Disclaimer: I’ve partnered with Laffy Taffy known for its deliciously stretchy, fruity flavored taffy with whimsical jokes on every wrapper to promote the Dad Joke program but all terrible jokes are my own.
There are a lot of things I want to pass down to my kids. Nothing practical, of course (we don’t do that here) but the kind of stuff that makes day to day life a little more enjoyable.
An appreciation for music, a love of reading, pop culture trivia, general laziness; the real stuff! The important things. But there’s probably nothing I could pass down that’s as essential to enjoying and surviving life as a sense of humor.
Unfortunately I may have done too good of a job.
If you’ve ever taken a spin around my blog, you don’t need me to tell you that I’m a pretty sarcastic guy. It’s served me well through the years; I think I’ve only been punched in the throat three times! So I thought I had a decent handle on things, and was looking forward to joking around with my kids once they were old enough to get my sophisticated brand of humor (e.g., sometimes I call hot chocolate “hot chokkies.)
And then my 8-year-old started emulating the very thing I had hoped he would emulate, and now my life is a living nightmare.
Detective Munch is like me on steroids. He looks like me, but better. He talks like me, but more. He reads like me, he likes the music I like, he loves superheroes and Star Wars as much as I do. Unfortunately he also gets moody and negative like me, and he loves to throw a good sarcastic crack around. But he’s still honing his skills.
A good sense of humor is a stone-cold necessity in life, because things are going to get tough – especially when you’re a parent – and if you can’t laugh at it, and at yourself, it’s going to be even tougher. So I spend a lot of time joking around with my kids, but sometimes my sense of humor can be so dry that the nuances escape them. And then when they copy me, things can get ugly.
That’s okay, though. There are always growing pains when young kids are learning something new, I’m just glad he’s progressing past the potty humor stage (no offense to any fellow dads out there who still haven’t, and never will)!
The detective’s jokes don’t always land, but it’s fun to watch him try, and I want both my sons to know their home is a safe space for them to try, and fail, at anything. Plus, when he actually nails a good joke – when your own kid makes you laugh, on purpose! – it’s funnier than the best stand-up routine you’ve ever seen.
So I let him keep trying, even when he occasionally oversteps with a sarcastic crack that leans a bit toward the mean side. After all, I still blow that sometimes myself (just ask my podcast co-host!)
I’m trying to help my 8-year-old navigate both sarcasm and his sense of humor in general, and to that end, I’m collaborating with him, and Laffy Taffy, to promote their “dad joke” contest, in which the winner gets their joke on a Laffy Taffy wrapper and one of five Amazon prize packs valued at $2000! (That’s a lot of soap to stuff into my kid’s mouth when one of his wisecracks goes to far!)
A good dad joke is an art in and of itself, it’s silly and goofy and good-natured. They’re a totally different breed than the sarcastic take-downs my son learns from me. But I want him to have a well-rounded sense of humor, so we’ll be working together to try and win this contest ourselves, so bring your A-game!
To enter, head over to Parents.com and submit your best dad joke along with your name, location, email address, phone number. Good luck!