There are few things more satisfying to a kid than a good dad joke. Dads are the pun-kings of cheesy humor, and their corny, nonsensical one-liners can make any child guffaw with laughter. But what makes a joke a dad joke? The signature feature is that it violates a set of norms. Normally, when someone shifts into the humorous mode of discourse, it is because they have something genuinely funny to say. A dad joke, however, is a pun so lame and unfunny that it paradoxically becomes funny. This makes the father a pun-king of his own realm, and gives their children permission to groan.

In addition to allowing children to hone their memorization skills and appreciation for puns, dad jokes also teach kids about the nature of humor. They show kids that a good joke can go through several stages of being unfunny, and then eventually become so funny that it is worth telling again. Over time, a child can even start to tell their own dad jokes, and begin to experiment with how they can make them funny.

Although parents may not realize it, they are also teaching their kids how to deal with embarrassment. Like the rough play that fathers have been instinctively drawn to initiate with their offspring since the dawn of our species, dad jokes serve a valuable pedagogical function by pushing their children to learn how to laugh at themselves and discover their personal boundaries. best dad jokes

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