Field Guide to the Class Clown

Got a kid who likes to yuk it up in school? Our guide helps you understand his funny (if sometimes frustrating!) behavior.
By Christine Brower-Cohen
Mar 18, 2014



Mar 18, 2014

Who They Are
Comedic chops are a signature trait of younger sibs, who often discover that goofing off is a great way to steal the limelight from an older brother or sister. Class clowns also tend to be boys — but not because they’re funnier than girls. Boys are slower to develop impulse control, so they’re more likely to joke around when they’re supposed to be learning.

HIdden Traits
The way a kiddo clowns can reveal his strengths. If making snarky comments is his MO, he’s probably skilled verbally. If he’s into pratfalls or making funny faces, he may be a physical learner — and athletic.

What Other Kids Think
Jokesters garner lots of laughs from peers in early elementary school. But by third grade, classmates may grow wary as they realize that joining in the fun could get them in trouble.

While you’ll want to help your cutup understand that there are times when silliness isn’t acceptable (like when the teacher is giving directions), it’s also key to find outlets (think theater camp or gymnastics) where his gifts will be celebrated.

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Self Control
Raising Kids
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Child Development and Behavior
Humor and Positive Thinking