"If you have children at home, there is no reason you shouldn't be laughing all through the day. Don't get so caught up in the pressures of raising your children that you don't take the time to enjoy them." - Joel Osteen
If I could give you only one piece of advice for raising your children, cultivating strong relationships, and creating a pleasant home atmosophere, that advice would be simply this: Laugh.
Too often, we get so caught up in the stresses of daily life, the pressures of our jobs and childrearing and housekeeping, that we forget to laugh. There are many benefits of laughter! Studies show that people who laugh often are healthier, more creative, live longer, and are happier overall. Laughter also brings us closer. It's a connector. Because positive parenting is all about the connection we have with our children, laughter is a powerful tool to connect us and make us more in tune with each other.
An article on The Benefits of Laughter says this:
But of all the elements that contribute to the warm atmosphere of a good relationship, there is one that seldom gets translated into advice or even therapy, yet is something that everyone desires and most people would like more of: Laughter.Laughter:
- Strengthens relationships.
- Attracts others to us.
- Enhances teamwork.
- Helps defuse conflict.
- Promotes group bonding.
Think about these benefits in relation to your parenting! If you want your children to listen, laugh with them! If you want a strong family bond, laugh together!
This article gives more insight into the benefits of laughter.
Humor and playful communication strengthen our relationships by triggering positive feelings and fostering emotional connection. When we laugh with one another, a positive bond is created. This bond acts as a strong buffer against stress, disagreements, and disappointment.Not only does laughter bond us when we're feeling good, but it protects us in times of adversity!
The article goes on to say:
Using humor and laughter in relationships allows you to:
- Be more spontaneous. Humor gets you out of your head and away from your troubles.
- Let go of defensiveness. Laughter helps you forget judgments, criticisms, and doubts.
- Release inhibitions. Your fear of holding back and holding on are set aside.
- Express your true feelings. Deeply felt emotions are allowed to rise to the surface.
My challenge to you (and myself) is to make time every single day to laugh with your children. Act silly. You don't always have to put on a serious face and stern voice in order to be an effective parent. In fact, the opposite seems to be true! The more open and silly and spontaneous you are, the more effective you will be! Play games, tell jokes, dress up, chase each other, make goofy faces, watch a funny movie, and just enjoy each other. Watch your relationships blossom, your stress diminish, your child's behavior improve, and your happiness soar!
My reminder on my kitchen wall. :)
One day, a chicken walked into a library. He said, "Book, book!" and the librarian said, "I know you want a book." So she gave the chicken a book and it walked out. In two minutes he came back, got another book and went again. This happened for two days non-stop. On the third day, the librarian followed the chicken, past the zoo, past the shops, to the park and to the pond. In the middle of the pond, on a lily pad, sat a frog. The chicken offered the book to the frog saying, "Book, book," and the frog replied, "Read it, read it!!"
"All you need in the world is love and laughter. That's all anybody needs. To have love in one hand and laughter in the other." -August Wilson