Michelle Budge, Deseret News
The bank keeps calling me to give me compliments. They say I have an “outstanding balance.”
Rolls eyes. Even though dad jokes are a little cliche and more punny than funny, they’re something of an art form, like when you’re gathered around the dinner table and your dad says, “What does a witch’s car sound like” and you and your siblings refrain, “broom! broom!” But as it turns out, dad jokes might be good for you.
No, really. New research from Aarhus University researcher Marc Hye-Knudsen found that dad jokes actually may help children develop stamina to endure embarrassment and develop into adults who are comfortable with being themselves. Hye-Knudsen said that dad jokes can be a teaching tool “perfectly suited to our modern era.”
The function of a dad joke is simple. These types of jokes are funny, predictable and generally embarrassing. Even though your dad may have been cool in the ’90s, he now tells jokes that turn your cheeks red like “What kind of shoes does a lazy person wear? Loafers.”
By hearing these embarrassing jokes, kids can grow a higher tolerance of embarrassment and turn out better for it. Kids also hear the same joke — again and again — which also helps them develop endurance. Even though there’s a deeper impact that these dad jokes have, that’s not the reason most dads are telling them.
Dads tend to use more humor and teasing in their play with kids than moms do. Hye-Knudsen said that there are some cultural factors as to why that may be the case (it’s not because mothers aren’t funny). He said the real audience of dad jokes are the dads themselves because they see their kids cringe when they tell these jokes.
Sorry (but not really sorry) to give your dad more license to tell jokes like, “If Whole Foods sells sliced apples, is it false advertising?” But as it turns out, it might be good for us all to hear more dad jokes.
The phrase “best dad jokes” might be something of an oxymoron because a good dad joke is one that’s overdone, cliche and makes you cringe. Still there are plenty of good dad jokes that you can tell around your table.
Here are some funny ones:
On a more serious note, this research on the value of dad jokes comes at a time where fatherhood has been in flux.
The number of children living with single mothers peaked in 2012 and has since come down, according to Statista, but it is still significantly higher than it was in 1970. In 2022, around 15.78 million children lived with a single mother compared to 7.45 million in 1970.
Fathers have a positive impact on the whole family. Not only do they help children in various ways, they also can help increase the well-being of mothers, according to the Institute for Family Studies. They also help emotional and mental well-being, they tend to increase the socioeconomic status of a family.
A study from the Journal of Pediatric Psychology found that involvement in the family from fathers leads to better physical health of children. Children’s psychological and physical outcomes are greatly improved when fathers are an active presence in children’s lives.
Mothers have a lot to contribute to families as do fathers. Good fathers can be life-changing, per the Deseret News. “Kids who grow up with a good dad are more apt to stay in school and less likely to go to jail, compared to kids with absent fathers or lesser male role models. When they grow up, those kids are more likely to have high-quality jobs and healthy relationships, too. And that’s not all.”
With benefits like these, fathers are a vital part of the family. Michael J. Mooney said in the Deseret News, “When kids have close relationships with their fathers, they tend to have higher-paying jobs and healthier relationships as adults.”
So, even though dad jokes might be corny, their impact tracks with something that some in the U.S. have been saying for a while now — fathers are needed in families.
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