As I sit on the plane back to Dubai after my quarterly visit to Iran to visit my kids, I think of all the ways that laughing with my kids has helped our relationship. My situation is slightly different as my kids don’t live with me and I only see them for a week at a time but it works the same and I face the same challenges.
Now days our kids are faced with so many ever-changing realities that we never had as kids. They strive to meet the demands of school, college and parents who are always busy and not always able to give them the time and care that they need.
Major stress factors in children
(Scary – How many of these resonated with you?)
Parental & Academic Pressure
How much are you pressurizing your kids to constantly perform better? Reaching for unrealistic goals, which are unfulfilled, is leading kids to feel really stressed and it actually proves to be detrimental to their mental and physical health. They are also deprived of strong mental and emotional guidance and role models because parents are just too busy and lack the parenting skills they need.
Yes laughter is a solution:
As they learn to laugh unconditionally, they learn how to handle the pressure better and laughter also builds self confidence and the ability to handle stress by boosting the immune system and releasing endorphins in the brain which ‘kick start’ that feel good feeling and reduces stress.
Lack of Emotional Bonding
Unfortunately, with broken homes and the constant lack of emotional bonding and long term relationships with parent have added to this lack and often parents spend lots of money on treats for their kids to compensate for the lack of quality time they can spend with them.
*Today young kids 11 – 16 years old:
- Have a TV in their bedroom
- Have a mobile phone
- Have a computer
- Play games on either mobiles or TV
*There are fewer play spaces for children
*Many children can’t play outside without an adult watching them (but they are too busy so you know what that means)
*More and more kids are being prescribed antidepressants each year
*There are less and less homes with tables to eat meals at because meals are eaten in front of the TV
*Many parents work too much over time and don’t take their holidays because they fear the backlog of work when they return
Laughter Promotes Positive Emotions and Coping Skills
Through laughter especially in groups establishes a caring-sharing network for relationships and emotional bonding. Children, particularly teenagers learn to indulge in healthy group play, which alleviates feelings of deprivation and loneliness.
Lack of Exercise
Kids are not moving as much because they sit on their phones and play games and if that isn’t bad enough they are always being told to sit still for extended periods of time and made to concentrate from an early age.
Laughter Yoga is a unique workout regime that oxygenates the blood and other organs, leaving them full of energy and physically fit.
Studies show a huge leap in Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD) Children with the disorder are extremely hyperactive and find it difficult to concentrate for even short periods. They act on impulse and often appear to have no sense of danger.
Laughter gives them their outlet for this energy and An extended hearty laughter improves blood circulation and flushes the lungs of stale residual air. This helps in better concentration power, increases the learning ability and helps to enhance academic performance.
All in all ‘Laughter is the best Medicine’ as they say so I am sure it will help all students of all ages, parents and teachers.
5 Laughs to try with your kids
- Always show your appreciation and congratulate them with a Very Good !Very Good! Yay! (Clap your hands for both very goods and yay put your hands up above your head in the victory position)
- When you or your child make a mistake, break or forget something laugh and shake your head and put your hands palms up as if to say – I don’t know (take the stress off what happened so they feel ok to fail and learn rather than fail and be defeated)
- When your child hurts themselves or falls laugh – you may have seen kids look around before bursting into tears – they just want attention – so make it a positive one and also laughter is a natural pain killer so it will help with that anyway.
- Freedom of expression – pretend to unzip yourself and step out of your ‘shell’ and laugh and love your self – this is me yay!! Let them learn to love who is inside.
- Motor Bike – pretend they are driving a motor bike that runs on laughter hehe This is a great way to get them running around using that energy and oxygenating those cells.
About the author: To find out more about Jo-Dee Walmsley, click here.