Boosting The Genius Quality – Humor
As you’ve read my blogs about genius qualities identified by Dr. Armstrong, how many qualities up to this point have you thought could get kids into trouble – and which ones?
What about this chapter’s quality, humor? Oh, yes!
Based on his study of geniuses, Dr. Armstrong defines humor as “a trait that breaks us out of ruts and routines and causes a cackle of excitement or aliveness to occur.” I love the word “aliveness.” If more learning situations at home, school, and church were described with this word, much more learning would take place.
Getting out of the rut can free all of us to see things differently. I may not be the one with the strong sense of humor to get myself and others out of the rut and routine. But I can choose to go with the person who’s leading me out of the rut. That’s honoring and trusting. When I do, I might just see something I wouldn’t have seen otherwise. This is where inventing may occur. We can explore what we’re curious about. This “aliveness” may just give birth to other genius qualities that otherwise get stifled by learning routines.
But, it’s hard because so many adults think children need to be controlled at all times. And, these same adults think they and other adults need to be in control at all times. I’ve learned this isn’t true.
Will Kids Take a Mile?
We can allow for humor. We shouldn’t assume “If you give kids an inch, they’ll take a mile.” That’s what I’m afraid sometimes happens. We’re fearful to do anything that might trigger kids’ humor. And if we do and they begin to laugh or express their humor in other ways, we’re often very quick to stifle it.
Do children with a good sense of humor need character qualities so they use their humor well? Absolutely. This is how they’ll know the difference between having fun and making fun of someone. This is how they’ll become other-centered and aware of how others react constructively or destructively to their humor, rather than just aware of themselves and the attention they’re getting. This is what will prepare them to transition back to serious work after the “aliveness break.”
What can you do this week and next to allow for and even plan for the humor genius quality to be celebrated? I hope you do something that leads to surprising success!