Tips for Parents: Cartoon Thinking
This Tips for Parents article, from a seminar hosted by Dan Holt, provides information on humor and the gifted child, focusing on how gifted students have complex ideas and cartoons can be a way of helping them communicate those ideas.
Every child is the product of his/her interaction with the various influences he/she encounters during daily living. Gifted students are notorious for being able to see and aptly point out the inequalities in life and society. They are very concerned with issues of justice and fair play (Renzulli, et al., 1976). Several characteristics of gifted children relate to humor. Various social, moral, and ethical issues can be addressed and explored through humor. Humor can open a safe window through which the child can observe, understand and enjoy the human condition with all its imperfections. Humor allows for, even encourages, an enhanced awareness of the world, its passions and its various juxtapositions. Cartoons are a concise expression of these complex ideas.
An advanced sense of humor is a part of the definition of gifted children. It is partly because of their fast language skills and better awareness of their surroundings that they can understand and appreciate the humor, but it is also because of their knowledge base. Of course, some students will use humor as a defense mechanism. So listen and see if your student’s humor is positive or negative. Below is a description of the differences in positive and negative humor.