Almost a hundred years ago, Mark Twain wrote, “The human race has only one really affective weapon and that is laughter.” I think he was onto something.
Laughter brings us together. It encourages, breathes life, strengthens bonds. It brings light to darkness and smooths rough edges. And I believe it’s true – a family who laughs together, stays together.
A homeschool day for us always includes a good measure of being weird, doing crazy things, and of course, laughter. For me, one of the huge benefits of being home with our kids all day, is the ability to be FREE. Free to do what we want, when we want. Free to dance, sing, giggle, tickle, cry, wonder, question… and sure, even pop a fart joke now and then. (Hey, I’ve got a 6-year-old son – I know all about those!)
Truth is, being ‘silly’ doesn’t always come naturally for me. In fact, I don’t think it comes easily for most adults. Somewhere along the road, we get all serious and forget that we too, were once ‘just’ crazy kids. Yep, when it comes to intentional and calculated portions of silliness I have to actually try. And I ‘try’ for a good reason – I know it’s healthy for our children and myself. There are many benefits of being silly.
Silliness induces laughter. Laughter is considered ‘nature’s medicine’. So, what are some of the proven benefits?
•Laughter triggers the release of endorphines – the body’s natural ‘feel good’ hormones.
•Laughter relaxes the body and relieves tention.
•Laughter boosts the immune system by decresing stress hormones and increasing immune cells and disease and infection-fighting antibodies.
•Laughter protects your heart by improving the function of blood vessels and increasing blood flow, both of which can help protect you from heart problems.
These benefits have been Scientifically proven. Some people are even doing “laugh” therapy in an attempt to deal with their life’s problems and heal themselves. So, I thought to myself – why not just incorporate a good handful of laughter into every single day?
Since I’ve actively pursued being more ‘silly’ and having more fun with our kids, our house has been a much happier and relaxed place. Our little ones and I have a closer bond. There is less arguing. I’m far more relaxed and able to cope with the stresses of being home by myself and attempting to home educate a two-year-old, three-year-old, and six-year-old.
If you have to ask youself, “When was the last time I had a GOOD laugh with my kids?”, you just aren’t laughing enough. Life is way too short to not enjoy, and fully enjoy, every moment of every day. No matter how chaotic, busy, or stressful they can sometimes be – add a dose of silly laughter, and you’ll give yourself an instant boost of spirit. After all, laughter and happiness are contageous. Lead by example, and your whole home will be smiling.
Ideas to help you get your SILLY on:
•Play a game of tag or hide-and-seek. Be one of the kids. Don’t worry about what people think. Too often parents sit on the side-lines. Children WANT their parents to play with them. Through play, we form bonds. Be free – run around like you did when you were a kid. Chase, scream, laugh, fall on the grass and tickle. Not only is it great exercise, your kids will be in Mom-time bliss.
•Tell jokes. Our kids LOVE knock-knock jokes. In fact, our two-year-old even walks around saying, “Knock, Knock!”. Get some good jokes that are age appropriate and share them with your kids. Have a good laugh – no matter how lame the joke may seem, trust me, your children (especially if they’re young) will likely laugh out loud.
•Dance. At least 3 times a week, we have ‘dancing time’. I turn up the music (usually musicals or classical) and we just dance around like crazy. They follow me around the house, copying my actions. I act silly and make them laugh, doing all sorts of ridiculous moves. It gets their ‘sillies’ out, for sure, but it’s also a purposeful time to show them that I can have fun too and that I truly ENJOY spending time with them doing something they love.
•Make light of life’s ‘spills’. The other morning, I decided to make home-made pancakes for breakfast. The kids helped me mix everything up, set the table, and put out the syrop.
As I turned to heat the grill, my daughter spilled a good amount of the batter all over the table and floor. I did my “1, 2, 3” count before saying anything. Sure, I was frustrated. All 3 pairs of my little munchkins’ eyes were on me, waiting for a response. Instead of getting mad, I just laughed and said, “Miss! I said I liked pancakes… but I don’t want to decorate my KITCHEN IN THEM!” All three kids burst out laughing – the hard, belly-laugh kind that makes me chuckle for a long time after it subsides. We all helped tidy up and made a new batch of pancakes in great spirits.
Hi, my name is Cassandra. I am a passionate Home-Educator, Mom, and wife. I am also the founder of the THINK Media Project. I graduated with an Honors Diploma in Media Communications, thinking I’d someday be a big-time Television Producer/Director. In my final year, I had a major change of heart (to say the least) and realized I wanted nothing to do with the industry. I am now a Media Awareness Educator – speaking to families, educators, teens, and children about Media Literacy and making wise choices about Media exposure. I work hard to spread the truth about pop-culture’s destructive lies and how Media-overload and “Mass Distraction” are playing a HUGE role in stealing our time, our joy, our marriages, and our families, our money, and our purpose. You can visit me online at Unplug Your Family. I’m also on Twitter.