How Laughter Keeps Your Family and Life Going

By Sandy Schroeder

As fall surges forward, most of us need all the help we can get to keep our families moving along, and smiling. Really!  If your kids are grumbling over breakfast and school, or worse, pretending to be sick, you know how all of this works, but don’t give up.

When the fridge goes on the fritz, your son leaves his school project on the counter, and the cat and dog tangle, you may be tempted to hide out in the pantry, but all is not lost.

Laughter May Keep Everybody Going

Fall brings a lot of things to a head, both good and bad, mundane and magical. Savoring the good and sending the bad things on their way often works better when you see the funny side and share that humor with your family.

My family escaped many head-to-head skirmishes when one of us would remember a funny remark that made us all giggle. As we all collapsed with laughter, the grievance was forgotten, and life moved on.

How to Laugh Instead of Frowning

Before fall schedules get the best of you, add humor.

Watch funny films with favorite parts - When children are small they often enjoy the pratfalls in favorite old movies, and the whole family relates to the dilemma.

Text jokes to your kids - If your kids have phones, you might make them grin repeating a joke that you both love.

Sit and reminisce about family episodes - Remembering when Mom or Dad dropped the ball barbecuing chicken, or misread a recipe, may bring up more funny mishaps. Spend time after dinner or during the evening sharing dessert and memories.

Out in the World Use Laughter as a Buffer

Start with a smile - I had a boss who was a master at this. He could enter a room, sit down for a meeting and have everyone chuckling within minutes. From there he would move his agenda forward as everyone happily followed.

Return a blast with a positive response - When you find yourself blindsided by a hostile neighbor, negative co-worker or other attacker, take a deep breath and pull up a positive comment. Smile if you can manage it. You may be amazed at how quickly the tension drops away, and you actually get to the bottom of the situation.

Turn crazy moments into funny stories - When the car won’t start, you are incredibly late for a meeting, and you can’t find the right shoes, life just goes sideways. Stop for just a moment. Take a deep breath and imagine the whole thing playing out as you call for help, text you will be late, and find another pair of shoes that work.

Laughter helps all of us keep our perspective when we remember to use it.

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