Fun and humour can be important parts of positive communication with children.
Use humour. Not every conflict needs to be resolved through serious discussion. It's a lot less stressful, and a lot more fun, to use humor and play to connect with your child as you set limits and establish discipline. Rather than “Clean your room now!” you might say, “This place is a like a biology lab! I don’t see mold yet, but it’ll start growing soon!”
Try a playful approach. For example, walk into your child's room and ask them to clean it -- in a fake opera voice at the top of your lungs. Funny voices and using different characters are a great way to diffuse tension.
Focus on the positive before bringing up the negative. For example, if your child pulls a practical joke that makes a mess, you might say, “Clever. Ingenious. Now time to clean it up”. If your child brings home a test with mistakes, first comment on what your child got right before discussing what went wrong.
Admit your mistakes. Kids love to hear parents admit they were wrong. Ask your child for help in figuring out what to do. You might say, “Am I making a mess of this? Should we try to figure it out a different way?”
Tell a funny story about yourself as a child. Most kids love to hear stories about their parents growing up. You might tackle a tough topic by describing what happened to you in a similar situation when you were a kid. But don’t turn all conversations into stories about you. Constantly saying, “I know how you feel, let me tell you what happened to me”, might annoy more than amuse.
Try humour instead of anger
If you find the right tone, humour can be an incredibly effective way to get kids and parents laughing through difficult situations. Keep in mind that young children are literal and may not always get a joke, but will love to laugh along with a parent. And school children hate sarcasm directed at them, but love being in on a witty joke.
– Michael Thompson, PhD, co-author of Raising Cain