So often, parents are rushing around working, cleaning, cooking, running errands, paying bills, and other “chores” that they forget to make time to laugh with their family. Do you find this is true within your own family? If so, you are missing out on a great daily bonding opportunity. Laughing is an incredible way to deepen relationships, to create a sense of well-being and belonging, as well as to heal emotional hurts. Plus, as a bonus, laughing improves the physical health of your body.
How to Make Time for More Laughter
I have worked with many families that need to recreate a deeper bond with one another, many of them being step families or single parent families. Encouraging them to make time to laugh together is always one of the most important keys to strengthening their bond and overcoming tensions.
If you feel the need to make more time for laughter in your family, here are 5 tips to get you started:
- Write it in your to do list. Make a commitment to bonding through laughter.
- Slow down. Sometimes we are rushing around too much only focusing on our “chores.” Slow down and enjoy some space between each of these chores. When you do look into your children’s eyes and smile, have a 5 minute tickle match, or make silly faces together.
- Take a deep breath and relax. It is hard to find time for laughter if you are tense. It will be difficult to enjoy yourself enough to laugh. So, take a deep breath and teach yourself to relax. When you are relaxed, you are more open to happiness.
- Release your worry and have faith in your ability to accomplish all you want and need to. When parents are worried and preoccupied about work deadlines, bills, illness, or other adult concerns, they can’t enjoy the many reasons to laugh that surround them every single day.
- Remind yourself to laugh. Put post its around your house. Set phone reminders to remind you to laugh. Hang a “humor board” in your kitchen so everyone can share silly comics or jokes with each other.
- Dance. We dance regularly in my home. Sometimes I get all crazy and silly making up ridiculous moves. Sometimes, they smirk at me, are are like “mom, you are weird”. But, it never fails that within a few minutes, they are joining me with much laughter.
- Watch silly babies and animals on YouTube. YouTube is one of my favorite resources to finding something humorous at any moment. We will sit for about 15-30 minutes sometimes and just look at silly videos laughing together.
- Water balloon fights! Ok, maybe not everyone is willing to do this one. But they are soooo much fun! When my daughters are outside playing, I might fill up some water balloons and sneak up on them with one and there it starts. We are drenched and soaked in minutes!
- Unexpected tickles, tickles, tickles. When helping my little one with her shoes or tucking in my older daughter, I will tickle them unexpectedly. So nice to see their eyes light up with their laughs.
- Practical jokes! I am a girl that LOVES practical jokes. I do them all the time. Probably too much as my daughters and friends often have to ask if I am joking or not. But, they always make people laugh!
Joanne Cipressi, CHt, CNLP
Empowerment Personal Coach and Speaker