Tuesday, August 25, 2009

Using Humor: parenting should be fun!

In the book “One Flew over the Cuckoo’s Nest”, Mc Murphy (played on screen by legendary actor Jack Nicholson) says “when you loose your sense of humor, you loose your footing” which is great wisdom when you consider in this movie, he lives in a psychiatric institution!
Humor is one of the best tools you have at hand for those days when your children are in a conspiracy to send you over the edge. Humor and laughter are indeed serious business: Did you know that they can also reduce stress, ease strained relationships, diffuse tension, and even bridge the gap between generations? Given all the benefits of giggling, chuckling, and being silly, why not inject some humor into your family's day-to-day life? A sense of humor will help you when your baby begins to cry for the fifth time tonight... When your 2 year-old has smeared her dirty diaper all over the bedroom wall.. when you have an argumentative five-year old. Or like me, while you're in the middle of a complex parking maneuver at the supermarket, reversing your 4x4 into a space that a shopping cart would find tight while your daughter is giving you the "third degree"!

Every kid has a funny bone. They love to laugh, play, and clown around. Experts say (whoever these experts are!) that humor is a very effective way to get kids to do the things they don’t want to do. When parents use silly songs and the element of surprise, kids will often comply with little fuss. “Humor allows parents to handle a tough circumstance in a different and more constructive manner,” says child physician, Dr. Rene Ramiro.
I believe that laughter can connect us with the present moment, with the here and now. The older I get the more I realize the importance of making laughter a priority and try to find something that makes me laugh at least once a day. When I have had a particularly bad day (no matter what, we've all been there!) where it seems like NOTHING could help, watching some I Love Lucy always does the trick for me.

It's so fun, I tell you. And I feel lighter and more centered and I can honestly say I even feel wiser and more compassionate when I laugh.

A final note: Humor will allow you on the most stressful of days to realize that you've been given your child as an amazing gift to enjoy and cherish.

Remember: Don't be a cynic. Parenting should be fun.

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