One of the best things that you can do to build unity, connection and health into your family is learn to laugh. Victor Borge said “Laughter is the closest distance between two people.” Laughter is the cheapest medicine. The health benefits support your immune system, reduces blood pressure, improves blood flow, boosts your confidence, boosts your oxygen intake and releases those “feel good” chemicals known as endorphins.
Laughing helps decrease defenses and restore a sense of humanity in others. A sense of humor can bring immeasurable pleasure, bonding and memories to your family. Laughter softens the rough edges between family members. When your family is laughing together, all of the barriers that might separate them seem to disappear. Some of the benefits that come with humor include:
- Hard feelings over former disagreements miraculously disappear.
- Parents can’t take themselves too seriously when they have a sense of humor about their own quirks or weaknesses. Plus, this models to your children that you are open and honest about your faults, and it’s ok! (Your kids will appreciate the fact that you aren’t being hypocritical and pretending to be perfect.)
- Your children will have an improved self image.
- Your children will learn it’s ok not to be perfect.
- Your children will learn to appreciate their own uniqueness.
- Your children will develop a healthy attitude about how God created them to be unique, which will give them a strong defense against peer pressure.
Anyone can learn to have a good sense of humor. The internet is full of clean, child-friendly jokes, free clean video’s, and you can sit down and watch a comedy with your family and laugh. All it takes is a lighthearted spirit, a lively attitude, playful teasing and you’ll find that humor and laughter have a momentum that will build on each other.
While it might be difficult right now to predict what those will be like, just look at their faces and see if there is a grimace or a grin. Developing a sense of humor is a sign of sanity. Laughter truly is the best medicine, and in a home where there is lots of laughter, there is a lack of loneliness. So teach your children to live with laughter. Your relationships, health and home will be better for it!
Christy Demetriades, Ph.D.