'Dad jokes' teach children to survive embarrassment, study finds

Why ‘Dad jokes’ are GOOD for you: Cringeworthy gags teach children to survive embarrassment, study finds

  • Dad jokes are important in helping children learn to be embarrassed by parents 
  • This toughens them up because they realise embarrassment is not that bad

Try not to roll your eyes at dad jokes – they may be an example of good parenting.

Dad jokes are important in helping children learn to be embarrassed by their parents, an expert researcher argues.

This toughens them up because they survive the embarrassment of their dad making a terrible pun and realise embarrassment is not that bad.

Marc Hye-Knudsen, a researcher of humour and lab manager at Aarhus University’s Cognition and Behavior Laboratory, writes for the British Psychological Society: ‘By teasingly striking at their children’s egos and emotions without teetering over into bullying, fathers build their children’s resilience and train them to withstand minor attacks and bouts of negative emotion without getting worked up or acting out, teaching them impulse control and emotional regulation.

‘In light of this, it is worth considering dad jokes as a pedagogical tool that may serve a beneficial function for the very children who roll their eyes at them.

Dad jokes are important in helping children learn to be embarrassed by their parents, an expert researcher argues (stock image)

The top 20 worst dad jokes – READ MORE 

Most dad jokes are puns, and completely inoffensive puns at that (stock image)

‘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.’

Most dad jokes are puns, according to experts, and completely inoffensive puns at that.

At best they elicit a polite chuckle instead of genuine laughter, and at worst they make people groan and roll their eyes.

Hye-Knudsen states: ‘To all the dads out there who love telling dad jokes to your kids, don’t let their groans, their eye-rolls, or their palpable irritation stop you.

‘You’re partaking in a long and proud tradition, and your embarrassingly awful jokes may even do them some good.

‘Keep repeating the same old stale puns, year-in and year-out.

‘Through painful repetition, you get to experience the same old joke go through waves of being unfunny and then so unfunny that it becomes funny.

‘One day, you may overhear your children spontaneously telling the same joke, perhaps when they themselves have become parents.

‘This, if nothing else, is concrete evidence that our input as parents does have an impact.

Worst offenders: 20 punny ‘dad jokes’ guaranteed to elicit groans and shaking heads

Courtesy of @dadsaysjokes on Twitter.  

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