I’m curious, is there enough laughter in your home? Do you often laugh and smile yourself? Do your kids joke and play happily together? Are there peals of laughter coursing through your hallways daily? If not, then it’s time for a laughter make-over in your home.
Laughter is one of my favorite ways to release pent up emotions. Sure, there are other ways like crying and anger release, but laughter is without a doubt the most fun emotional release for everybody in the household.
But how do you infuse your home with more joy and laughter? I’ve got some ideas I’d like to share with you.
1) Be super silly- A young child’s sense of humor is fairly undeveloped which makes it fairly easy to make them laugh. Doing something unexpectedly silly will often do the trick. I like to put funny hats on, talk in an accent, dance around the room shaking my head and arms wildly or just act a little bit crazy. Kids absolutely love it when we adults let loose and play with them in this way. You’ll know you’re on the right track when they’re looking at you like you’re nuts or they’re smiling and laughing.
2) Be a clumsy clown- Acting clumsy is one of the quickest ways to get your kids laughing. Be sure to do this safely, you don’t want to hurt yourself. I like to fall over onto something soft like the bed. Sometimes kids will join me because falling over produces some nice vestibular stimulation, which feels great! Mostly they enjoy seeing that adults can stub their toes, bonk their heads, and fall over sometimes just like they do. And if you really play it up, you’ll all be rolling on the floor in fits of laughter before you know it.
3) Be forgetful- Children love it when they’re the smartest and best-informed people in the room. Playing dumb or forgetting where things are or how to do simple household tasks can be a blast for your child. Acting discombobulated and confused is a great way to produce laughter because you are the butt of the joke. This also addresses the innate power imbalance between parents and kids that many children notice and are disturbed by. When we can take the time and make the effort to be the less powerful one once in a while it provides young people with a fun way to release their feelings about often being the less capable person in the mix.
4) Play a SAFE tickling game- Let me be clear, tickling a child until they can’t breathe is not any fun for the child. In general I recommend against tickling as a way to induce laughter, but there is a way to play a tickling game that feels safe to your child. The key is to let the child be in charge of the tickling. When the young person gets to direct you to start and stop, they feel empowered and safe which makes it much more fun. In this way, you and your child can work together to create a fun game. Your job is to really watch and listen for your child’s “stop” signal and tickle in short bursts so that your child has an opportunity to catch his breath and ask you to go again or to stop.
I hope you’ll implement some of these ideas this week and I would love to hear about your own great ideas for how to increase the laughter in your home. Please leave me a comment!
Have a great week, Shelly