Character Building - Humor
( Originally Published Early 1900's )
PARENTS should cultivate the love of humor in their children. Encourage them in their attempts at wit and harmless nonsense. The attempt may be a very poor one from your standpoint, but still you should show hearty appreciation and encouragement. A sense of the ridiculous, a disposition to see the bright and amusing side of things will carry the boy over many rough places when he becomes a man. Help him all you can to start right in this respect.
Give the children plenty of comic toys. Tell to them and read to them funny nursery rhymes and laughable little stories. Show them comic pictures. Later on they should be encouraged to read and to tell humorous stories that they have read or heard. Story-telling by children helps amazingly in mental development.
Remember always that good, honest, hearty laughter helps to cure physical and mental ills. It puts the mind as well as the body in a more wholesome condition.
What a blessing in the home and in society is the man or woman who can easily be amused, who can amuse others, and whose sense of humor, like charity, "never fails."
To the very little children read and tell the nursery rhymes and nursery tales in Volume I of the Library; among the latter we call particular attention to "Chicken-Licken," "The Mouse and the Sausage," "Teeny Tiny," and "The Three Little Pigs." In the poetry divisions of that volume turn to "The Owl and the Pussy-Cat," "The Table and the Chair," A Lobster Quadrille," and "Limericks." As the children grow older they will find plenty of fun in the "Fairy Tales and Laughter Stories" division of Volume I, especially "The Husband Who was to Mind the House," "The Musicians of Bremen," "The Three Sillies," "Hudden and Dudden and Donald O'Neary," and "The Story of Caliph Stork." In Volume II read "The Jellyfish and the Monkey," "Hiawatha," and "Robin Hood." One of the finest of all funny tales is "Don Quixote" in Volume III; then in Volume IV we have "A Mad Tea-Party," "Brother Rabbit's Cradle," and "Among the Lions of Algiers." Over one hundred pages in Volume X are given up to amusements-games, riddles, little plays, etc., and there is a "Fun and Laughter" division of poems in Volume XI. Finally, in Volume XII are numerous nursery and non-sense songs.