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Dad jokes improve well-being: academic researcher

Dad’s corny jokes helped you learn to tolerate embarrassment

An academic researcher has confirmed that those embarrassing “dad jokes” actually help children develop into psychologically well-rounded individuals.

“Dads appear to have a characteristic way of playing and joking with their children,” Aarhus University “humor” researcher Marc Hye-Knudsen wrote in his paper in The Psychologist, the journal of the British Psychological Society. “Fathers are typically more vigorous and challenging in their play than mothers, pushing their children to the limits of what they can handle.”

But these jokes do serve a purpose in helping kids with their emotional development – and dad jokes are found across cultures, as Hye-Knudsen wrote.

“By continually pushing and challenging their children, fathers’ style of rough-and-tumble play supports their children’s physical and cognitive development in important ways while teaching them to regulate their behaviours and emotions,” the academic researcher wrote.

He wrote:

By continually telling their children jokes that are so bad that they’re embarrassing, fathers may push their children’s limits for how much embarrassment they can handle. They show their children that embarrassment isn’t fatal. For a child who is approaching or has entered adolescence, which appears to be a sensitive period for sociocultural processing (Blakemore & Mills, 2014), this is an immensely valuable lesson. In this sense, dad jokes may have a positive pedagogical effect, toughening up the kids who are begrudgingly exposed to them.

In the interest of helping the dads and grandfathers and other fatherly role models out there, here are a few dad jokes you can use.

#1. The fireman’s wife asked her husband which kid he was the most worried about – the boy or the girl. “I’m worried about our son the most,” he replied.

#2. I was touring a shoe factory the other day and my guide showed me someone who puts the bottom of the shoe on the top of the shoe all day long. “That’s all he does?” I asked. “Yes, that’s his sole job,” the guide replied.

#3. Credit Men’s Health: Just got back from a job interview where I was asked if I could perform under pressure. I said I wasn’t too sure about that but I could do a wicked “Bohemian Rhapsody.”

While the research and those jokes are something to enjoy, it is also important to underscore the role men play in the development of their children.

While LGBT activists seek to erase sex differences and push the illogical idea that two women can replace the role of a father, it is important to see some research that thanks men for being active in the lives of their kids – even if it is by telling bad jokes.

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About the Author
Associate Editor
Matt has previously worked at Students for Life of America, Students for Life Action and Turning Point USA. While in college, he wrote for The College Fix as well as his college newspaper, The Loyola Phoenix. He holds a B.A. from Loyola University-Chicago and an M.A. from the University of Nebraska-Omaha. He lives in northwest Indiana with his family.