Habit #9 – Laughter, Happiness, and Humor

April 8, 2015

Wise Families nurture positive (2)The WISE family has lots of room for laughter, happiness, and humor. There are not many opportunities for all six members of our family to be together at the same table but, when we are, I rarely eat! I am laughing too hard! My family is constantly sarcastic, irreverent and teasing each other. I used to hate it! I used to tell them that they were being so mean to each other and to stop the teasing. I was so wrong! Now, they are a bunch of the most resilient kids because they know how to laugh at themselves – and with others.

Being free to laugh at ourselves and with other family members builds a feeling of warmth and connection in the family. Not taking yourself too seriously builds stronger relationships and increases how much other members want to be in the family. Your family members develop the feeling that there’s always someone to talk to who cares about them and with whom they can have fun.

Some words of caution, though. It becomes easy for people in your family to begin laughing at others. Someone always is doing or saying something that can be funny. Be sure when some in your family are laughing at others, though, that the one being laughed at is taking it well. If they aren’t, take action. Go to both of them, take them aside, talk with them about what happened and how they’re feeling right then.

Be sure you don’t make them feel worse by telling them to “grow up” or “don’t take it so seriously”. If they do seem to be taking being laughed at seriously, you should, too. Help them see the humor in what they did or said, but respect their feelings. Work to help all see the importance of being laughed with and not laughed at.

Feeling embarrassed in front of your family is a hard emotion for kids to handle. Laughing together is not about shaming each other. If this happens too often, your kids can develop feelings of inferiority or come to think, “I can never be good enough.” This is important to monitor – shaming is never ok.

Think about your family today – how often do you laugh together? Laughter is an endorphin-building way to share time with one another. If you find that your family is not laughing much, try these ideas:

  • print out and post a few funny pictures on the fridge
  • text them all a joke of the day
  • find some funny movies and make popcorn for a night in
  • play a game or two after dinner
  • have a dance party
  • pack up the gang and head to an amusement park

Laughing together might just change everyone’s outlook on the family – and maybe on the future! Get to giggling and Be Wise! That feeling is very hard to overcome.