Teaching Your Family to Laugh
I love the videos of laughing babies (Click Here to Watch). It’s contagious. It makes me laugh as well. I also love to watch my family laugh. It is contagious. When they laugh, I laugh with them…we all laugh together. Even more interesting, laughter is good for us! It boosts our immune system and fights disease. It relieves stress, depression, and anxiety. Laughter also improves attention and aids in memory. It lowers blood pressure, tones abdominal muscles, and burns calories. Wait, there’s more…. Laughter boosts self-confidence and gives us the mental strength needed to cope with life’s challenges. Laughter within the family connects us with one another and communicates an intimate comfort with one another. I love laughter. Some of my favorite memories involve my family engulfed in hysterical laughter. I cannot remember what we laughed about, only that we laughed together…naturally, candidly, and without restraint. This brings up one way to build intimacy, relieve tension, and remove anger in the family—engage in open, unbridled laughter together. Don’t know where to start? Try these suggestions:
· Tell jokes. If you do not know any jokes, look some up on-line (Ducksters has Children’s jokes) or borrow a book from the library.
· Recall funny events from your life. Share funny experiences from your childhood or teen years. Remember funny experiences you have shared as a family.
· Share funny things you have encountered over the last couple days or weeks.
· Model using humor in your own life. Let your family see you relieve a tense situation with humor, perhaps even making fun of your own shortcomings in the process. Humor and laughter provide a wonderful outlet for dealing with personal mistakes.
· Be silly just for the fun of it. Use a funny voice. Make a funny face. Make up funny lyrics to a familiar tune. They do not have to make sense or be beautiful. They are, after all, meant to be silly, not serious; funny, not profound.
· Let your family laugh at your mistakes and shortcomings now and again. Let them see that you do not take yourself too seriously. Life is too short to take too serious. Enjoy it, laugh.
· One caveat to throw in here…differentiate between what is funny and what is hurtful when you tell a joke or funny story. Teach your children to do the same. Humor is meant to bring joy to all those present. Steer clear of humor that hurts or ridicules and enjoy humor that encourages or brings joy to everyone’s day.
There you go, 7 ways to nurture humor in the home. Now go tell a joke, share a giggle, and roll on the ground in laughter…together. It’s for your own good!