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Humour for Raising a Healthy Family

October 21st, 2011

Raising children is the hardest school I’ve ever attended. Every day I learn so much about myself through my kids. We all want to be the best parents, we all want to do what is right – but I was really disappointed when I discovered my first child didn’t deliver with a manual. My second edition arrived once again without instructions. Some days I feel like I’m an awesome mother, but other days I realize there is so much to learn and most of the learning has to happen through trial and error with the two unique personalities that have entered my life.

Bringing humour into our household has helped tremendously. I’m not referring to cracking jokes, I’m referring to being easier going on myself and my family. Let me tell you, it isn’t always easy.

We all need to laugh more. We need to laugh about the things our children do and say. We need to laugh about the times we forget to do something or say the wrong thing. We need to realize that we are always doing the best we can and so is everyone else in our lives.

Humour is not only a powerful tool for self-healing, but it also works wonders with dealing with the adverse situations. Situation such as… your child refusing to go to bed, or not putting on their coat or even when they provide no response to a request, when your standing two feet away from them. Humour comes in handy.

In order to find the humour in adverse situations, you need to do work within yourself.

The first thing you need to muster is COMPASSION. No matter what age your children are, they have unique little personalities, they have certain skills and experiences and they have their own stresses that they’re going through (we might not even be aware of). All of the above will determine on how they react to a situation.

No matter how they react, they are always doing the best that they can for who they are and what they are going through. Your role is to find compassion and this is the biggest lesson all parents need to learn in the ‘school of parenting’. We never need to react to our children with a negative emotion such as anger, or guilt. Negative emotions are triggered when a situation arises that does not mesh with your personality type, or relates to emotions, or experiences that you were around or went through in the past. Emotions are natural. We all have them and they are amazing. Emotions are amazing because they are a gauge for where our opportunities for growth are. Truly, we don’t ever need to be angry with anyone. If we don’t have to be angry at someone than that means we can work on changing our reactions to situations and people.

You don’t need to stay within a negative emotion that has been triggered. Being a parent of two very determined girls, every day I have opportunities for growth thrown in my face. Some days I ace it and others not so much. I’ve come a long way in my retraining and I have a ways to go, however I have significantly decreased the stress in my life, simply by acknowledging my areas of growth and consciously working on changing my thought patterns.

If you would like assistance on changing your thought patterns, Jacquie offers one on one coaching sessions – check out www.lightnup.ca for details.

What your children need are caring adults that are understanding and compassionate teachers. They need parents that can provide them with guidance. If you think “My child needs to know I’m angry so I get angry – that way they won’t do it again”…stop for a moment and think optimistically about the following viewpoint. In some cases, yes children won’t do it again because you scared the poop out of them. Have you considered how your anger may affect your children in other ways?

I need to provide you a quick explanation of energy before I can continue. We are all made up of energy. When we laugh every cell in our body is ignited with positive energy and that affects or physical, mental, emotional and spiritual health. If you fill yourself with negative energy you are affecting your physical, mental, emotional and spiritual health in a negative way.

As parents we need to work on providing our children guidance of how to make positive choices in their lives. We need them to be confident in their decision making. If we focus on the negative, and fill our children with negative energy we may adversely affect their physical, mental, emotional, and spiritual health.

Fill your children with positive energy daily. Provide them with unconditional love and understanding. Provide them with guidance to make healthy choices on their own. Play and Laugh with your kids often. Positive, laughter-filled energy encourages health and holistic balance in our bodies.

Here are some tips for raising your children with humour in mind:

To Give To Your Children:

· Provide your children with positive feedback.

· Allow your children to make mistakes rather than be over their shoulder trying to guide their every move.

· Stop talking!! We talk way too much. Keep your feedback brief (I need to really practice this one!!)

· If one technique doesn’t work, rather than repeating your words or actions again and again, try another approach.

· Clearly state consequences of an action.

· Give your children warning before transitions are going to happen.

· Ensure the consequences are proportionate and if possible related to the action.

· Follow through with the consequences

· Redirecting is a great way to remove the attention from a negative behavior

· Allow your children to participate in decision making. If you have the young ones offer 2 -3 choices. “Would you like to do this …or this…first?”

· Consistency is also very important and in many cases can override providing choices. No matter who is with the child, make sure everyone is informed of the routine that happens with your child. But hey, other things in life come up and some times you need to adapt routines, and that’s okay. That’s life – always full of surprises. Keep your routines as consistent as you can and when things arise, go with the flow and get back into your routine as soon as you can.

· Provide them with lots of love, lots of understanding

· If you blow your top, apologize and acknowledge what you need to work on with your child (you’re human, it’s okay for them to know you can make mistakes to).

Working Through Negative Emotions:

· Anytime you have a negative reaction to something your child does or says (anger, fear, guilt, sadness) you have an opportunity for personal growth. It’s your stuff!

· Remember your child is always doing the best that they can. So provide them with guidance, compassion and keep this in mind…they are perfect for today and so are you!

· You are always being the best parent you can be with the skills you have, past experiences, your personality and stresses in your life. You will react to a situation based on all of the above factors. Don’t beat yourself up. Be thankful for the things you learn everyday. You’re not meant to know how to do everything. You are perfect for today.

· When you feel a negative emotion welling in you – stop it and get rid of it. Ask yourself, do I need to feel this way? The answer is always NO. You choose to feel that way. Ask yourself why you might have the negative emotion, does it stem from something in your past (you may not be able to pin point it and that’s okay – there are some great techniques for self-discovery such as timeline therapy, hypnosis, past life regression etc..), is it a healthy reaction?

· Find optimism about the situation; find a way to laugh about it. There are times when you may need to laugh on the inside (so as not to encourage a behavior).

Enjoy your ‘School of Parenting’. Some days you may have a grade of a C or even a D, but know that tomorrow you can get an A+. Choose to have compassion for your children and yourself. Choose to fill your family with positive energy.

Wishing your family laughter, health and prosperity.

Written by: Jacquie Hermans – laugh@lightnup.ca

Laughter Coach, Personal Growth Trainer


Image Courtesy of: http://www.freedigitalphotos.net

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