Raising children is said to be one of the most rewarding jobs. I couldn’t agree more, however at times things can get a little hairy (to say the least). The good outshines the struggles but one thing I learn from my children everyday is to rely on laughter to get through those not so easy times.
Did you know that kids on average laugh 200X a day compared to the 26X a day for adults? Maybe we should take a lesson from our kids on using this strength! Laughter is a good thing!! Not only does it make us feel good but scientists have also found that is lowers blood pressure, reduces the stress hormone, and increases muscle flexion. It also increases the circulation of antibodies in the blood stream and makes us more resistant to infection.
Laughter is spontaneous. We don’t plan to laugh. . . it just happens. Laughter can put things in perspective, lighten the mood, and help us take ourselves less seriously. Have you ever solved a melt down with laughter? It works! Anger begins to melt away and laughter can put the situation into perspective. Humor and laughter helps us stay positive. When our kids are in a positive state of mind they are able to better understand information, be more creative, and just be in the moment.
A good sense of humor can provide a foundation for a more positive world view and greater use of personal strengths. Humor has been linked to increased optimism, and in general, a more positive self image. A good sense of humor can increase resilience and be a healthy coping mechanism.
So take some time this summer to be in the moment and enjoy all those giggles. It will not only strengthen your relationship with your child but with yourself!
Sarah Zawaly has been working with young children, parents and teachers for a number of years in multiple capacities; teacher, therapist, preschool consultant, and coach. She has her MSW and is currently working at Children, Inc.’s Innovation Lab.