Why is Laughter Important for Children?

Some days, communication between parents and children goes like this:

“Wash your hands!” “Did you find the other shoe?” “I need the permission slip signed today!” “Don’t yell at your sister!” “Where’s my homework?” “I signed that permission slip yesterday!” “Did you check under the table?” “Are you really going out looking like that?” “Can you drive me and Madison to the mall now?” “If you want to cry, I’ll give you something to cry about!” “He started it!” “I SAID DON’T YELL AT YOUR SISTER!” and the winner: “If all your friends jumped off a cliff, would you jump too?”

Life is busy, and instructional conversation makes up the majority of parent/child communication on an average day.

Here are some reasons to slow down, take a few deep breaths, and add some playful conversation — liberally sprinkled with laughter — to your communication:

  • Laughter releases endorphins, the ‘feel good’ hormones that boost your mood.  Everyone is happier when the people around them are happier!
  • Laughing with your children creates special memories.  When they are all grown up, the happy times will be recalled with great ease, due to laughter’s imprint on the brain!
  • Laughter releases tension.  No explanation necessary — we all have pent up stress to release!
  • Laughter facilitates an atmosphere of trust.  The effects of laughter last far longer than the actual minutes spent having fun together; the positive interaction increases the trust people feel in one another.

Studies demonstrate that the average child laughs over 300 times per day, while the average adult laughs only 15 times daily!

Let’s commit to increasing the laughter in our interaction with our children.

Yesterday, as I prepared this article, I decided to search youtube for funny clips for us to watch together.  This baby, who has already been featured on the Today Show, had us in stitches!  What do you do to add laughter to your family?

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  1. Fun? Laughter? Is there time for that? 😉 Actually, my 7 year old recently instituted family game night (was probably an idea he got from the Disney channel – I sometimes wonder what I’d do without Disney…) and my boys and I laughed so hard the first night we were rolling on the floor. It was a natural situation that simply allowed for funny stuff to happen and it was relaxing at the same time. Now the 7 year old makes and posts a sign about the upcoming game night and puts it in the hall for all to see.

    Erica 😉

  2. Love this article. A great reminder to take those opportunities we have with our kids to enjoy them by laughing with them. I’m always focused on finish the homework, now do your chores, okay now it’s dinner time, let’s set the table – very seldom, do I enjoy them and they are growing up so fast. I felt a deep sense of sadness when I read this article. The good news is, I can enjoy them today. Thanks Ellen for the inspiration. Have a fabulous day!

  3. Tracy H says:

    I too have that guilt of delaying fun for homework etc but I enjoy laughing with my eight year old boy. We especially enjoy reading any Junie B Jones books by Barbara Park, probably me more than him now. We have had outbursts whilst reading First Grader at Last and Jingle Bells in case anyone needs a reason to lol, I recommend any of her books.