How to Lighten things up and Laugh more as a Family
When is the last time your whole family all had a good laugh? Like a full-on, happy, hearty, group-laugh?
Well, in my household of rambunctious boys, there is a lot of laughter. Sometimes I think they’re hilariously funny, other times I just have no idea.
My husband is a bit more on the reserved side, with a witty, but quiet sense of humor. He and I have some good laughs, but the kids don’t always catch their dad’s sense of humor. Therefore my boys have an on-going life mission to get Dad to laugh. Actually their goal is the belly laugh. He thinks they’re nuts.
I grew up in a home with many strong values; but one of the things I’ve always appreciated about my parents is their great sense of humor. They are masters at making light of just about anything, turning tension into comedy, and in general amusing themselves and each other with humor. Someone asked my mom once how she knew that Dad was “the one”, and I’ll never forget her answer: “I think I figured if we could laugh our way through the rest of our lives, we’d be ok.” I love that. Of course to be married fifty-plus years (!!) has required a whole lot more than just laughter, but to this day, humor graces their home always.
But let’s face it: Life is hard. Some days it seems we are all more in survival mode than Comedy Central…And when the going gets tough: Laughter can be the furthest thing from a priority.
Yet maybe we should work on that. Healthy homes are filled with joy. Laughing adds joy, and has been proven to bond people together. I love this quote from M.M. Selfie from the article Three reasons to laugh together as a family.
Something special happens when people laugh together over something genuinely funny and not hurtful to anyone. It’s like a magic rain that showers down feelings of safety and belonging to a group.
True, right? Well, if you need further reasons to add more laughter to your family life, consider the health benefits: Laughter is known to lower blood pressure, reduce certain stress hormones, improve the immune system, increase memory, alertness and creativity. We can even call it Biblical. Proverbs tells us, “A cheerful heart is good medicine.” (17:22) And I totally agree with legendary Bob Hope, who called laughter an “instant vacation”.
Humor is incredibly good for marriages, too. One Facebook follower messaged me sharing how she and her husband use humor to tame the tiffs. She wrote: “When my husband and I are having an argument or in the middle of a tiff, the only name we are allowed to call each other is “poo poo head”. It sounds really ridiculous, but it instantly diffuses the situation and almost always brings a smile for both of us. It’s a lot easier to apologize by saying “sorry for being a poo poo head”.
I love it! I know that Dave can simmer me down most quickly when he makes me laugh…And the longer we’re together the better we’re getting at that!
*My boys can’t argue with the laugh my friend Laura captured here ^^ I love it.
So perhaps this summer is a good time to add more humor to your home. Why not?
Here are five ways to add more laughter to your family life:
1. Be the initiator! Go ahead and set the tone. Don’t wait for someone else to crack the joke. Have fun adding laughter to your home. Pull out that old crazy board game that gets everyone laughing…Announce a family dance party…suggest a night of jokes and give everyone one day to prepare their best. (offer a prize and they might really prepare!)
2. Turn to the pros. If you’re not feeling very funny, get ahold of some resources to help get you started: Joke books. Comedians. Dear Kitten Videos. (links to some favorites, below.)
3. Create silliness. Especially when kids are young, jokes can be as easy as “one, two, chicken.” Literally adding a silly word into an ordinary phrase can make any five-(or fifteen-, or fifty-) year-old giggle. Play with words, and watch it spill over. This spurs creativity and adds laughs to any ordinary day.
4. Look for opportunities to lighten the atmosphere. It really is a learned skill. Be intentional about humor, looking for opportunities to add a light-hearted joke or give a crazy response to your family throughout the day. Just when your teens think you’re going to give a lecture, say something out of the box and watch them
fall over in shock happy to see that you are actually really FUNNY!
Yesterday when Luke turned the desk calendar to find a date in July and realized the calendar did not go past June (it’s the summer-to-summer type of calendar) he interrupted my work to ask WHERE IS JULY !? I looked up with a serious expression, and said with the straightest face I could manage, “Luke! THERE WILL BE NO JULY!! The world is ending in JUNE!” It took about a second for him to figure out that I was kidding, but it was sure fun watching his face react!
5. Be the target of your own jokes. Don’t take yourself too seriously, learn to poke fun at yourself, and roll with it. This models an important life skill to your kids and helps them learn to laugh at themselves as well…A coping skill that we could all use a bit more of…
Here are a few resources that might help you add some humor to your home.
BOOKS FOR KIDS:
(I have read many of these, but not all of them…however they come highly recommended.)
Ernest, the Moose Who Doesn’t Fit
Amazing Cows: Udder Absurdity for Children
Take Me Out of the Bathtub and Other Silly Dilly Songs
The Adventures of Nanny Piggins
Zany and Brainy Good Clean Jokes for Kids
BOOKS/RESOURCES FOR PARENTS/FAMILIES
In This House, We Will Giggle: Making Virtues, Love, and Laughter a Daily Part of Your Family Life
Laugh Your Way to a Better Marriage: Unlocking the Secrets to Life, Love, and Marriage
(We have not read the book ^^ but Dave and I did a weekend retreat and watched the videos which we found to be insightful and super funny!)
Mark Gungor: Laugh Your Way to a Better Marriage – DVD
PODCAST! Tune into the MARRIAGE IS FUNNY Podcast over at Meet the Peppers
(By the way…Subscribe to their podcast and you might just hear little ole me being interviewed on the Summer mini-series called “The Perfect Wife”! And yes, I hope that just made you laugh. :))
JOKES, COMEDY AND MORE:
Just a few of our personal favorites…
(Also, can’t help it– we are still fans of the Dear Kitten Youtube Videos)
A good list of funny jokes for kids.
Jim Gaffigan: King Baby (DVD)
We love Jim Gaffigan…and he’s mostly family friendly, but not 100%
Brian Regan: The Epitome Of Hyperbole (DVD)
Brian Regan is also super funny and everything we’ve seen/heard from him has been family friendly.
What am I missing? Please leave a comment below to share your favorite ways to add laughter to your home…Whether it’s a family tradition, on-going joke, book, Youtube channel, or anything else. I’d love to add to my list!
**Some of the links above are Amazon Affiliate Links which means I make a few cents if you click through and purchase there. (no extra cost to you!) Thank you for supporting my blogging efforts that way! 🙂
And as always, if this post has encouraged (or entertained) you, please share it with your peeps by using the social media share buttons below!
Here’s to a happy, healthy, and FUNNY summer!
I don’t think you’re missing much. I have always been the instigator in my house. I love laughter. There is nothing better than a child who is laughing.
My son had his 12tb birthday party over the weekend. His one wish was to have two friends spend the night. One of them I have raised since he was 2. We were discussing how they would ride those little red cars with the yellow roof down a hill and into a fence. His friend turned red and just laughed so hard we all began laughing hysterically. At that moment, I realized all of those amazing, crazy, funny times I shared with my son and his friends.
Laughter is a great way to bond not only your family, but people in general. Today, I will laugh and embrace silliness.
Oh that was just beautiful Sara!! Loved hearing that story, and you are so right…With my parents being so much fun our home growing up always had many extra guests who I know were drawn to our home because it was such a warm, welcoming and fun place to be! Great reminder. Have an amazing week! XO
Tim Hawkins, Brad Stine, and Jeff Allen are favorites here. I’m usually the one that deploys humor first. It can cut the frustration of homeschooling many days.
Awesome–thanks for sharing Jolene! And good for you…anyone crazy enough to homeschool definitely needs a sense of humor (haha! :)) XO aloha-
First of all, we love Jim Gaffigan too! Saw him live once and we own the King Baby CD. But the one thing that never fails in my house of boys is the book Chicken Butt. It is a silly book about a young boy who asks “you know what” and when the person asks “what” he answers “chicken butt”. It goes on with other things that rhyme. It makes zero sense but every time we read it we are in tears laughing and it usually brings out all of us trying to come up with silly rhymes of our own!
I love it! I feel like I’ve heard of that book but our family definitely should get it. My youngest has a weird thing with the word “Chicken” — he puts it into everything possible. 🙂 Thanks for sharing! Much aloha-
My favorite thing about my husband is his ability to make me laugh….pretty much daily. Humor is one of the cornerstones in our house. So glad to see the links and this particular blog. Thank you Monica!
I love that Laura–So glad to hear it. Thanks for stopping in…Much Aloha 🙂