Q: How can we use humour to promote a more cheerful and healthy atmosphere in our home?
A: That’s a great question and one that reflects an understanding that humour and laughter are important elements of a happy, healthy and thriving family life. We think the saying, “We cannot really love anybody with whom we never laugh” by Agnes Repplier is exactly right.
So how can you turn your house into a place where love and laughter flows naturally? Here are some suggestions:
- First, don’t take yourself too seriously. Perspective often escapes us, making it easy to distort the significance of things. Take a step back and try to get a sense of where you fit in the “bigger picture.”
- Second, resolve to laugh even when you don’t feel like laughing. Tough times are when a good laugh is most urgent, and a bit of humour can help wash away the stress. It can also keep your marriage and family together when you’re coming unglued.
- Next, look for the humour around you. Art Linkletter, a Canadian-born American radio and television personality, famously observed that “people are funny” – and it’s true. Life is full of good comedic material, so stay on the lookout for the comic element in everyday life.
- Discover what makes your spouse and children laugh. Study their individual humour styles and find ways to exploit and develop them at least once a day.
- Finally, learn how to poke fun at one another in a light-hearted, healthy, affirming, and non-derogatory way. In the right relationship and proper context, some good-natured “teasing” can actually increase feelings of intimacy among family members. Just so long as one person’s “joke” doesn’t become another person’s raw and bleeding wound.
© 2018 Focus on the Family. All rights reserved. Used by permission.