9. “The Power of laughter in Families”
We all know that shared laughter feels great but it also has many other positive benefits to children and families. Many medical studies show that laughter has both physical and mental benefits. Laughter unites people, it creates a happy home, and helps cement lasting positive family memories. Humour is also an important part of social and emotional development for children. A family who laughs together tends to have a more joy-filled home – one where members of the family feel like they belong and are safe to be themselves.
Perhaps most important is that laughter helps you keep your family close.
Laugh with your child and they will enjoy being with you, something all parents strive for with their small children and value even more as they grow into tweens and teens.
And a good sense of humour isn’t just enjoyable; it’s good for your kids. Kidsheath.org states that:
A good sense of humor is a tool that kids can rely on throughout life to help them:
- see things from many perspectives other than the most obvious
- be spontaneous
- grasp unconventional ideas or ways of thinking
- see beyond the surface of things
- enjoy and participate in the playful aspects of life
- not take themselves too seriously
Unfortunately, many busy families get so caught up in their busy schedules and the “should-do’s” that they sometimes forget to lighten up and foster humour and laughter in their homes.
The good news is that it’s possible to both foster laughter in your family as well as help your child develop a sense of humour.
A key aspect to developing your child’s sense of humor is to take time to have fun as a family. Share jokes, play games, and watch funny movies together.
Share funny emails, photos and links and funny videos. If you hear a funny story, tell your kids. Encourage them to tell you funny things that happen to them, and when they do, reward them with a hearty laugh.
And lighten up! Silly isn’t a 4-letter word. Serious parents often raise overly serious children. If you want to develop your kids sense of humour, you need to model some levity and silliness. When something happens at home that could go either way, laugh about it. Instead of reprimanding over the spilled milk, laugh about how funny the situation is as you clean it up together.
Nancy Recker of Ohio State University also suggests laughing at yourself and looking for humour in everyday situations. Learning to make fun of yourself is an important skill for children as it helps them gain confidence, self-acceptance and a sense of self.
You might even adopt your own offbeat family traditions. It will generate laughs now, and even more in the future, when your kids remember those silly family times.
I am a mother of twin sons – one with special needs. I know full well that some days are tough and nothing seems funny. Even though there are lots of things in life that are serious, it’s in those moments that a smile or laughter can be most powerful and it’s when you and your family need it the most. One small silly act can completely change the tone of a stressful event. I’ve been known to make a pig nose or two against a car window to turn a mad teenagers frown into a reluctant smile. Laughing is healthy, feels great, and contributes greatly to making family life more enjoyable.
Make shared laughter in your home a priority.
If your family isn’t sharing as many laughs as you would like, an easy and fun tool to bring laughter to your family is the Kabooter Knomes. Introducing your child and family to the magic of Kabootering will ignite your child’s imagination and set a course for endless creative play and tons of shared laughs as a family.