Laughter is the best medicine, as the saying goes. I think it is so important to work that into our daily lives with our children. We know that there are many benefits to laughter…one would think that it is a no-brainer to do it every day.
How can you work humor into your day? With an infant, you can make silly noises, faces, movements – it’s fun to see what your child will find amusing. As they age, a toddler can get in on the action and join in all the silliness.
Once your child starts reading, maybe consider getting some joke books, or read out loud to them in silly voices, or you can act out scenes that they would find humorous.
The hardest time for me to work in humor is when I feel my ire rising or I am already angry about something (kiddos aren’t listening, they keep being physical instead of being gentle). It is so important to remember in these moments that our children are that – just children.
When I feel my anger rising (usually because I feel the pressure of time), and on the days when I am in a good space (more often than not – especially when I remember to start the day with good, deep focusing breaths) – it is really easy to work in humor.
Instead of yelling, I ask, “Who wants to see my crazy face?!” The act of redirecting my emotion, making that crazy face, and hearing our children’s laughter, helps me to re-set my emotions. Now I am in a good place to ask for what I want to happen, instead of barking out instructions like a drill sergeant.
I still want to try to be more mindful about laughing more as a family, especially after re-reading the benefits as I looked for a link to share with you. I think we will start the day with a good “silly face”session before school.
How do you use humor in your home? Do you have any tips or tricks to share about using humor to redirect behavior?