Alphabet Parenting: L is for Laughter
9/14/2021 | Dr. Tamar Andrews
laugh·ter | \ ˈlaf-tər
Helpguide.org states that "A good, hearty laugh relieves physical tension and stress, leaving your muscles relaxed for up to 45 minutes after. Laughter boosts the immune system. Laughter decreases stress hormones and increases immune cells and infection-fighting antibodies, thus improving your resistance to disease." Terrific!
But how do we create laughter when we feel so stressed? And isn't it actually inappropriate to laugh when things around us are sad or stressful? Can't we all remember a time when we watched someone trip and thought it was absolutely hysterical but needed to contain ourselves because it was inappropriate to laugh at the time? How can we create a home where laughter is appropriate much of the time and where life seems so much more joyous because of that laughter?
An old Yiddish proverb says, "What soap is to the body, laughter is to the soul."
First and foremost try not to be so serious all the time. When your child tracks in mud or makes a big mess make sure your first reaction is a big hearty laugh! Try to sing more crazy songs and read really funny books together.
Play lots of games and do crazy things together. I can remember vividly the times when my children were behaving so badly that instead of turning to discipline and yelling, then we're fighting; I instead put on the wackiest British nanny accent and feigned fainting. The laughter that ensued more than compensated all of us, myself included for the few minutes of cleanup we then did together while our bellies ached from laughing so hard. Oh, what a world that could be!