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:
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.
“Dr. Amy knows how to relate to children and make them feel comfortable. My son was shy in the beginning but Amy asked him a couple of questions about what he likes and immediately found a connection with him. He happily followed her into the office (just after a 3 min of conversation) and performed the test. He wasn’t nervous or scared and it’s because of her ability to relate to kids.
We had a great experience and he wants to go back! Thank you very much!”— Dad of 5-year-old assessment client
“Dr. Amy brings together the best emotion-focused strategies with cutting-edge brain science to change the lives of children and families”— Parent of adopted twin girls
“My friend raves about what Cleo has done for her son!” ~ Parent of an inquiring new client— Parent of an inquiring new client