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Laughing With Your Children

Jane Tyson
Dad laughing with kids.

Did you know that children laugh hundreds of times a day? I'll bet you don't laugh that much. I know I don't. I'm sure you have heard that laughter is the best medicine. It relaxes your whole body and boosts your immune system. It triggers the release of those feel-good chemicals called endorphins. It can protect your heart, burn calories, lighten anger's heavy load and may even help you live longer. 

So where do you go to find someone or something to laugh with...look no farther than your children. They are hardwired to laugh. In fact they laugh before they crawl, walk or talk. What your child finds funny varies depending on their age. My oldest granddaughter thought grandma's ceiling fan was just the funniest thing when she was about 6 months old. Now she enjoys knock knock jokes. My three year old granddaughter enjoys more physical or active humor. 

In addition to the health benefits listed above, laughter can build and strengthen relationships. Laughing with your child brings you together. Imagine a shared secret laugh about something. Did you know that a child is 30 times more likely to laugh when you are with him? Laughter is contagious. 

Laughter can be used to defuse a struggle with your child. Try telling him to put his shoe on his ear when he refuses to put it on his foot. Or better yet, to put it on your ear. After some silliness you can get those shoes where they belong. 

Tell your child funny stories about when you were his age. Recall times in her life that were funny. You and your child can make up your own funny stories and laugh together. It doesn't matter if it funny to youu. Pretend laughter has the same benefits as real laughter. And immersing yourself into your child's world and sense of humor can lead to a genuine enjoyment of your time together. 

So tell me about something that has tickled your child's funny bone and had you both laughing together.