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© Gail Underwood Parker

Thursday, January 20, 2011

Parenting Tips: One a Day Laughter

As I said yesterday, I think we need to make humor more a part of our parenting.  We need to teach and model healthy humor.  Besides.... we all need to laugh! We have no qualms about giving a one-a-day vitamin for good health.  Many of us have to give multiple medications for mood and depression and anxiety in our kiddos.  Are we just as willing [and able] to hand out chuckles, giggles, and laughs for to help them fight their moods, anxieties, and depression.  Much research shows that it might work as well, maybe better.  So..... here are some ideas for sneaking humor into your children's days.

#1-Buy a blank book or spiral notebook. Compile your own Family Joke Book with the best jokes you and the kids find.
#2- Expect each child to bring and share a riddle, knock-knock, or other healthy joke at the dinner table. The winner gets written in the Family Joke Book, or... they all get written in and the one that makes everyone laugh the most gets a star beside the joke.
#3- Post a Joke of the Day/Week on the bathroom mirror.
#4- Stick a riddle in their lunch bag.... they get the answer at dinner if they haven't guessed it by then.
#5- Encourage these activities by scheduling a Family Comedy Night once a week or once a month... Maybe that the night is when jokes are shared at dinner. Maybe rent a movie comedy for the whole family. Maybe listen to an old Bill Cosby recording, many are wonderful for family laughs that never get old!

For older kids:
#5-Have your children each write or phone a relative and ask them for their favorite joke. They can share it at dinner or another time.
#6-Challenge your children to find a funny you-tube video that does NOT involve someone getting hurt.

If your kids are too young: Make coming up with a joke optional for younger ones.
If your kids balk: Try rewarding sharing a joke with something simple... [Maybe anyone who does share a joke does not have to clear their place at the dinner table?]

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