“Laughter is important, not only because it makes us happy, it also has actual health benefits. And that’s because laughter completely engages the body and releases the mind. It connects us to others, and that in itself has a healing effect.” ~Marlo Thomas
Believe it or not, laughter happens to be one of the best strategies for handling parenting situations, even really troublesome ones. In addition to being a physical health aide, laughter and humor can help alleviate stress and tension.
I learned just how important laughter was in my parenting routine when I was at my whit’s end with my daughter’s behavior. The first couple days after I instilled a consequence and reward jar system were the hardest. And, it was also the time when I learned that I lacked a vital part of my parenting in difficult moments … I had forgotten to keep things light.
I want to share some of the reasons you should include laughter in your parenting strategies. Then, I want to show you ways to incorporate it into your routine.
Why Laughter is the Best Medicine
Laughter helps to relieve physical stress and tension, which leaves your body feeling more relaxed after. A good laugh also gets your heart pumping and gives your heart and lungs a workout. Laughing for fifteen minutes burns almost the same amount of calories as a fifteen minute walk. This means that laughing can really help when it comes to keeping fit and keeping up with the kids.
Did you know that laughter helps relieve tension and stress? After you’ve had a good laugh, your body will be more relaxed!
Laughing increases your heart rate and gives your lungs a workout. Bonus for you anti-work-out people: a 15 minute laugh will burn almost the same amount of calories as a fifteen minute walk. So, the more you laugh, the more you’re doing to get fit. This should help with the struggle of keeping up with the kids, right?!
Our bodies release endorphins during laughter. These endorphins make us feel good, give us a sense of well being, and can even reduce pain.
When you laugh, you may be boosting your immune system by reducing your stress hormone levels. This means that keeping you and your family healthy could be made simpler through laughter!
According to Psychology Today, laughter is the best medicine. In their article on health benefits of laughter, they state “Laughter establishes — or restores — a positive emotional climate and a sense of connection between two people.”
This means that laughter strengthens relationships.
Sharing a few good laughs and some jokes will help your family bond. This will encourage your family to work together and settle conflict more easily.
The more you laugh together as a family, the more you’ll feel connected. This will motivate your children to do what you want or need them to do without as many struggles.
Make an effort to include laughter during your day, every day. During times when you or your family members experience distress or feelings of overwhelm, they will be better able to maintain a healthy attitude or positive outlook.
Bring Laughter into Your Life
Kids love to have a good time and laugh at some of the silliest things. Because they’re still easily entertained, it’s easy to make laughter part of your parenting routine.
Do you have a hard time getting your kids to clean up after themselves? Most of us do! One of the easiest ways to make this work is to make a game out of cleaning or a fun out activity that involves cleaning. Some examples might be to play a sorting game, like having them sort play food by fruits, vegetables, and meat into different storage bins. Color coded bins are another great idea. Don’t forget to play some fun music and maybe do a silly dance. Instead of doing the chore to avoid getting into trouble, your children will be “playing” while simultaneously helping out.
Talk and laugh during bedtime routines. Have your children recollect their day and ask them what their favorite part was. Take it a step further and make up something silly and see if your child will catch it. If you’re still reading bedtime stories, don’t forget to mix up words and names for your kids to catch. They’ll be sure to tell you you’re wrong and laugh at how silly mom and dad is.
Play together. Playing board games or playing outside as a family will give you more opportunities to laugh together. You can either buy age appropriate board games, participate in outdoor activities, or make up some silly games.
Laughter will help to reduce stress and keep your family healthy. Plus, it will encourage better behavior in your children and you’ll all enjoy life together more.
Your children will have fond memories of the times your family spent laughing together. And, when they’re ready to have children of their own, they’ll be better equipped to pass down the same positive attitudes they learned as children.