie Izzard.

Humour can be silly and clever at the same time. But only if you understand both, you see.

Let me show you, using Eddie as an example, how there are two types of clever funny.

#1 The All-Out Silly

#2 The Making a Point Using Humour

Kids can tell the difference, with a bit of guidance, and then...use it. They can state their case, express themselves, and see through the foolishness of society if they are well versed in educated silly.

Now I'm not going to tell you that everyone will understand it, because they won't. Some people never see the value of the clever and silly. Or maybe they do and it shows them up.

There is an advanced level. Some of you will not get this man at all. If you do, welcome to my world.

1 comment:

  1. Wise words. Humor has always been the glue holding our family together. My Alex once said that one good reason for more education is that the more you know, the more jokes you get. May look at videos later, I must get back to the desk to write cards.