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April’s Fool Day!  What better day to talk about the importance of humor?

You have probably heard the phrase, “Laughter is the best medicine”.  History shows us that people have understood the healing benefits of laughter for a very long time. As early as the 1300’s, a professor of surgery, Henri de Mondeville documented the use of humor in post-operative therapy. Since then, numerous studies have highlighted the benefits of laughter in both physical and mental health (Psychiatric Times, 2018).

Laughing together is also simply a good way to connect with others and a good sense of humor can help young people deal with challenges, shares Dr. Mary Gavin (KidsHealth.org, 2015). Here are three ways you can incorporate more laughter into your family routines:

  1. Create an environment filled with humor. Start a collection of funny books and stories. Picture books or rhyming books are great for younger kids. Older kids enjoy joke books and comics. Start a joke of the day and let each family member share one.  Write a joke on their lunches or slip a joke in their backpack.
  1. Be a role model of good humor. Laugh often. Share funny stories. When appropriate, use humor to calm tension situations or deal with small accidents that happen.
  1. Make the most of holidays (such as April Fool’s day). Find silly holiday themed games to play. Gift joke books for different seasons or holiday. We have an Easter jokes for kids book on our table right now.  How did the Easter Bunny feel when he hurt his leg? Un-hoppy (insert laughter or eye rolling here). Enjoy a fun (and safe) April’s Fool Day joke.

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