I love to try and break the tension with humor. It doesn’t always come naturally for me, but when we can laugh instead of fume, tough situations can be diffused and relationships can be strengthened. This episode covers the benefits of humor, ideas for incorporating humor in your family (including ideas for April Fool's jokes!), and some Dry Bar Comedy tailored just for you!

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Q. What do you call a bear with no teeth?

A. A gummy bear!

Q. Why did a boy bring a ladder to school?

A. Because he was going to high school!

Q. What do you call two banana peels?

A. A pair of slippers!

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Thank you to my kids for sharing some of their favorite jokes with us! I thought that would set the mood for our episode today.

 

I love to try and break the tension with humor. It doesn’t always come naturally for me, but when we can laugh instead of fume, tough situations are diffused and relationships are strengthened.

 

When one of my daughters was really little I realized that she cannot resist a good laugh. She’s the same daughter who often catches us off guard by being instantly upset with no warning. She’s been that way since she was born so it was a steep learning curve in the beginning. She would just randomly start a blood curdling scream and I would be sure she was in some kind of unbearable pain or something. Doctors couldn’t find anything wrong with her though and eventually I just realized it’s her personality. But we wouldn’t change her because the same personality can flip a switch and just start giggling to her heart’s content. So a few years ago I started trying to make her laugh when she was upset, and it was amazing how easily I could get her to calm down! Just a tickle, or talking in a funny accent, or asking a silly question would turn her scream into a laugh. She’s getting more resistant to it as she gets older, but I’ll keep trying. That doesn’t work quite as well with my other two kids, but I’ll take advantage of it when I can!

 

Here are some of the other benefits of using humor in parenting:

 

  • Being playful keeps it from turning into a battle of wills. I like to claim that I’m the most stubborn one in my family, but it doesn’t benefit anyone to be fighting for that title!

  • Anger creates a wedge in relationships. Humor, on the other hand, can be a powerful tool for calming situations, encouraging proper behavior and strengthening our bonds with our kids.

 

(Important Note: Humor has to be for the benefit of everyone to have the right effect though. If a child feels laughed at, or teased, or is spoken to sarcastically, that is not funny and will not create connection.)

 

So here are a few ideas of how to use humor (and play) in your family:

 

  • Add to their chore list -tell mom a funny joke, or eat a cookie, it makes the list seem less daunting.

  • Once when my whole family seemed to be at odds I suggested that we rewind and start over. So I walked backwards out of the room, mumbled a bunch of stuff to sound like I was talking backwards, and then started the conversation over with a different tone of voice. My kids thought it was hilarious and we all felt better.

  • One time I made up this crazy song encouraging my kids to eat their dinner. Then I got really into it and started dancing. They loved it and wanted me to keep doing it, but I would stop until they took a bite. I would stand out in the hallway and come dancing in with a different style after every bite. They couldn’t wait to see what moves I was going to make next so they would eat quickly. I ended up using it many times. It worked like magic when they were toddlers.

  • Another thing I like to do is play games while we work. We don’t all fold the laundry together anymore, but when we used to we would play name that tune. One person would hum song, and the first person to guess what it was got to hum the next one. They loved it.

  • We’ve also done one where we set a timer for one minute, everyone hurries as fast as they can to clean up as much as they can before the timer goes off. Then everyone gets a jelly bean or a smartie, or a chocolate chip or something. Then we set the timer for another minute and keep going until the room is clean.

  • Write down the cute things your kids say. These are so fun to look back at. They are part of our family’s history and culture. I have a notebook that I titled “Priceless Moments”. I used to keep it a secret from my kids because I didn’t want to embarrass them or have them make up random things just to get me to write them in the book. Besides, they didn’t understand what was cute or funny about what they were saying so I didn’t want to confuse them. But now that my kids are older they love to read this notebook and laugh about their cute younger selves. Here are a few I wrote:

    • When my daughter was three. “Tonight after I prayed for our dinner Cadence said, “Yoyo” instead of “Amen.” I gave her a confused look and she said, “Yoyo means Amen in German.” :)

    • “Cadence heard Russ and I talking about Dr. Pepper just now. She had never heard of it before, we don’t really drink soda in our family. So she laughed and said, “Dr Pepper!??” A minute later she said, “Mommy I have to tell you something.” She leaned over and whispered in my ear, “Dr. Salt!”

    • Another time when my daughter was so bugged with my husband and I because of something we had asked her to do. I can’t remember what it was but she felt like we were being hypocrites, so she stomped out of the room acting way beyond her years and yelled, “It’s called hypocritism, Dad!” We were frustrated with her but tried not to burst out laughing when we made eye contact because we didn’t want her to think we were making fun of her. The next day, when her temper had cooled and we were addressing the issues from the day before. We shared our perspective and she thought it was pretty funny too.

  • You could also write down moments when your kids test your patience:

    • So when my second daughter was 4 ½ she used to come up with all kinds of excuses to get out of bed for random things before she fell asleep at night. One of the most random was when she came out and said, “My blanket’s not on all the way and it’s distracting me.” So I told her, “So. Pull it up.” To which she replied, “OK” and walked back to bed with her head hanging down in submission. We all think that story is hilarious now!

    • May 2015 My son and I were walking somewhere in public together and he had his finger in his nose when I heard him say something about “putting it back”. I wasn’t sure if I heard it right but he explained that he had a booger he was trying to put back! Haha. (So this was during a phase when he had been picking his nose more often and I had been trying to teach him that it’s ok to get our boogers out but we need to have a place to put them and we need to wash our hands when we’re done.) In that moment he didn’t have a tissue to wipe it on so he was trying to be obedient and put it back in his nose until he could get one. I explained to him that it was ok if he just dropped it on the ground (since we were in a parking lot) which he was relieved to hear because he was having a hard time getting it back up there!

  • Take a picture when your kids make a huge mess

  • Celebrate April Fool’s Day!

 

Now for the rest of this episode I am going to treat you to a few minutes of Dry Bar Comedy. If you haven’t heard of it, it’s family friendly stand-up comedy. You can find it on YouTube or VidAngel. The comedians you’ll be hearing are Tyler Boeh, Jeff Allen, Heath Harmison, Leanne Morgan, and Johnny Beehner.

 

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Dry Bar Comedy bits

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And that’s it for today. I hope you enjoyed this episode and these comedians. I hope they lightened up your day. If you want more family friendly humor I recommend Studio C or JK Studios.

 

I’d love to hear your ideas for adding humor into your parenting! Contact me on facebook, instagram, or here on my website.

 

And if you want more ideas for how to strengthen your relationship with your kids, tune in next week on Raising Today’s Kids.

 

Remember to subscribe, leave a review, and share this episode with someone who needs it. Thanks for listening, and have an awesome day!

Brittany