Humor has helped our family in so many ways. We have found that humor can lighten the mood, help us feel better, and bring our family closer together. Some of our greatest memories are of us laughing together…so hard that our cheeks hurt, our eyes water, our sides hurt, and some almost wet their pants! This happened while we were playing Apples to Apples. My husband made a silly comment and we had to stop the game for 10 minutes until we could calm down and stop laughing. No none of us can remember what was said, only that Dad is really funny!
Our family likes to use puns to lighten the mood. Puns require wit and intelligence so you have to really think them through. Sometimes the puns are really funny, and sometimes we just roll our eyes and tell the kids to keep trying. Here’s an example of our puns. If we are in the car and pass a heard of cows we’ll have a pun war about cows….”holy cow!” or “That’s udderly ridiculous” or “We’re milking these puns for all they’re worth”. One of my husband’s favorites is to shout “Hey!” every time he sees bales of hay. One time we were hiking and started using “Crack” puns…hey look at that “crack” in the rock or you “crack” me up. It had us all laughing all the way up a very difficult hike. I think I should blame my husband’s father and grandfather for passing off this uncanny ability to be “punny”. It is definitely rubbing off on myself and the kids.
Be careful not to “rip” or “slam” on each other. Puns are fun as long as they are not pointed at an individual. Be careful not to belittle, offend, intimidate, embarrass, or make fun of others for a laugh. Don’t be mean or tease. These hurtful puns will kill any good feelings and bring an immediate downer to any situation.
I have always admired my older brother for his ability to turn any situation into a fun, light-hearted one. One time we were at our cabin and some of the siblings were having a “heated” discussion (because disagreements happen in big families) and he made a humorous comment that totally changed the mood in the room to a light, friendly feeling. It amazed me how easily he could turn a contentious discussion peaceful with some simple humor.
My husband loves to tell “Dad Jokes”. They are the best! It’s even better when the kids try to tell them. We used to read the jokes off of Laffy Taffy candy. One joke my daughter told recently is, “Why did they call the horse Mayo? Because Mayo-nays!” When they hear a joke at school they try to remember it and share it with us when they get home. Sometimes they are actually very funny!
Gary K. Palmer shared how he lightened the environment of his home when he came home from work. He said, “Someone once said, ‘A little craziness once in a while perpetuates sanity.’ When I return home from work each day, I consciously think about what I’m going to say the moment I enter the house. I actually practice my entrance a few seconds before I open the door. I usually shout some outlandish remark to get my family’s attention. A typical loud verbal entrance for me is ‘Hello, all you lucky people. I’m home.’ Such greetings usually raise an eyebrow with anyone visiting our home, but for the rest of the family, they know that it’s just Dad. This may sound somewhat strange, but I find that it helps set the tone for a fun home and instantly puts everyone at ease… It also helps me make the change mentally from work to home. I do not want to come home tired, ornery, or dull. Most of us try to be our best selves at work. Doesn’t our family deserve at least the same effort?”
I love that! My attitude when my family comes home really affects the entire atmosphere of our home. If I’ve had a bad day and I immediately start to yell at them when they come home, boom-it sets an instant distance between us and creates more animosity. But if I greet them when they come home with a great big hug or smile and tell them I love them and missed them and I’m so glad they are home…It just changes everything. Our attitudes truly make a difference in our home.
I remember reading a book about talking to people. The book explains that when you see a child you give them a great big smile and that you should share that same smile with everyone. Imagine if you gave that same smile to one of your family members. A true, I’m so happy to see you smile. How would they respond to you? I have found that a smile is one of the greatest things you can give someone. Seeing someone you love genuinely smile at you when you are doing something difficult or challenging or just to tell you they love you is truly amazing and lifts me so much!
“Laughter improves communication and builds relationships because everyone laughs in the same language.”Gary K. Palmer
Laughter is another great way to lighten the mood, distract you from hard things, and help you and your family feel better. It really is the best medicine.
“Studies show that humor and laughter help people live longer, happier lives; be more creative and productive; and have more energy with less physical discomfort. Humor reduces stress, fear, intimidation, embarrassment, and anger. Laughter also has extra ordinary healing power. When a person laughs, blood pressure decreases, heart rate and respiration increase, the body releases endorphins, and depression declines. After the laughter subsides and you relax again, that good feeling has a lasting effect, even until the next day. Not many medicines will do that.”Gary K. Palmer
Laughter really can lighten your load. I have seen this when we laugh so hard we are crying or our sides hurt. It releases so much tension and we always feel so much better afterwards.
Here are some things to try to add more humor in your family.
- Tell a joke. Keep telling them until you find a funny one.
- Take a break and enjoy things around you.
- Find something funny about your situation.
- Play games together.
- Tell funny stories from your childhood.
- Create Puns together.
- Watch a comedy show.
- Read funny books together.
- Practice smiling your biggest smile.
- Greet your family in a silly way.
- Watch funny videos on YouTube. (I’d love to hear some of your favorites!)
- Read the comics in the paper and share the funny ones.
Our family enjoys watching funny shows. Vid Angel has a clean comedy series. We also love to watch Studio C Lately we have been watching the Psych series. America’s Funniest Videos is also fun to watch. Sometimes you just need a good laugh. This life is filled with so much misery and unhappiness that you really do need to take a break and laugh and be silly together with your loved ones. Show your kids how to be happy and optimistic about the future. Make your home a pleasant place to be and you will see a big difference in your homes!