The Laugh A Lot Club
I’m pretty sure it was Grammy (my husband’s incredible, creative mom) who coined this phrase for our kids, “the laugh-a-lot club” (along with her “Gobly-Goop” stories!). In our family, it was a natural to become a Best Buddies song, which I wrote to declare our home a place of laughter:
We had fun recording this song and quickly realized, just singing it put us in a laughing mood!
Laughter is definitely CONTAGIOUS!
Kids love to laugh! Humor is one of the best ways to lighten the mood, elevate the energy level, and distract from unpleasant situations. Humor and a “fun attitude” partner to make everyone enjoy the moment, relax, and even connect with others.
A great motto for us parents when instructing our kids or dealing with their actions, attitudes or responses is: First, try to make it fun, funny, or at least pleasant, before having to resort to making it stern and confrontational!
Keeping that fun, sweet “connection” with your child during potentially emotional interchanges helps us from giving in to our own negative mood or emotions, and certainly from unnecessarily “provoking them to anger”.
I can remember trying to prepare the kids for a successful , obedient “Sure I’ld love to!” moment by teasing them about past stories of when they were young and were so hilarious in their attempts to evade doing any chores or work!! There was always a great DEZ story to tell of when he was a toddler and had a rather high level commitment to doing things his way (... that’s a nice way to say he was extreeeeemely strong willed and not easy to control!). One of our favorites is the time at the ballpark when as a barely 2 year old, Dez pointed his finger right back at his daddy and replied to his dad’s command to stop climbing up the speaker box ladder, with an unintimidated “Nooooo!” A hilarious “showdown “ family moment! Makes me laugh thinking about it (Dad won of course, but Dez totally entertained us all!).
The kids always relished hearing stories about each other’s moments of learning to obey, have a good attitude or stop saying selfish, unkind words. The more we laughed, the more stories they begged for. Of course, as time went by, they had stories of their own. It made Denny and I laugh even harder to hear their unique perspective on whatever situation they were recalling. Family stories are the best!
Obviously “Laugh Alot Club” time is not the time for recalling or even alluding to the sad, angry or painful memories. But recalling and retelling the funny, hilarious, crazy moments in our lives have great benefits. It reminds us to laugh at ourselves and enjoy even the not so perfect situations that happen to us all! Family funny stories endear certain qualities & personalities in each of us to one another; they create a culture of remembering and valuing our family uniqueness and history.
DawnChere always got our family tickled! Her voice would go up 4 octaves, sounding like a squeaky baby mouse, whenever she experienced pain or fear on any level, like stubbing her toe or running from any live animal, especially Destiny’s pet cat (which lasted about 6 months at our house!). And if anyone was getting in trouble, her reaction entertained us all! Being “Brave heart” definitely was not her goal! We all adored her!
Many times, aggravating circumstances become downright hysterical when we step “out of ourselves” and see the funny side. I’ll never forget the year when we took our family annual Easter kids picture under the beautiful tree, in the front yard. Unknowingly, we were standing in a huge ANT BED! We laughed for days thinking of our mass run for the house to strip out of the matching white suits & dresses! So funny! And so much fun to remember together!
Helping children to know the difference between laughing WITH and laughing AT someone is key. We can enjoy one another’s crazy moments and keep it positive and honoring of everyone involved! WHEN KIDS FEEL LOVED AND SAFE, THEY LEARN MORE EASILY HOW TO LAUGH AT THEMSELVES, WHICH IS A GREAT AND MUCH NEEDED LIFE LESSON.
So many studies show that children five and under laugh SO MANY TIMES MORE a day than the average adult! Wow! What happens to us when we grow up! AND It’s amazing that studies also show that a certain number of belly laughs a day can help us to stay healthy!! Hm… Sounds do-able to me!!
So, I guess it really is a great question to ask ourselves regularly: “Am I laughing enough? Do I need to be more aware and intentional about filling my home with the pure joy of laughter?!!” It’s interesting to note that just the thought of laughing can bring a smile to your face. It’s almost like our minds confirming that laughter would be a much welcomed and even needed “part of the family personality”, It certainly stands to reason that the family that laughs together (A LOT!) is a more connected, healthy and enjoyable family.
I believe it is a undoubtedly a great goal for any family to have an identity of “being the family that loves to laugh”! Now that we are grandparents, my husband and I are definitely committed to turning up the level of playfulness, silliness and laughter anytime any of our eight grandbabies are around! We are determined and focused on making our house the place all of our kids and their babies want to come to!
Laughter is not an indication of shallowness, but actually flows from a strong, healthy perspective.
The way we SEE our life experiences are totally dictated by THE LENS through which we view them! You and I have the ability to CHOOSE OUR PERSPECTIVES and monitor our conclusions. When we choose to believe that good things will come from even the biggest challenges we face, we have a resiliency that brings strength in the day-to-day crazy moments of life. Hopelessness will not only steal the laughter and joy from any family, it will open the door for negative, toxic mindsets and attitudes that will undermine a family’s unity, love and destiny.
Laughter will help minimize the pain, awkwardness and potential shame in a situation by minimizing its significance, refusing to let it negatively label anyone, and moving on, with confidence and intentionality. Laughter destroys the silence and isolation that can grow in an atmosphere that lacks joy and lightheartedness. Laughter can give that extra strength and focus that is so needed to face the inevitable daily challenges. Laughter releases tension and stimulates creativity. Laughter unifies, and bonds us together, deeply and positively.
Remember, when you get the laughter started…. it will take off on its own. Our bodies, our minds and our emotions thrive on laughter! Maybe a good joke book is the very gift needed at your house! Confession… I’m not a great joke teller...YET! Watch out world! I just might have my own comedy show someday!! (Sorry, I got carried away…).
So whether you’re telling funny family stories, or busting out some new jokes on the family (prepare yourself to be laughed AT!)..it’s all good! Go for it!!
Declare your home and your family identity a “LAUGH A LOT ZONE”! ❤️
Never Give Up!