Sitting with grandchildren in front of the television watching children’s TV shows, it quickly became apparent that much of the current humor used in those shows could only be classified as smart aleck humor. The supposedly funny situations revolved around one child making another look ridiculous and followed by an entire group of kids laughing at the poor object of the derision. Put down humor appears to be where it’s at.
What does a steady diet of that type of entertainment teach children? The lessons learned can only be that you could be really cool and look good when you make another child look foolish or ridiculous.
Is that an attitude that any parent would want their child to emulate?
Children and adults all love humor. We gravitate towards people who can make us laugh and stories filled with humor. There are plenty of places and situations that tickle the funny bone without humiliating anyone.
The Princess, The Prince and The Dragon series of books are intentionally funny. How can a kazoo playing, s’mores creating dragon not be funny? The books are also intentionally kind. Readers can enjoy their humor without ever feeling the need to debase someone else.
When there is a difficult or painful situation in the story, that is by intention also. The story will illustrate to children through text and the followup questions that even children have the power to make an unhappy condition better.