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Laughter still the best medicine



A father focuses on humor to help navigate his daughter’s teen years

A father focuses on humor to help navigate his daughter’s teen years


In the newsroom – be it online, network, newspaper, or just “the grapevine” – the adage “if it bleeds, it leads” still holds a lot of truth. Meaning, the harsh stuff will automatically get more attention, while the sweeter, lighter material will be relegated to a space far outside the spotlight. It applies to parenting advice, too. Parents of teenage kids in particular are bombarded – now more than ever – with horror stories, warnings, admonishments, and fear, usually in the service of selling you something. It’s easy to get scared, and hard to look away.

While he takes it all in, and takes it all seriously, Jeff Bogle advises dealing with the aforementioned onslaught by finding something you and your child can laugh at together and enthusiastically nurturing that activity. As he puts it: “Circumnavigating an oft-bitter, maddening 21st century world while also playing dodgeball with puberty, social media posturing, confusing new desires, a first job, and a burgeoning personal independence is serious business; however, playing it serious all of the time is destined to up the anxiety levels in kids and adults alike.”

For him and his fourteen-year-old daughter, the release valve consists of comedy sketch shows on YouTube, of which there are countless.

Lucky for everyone, a fellow 8th grader introduced Bogle’s daughter to the sketch comedy of Studio C a Utah-based troupe with a popular YouTube channel (2.4 million subscribers) producing shorts for all-ages. Bogle then introduced his daughter to 90s-era archives of MTV’s similar sketch comedy show The State

READ MORE: Ways to support your kids emotionally in the pandemic

Bogle writes, “Suddenly we were swapping favorite sketches, gut laughing together, and developing a new kind of secret one-liner lingo.”

According to Bogle, laughter not only offers a welcome respite from talk of the increasingly serious stuff, it helps deepen their bond of trust, so those discussions can transpire with less awkwardness. He also notes that while many parents dealing with teens publicly wish for the less-complicated years of toddlerhood, he is relishing sharing laughs he would not have been able to enjoy when his teen daughter was a little girl.



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