You wanna know something?
Something I love?
I love hearing my kids laugh! It really doesn’t matter why they are laughing, there’s just something about that sound.
Their laughter can bring a smile to my heart and typically gets me giggling too.
Like today, I was standing in the kitchen doing some prep work for dinner, when suddenly, my oldest son’s deep belly laugh filled the entire house! It was amazing!
When we were playing video games together this evening and my youngest son was laughing so hard it became a really high pitched girly laugh. What a great thing to hear!
I remember when they were babies and a little game of peek-a-boo or blowing raspberries on their tummy was all it took to get them belly laughing (oh that sweet, sweet sound of my babies’ laugh).
What they laugh about and at is much different now, but the sound of their laughter still sends the same sort of feeling through me; still makes my heart leap for joy; still makes me laugh out loud; still makes that moment the most precious moment, regardless of what’s going on.
I’ve been conscientiously observing teens a lot lately. They don’t seem to laugh, heck, I’m not noticing very many smiles either. Why is that?
Is this life, their life, so serious? Stressful? Too grown up? Disconnected?
Why? Why aren’t our children laughing more?
This question has started to plague me.
I look around and I’m not seeing groups of girls huddled together giggling behind their hands.
I look around and I’m not seeing groups of guys giving each other hardy har har punches and laughing.
What I am seeing are groups of kids together, phones in hand, and not one of them looking up; not one of them making eye contact with anyone in the group or passers-by; not verbally communicating with anyone; not socially interacting with those around them. What? Why? Is this really what hanging out with friends looks like now?
And the one thing I notice more than anything else…no laughter
These groups of kids are barely interacting let alone finding something funny enough to laugh about it.
Does this bother anyone else? Am I the only one noticing this?
Watching my nieces hang out with their friends is the perfect example of what I’m saying here. They can have 3,4, 5 friends over, but what is the sound we hear?
It’s not laughter. Nope, it’s distorted music coming from headphones that are stuck in their ears. Um, if I can hear it while it’s stuck in YOUR head, it’s probably too loud (oh Lord, I sound like my mother)
Don’t get me wrong, they occasionally share these songs and videos with each other but most of the reaction is, “eh, I’ve seen that one before. Such and such showed it to me yesterday.”
Again I’m thinking where is the laughter? Where is the fun?
Is this what teens today think of as fun?
I have no answers, but I’m going to keep searching, keep watching…
Laughter is so important to our emotional and mental health.
I will go out of my way to make my kids laugh. I don’t care how silly I look.
I don’t care if I have to take phones away, TV time away, video games away!
One of my favorite ways to get my kids to laugh (at least for a minute) is to tell them,
“Don’t laugh, you might crack your face. No, I mean it! Stop it! We can’t have cracked faces around here for heaven sake.”
Works EVERY TIME! Even works on my oldest. Not sure why it works, but it does and I’ll take it thank you very much!
Laughter can make even some of the worst stuff and feelings a bit easier to deal with.
These kids need life to be fun! Need to cut loose! Need to laugh!
Laughter really is the best medicine, at least in my book!
Till Next Time,
Did you tweet the mission statement from above? Make the promise to change a life through laughter!