Dad jokes actually benefit children, especially if they roll their eyes or cringe at the punchline, a new study reveals.
Marc Gye-Knudesen completed research on what dad jokes actually teach kids and published the findings in the British Psychological Society journal. Titled ‘Dad jokes? That’s the way eye roll…’, the study finds that children benefit from the corny humour commonly attributed to fathers as it helps them deal with feeling embarrassed.
“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,” the article reads. They show their children that embarrassment isn’t fatal.”
Gye-Knudesen sees dad jokes as the verbal equivalent of playfighting with kids. In that it may be harder for the kids to handle (teasing, for example) but it ultimately helps the child to “regulate behaviours and emotions”.
“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 this way, dad jokes resemble the rough-and-tumble play that fathers have instinctively been moved to engage their children in since before the dawn of our species, without knowing the important function that such roughhousing plays in their children’s development.”
Therefore, the study encourages fathers to keep on firing off dad jokes, no matter the response from children or spouses.
“So 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,” he said. “You’re partaking in a long and proud tradition, and your embarrassingly awful jokes may even do them some good.”
If you’re a dad, you’re obviously loving this. If not though, get ready to cringe even more.