Using humor in your parenting

Mass Appeal

Parenting is beautiful, it’s fun, and it’s one of the best gifts in the world – it’s also difficult…which is why humor is so important! 

Clinical psychologist Dr. Sharon Saline joins us with tips! 

1.    Use humor to defuse tension and help each of you react less: Not sarcasm which actually involves shame and belittling. But real humor: ex/ if you child or teen is being mildly disrespectful, try saying something like “Fresh is for vegetables” rather than giving a mini-lecture about respect. 
2.    Discover their favorite songs, learn the lyrics and then sing along to the tunes when the music is playing. When kids are laughing with you or even at you for being goofy, it builds closenes and reduces stress.
3.    When doing chores, game-ify them. Play music while you’re doing the dishes and dance. Make a contest out of cleaning up their rooms: See who can pick up the most items off the floor in one minute. 
4.    Think about increasing the fun factor in your family. Set aside family time and let them pick the food or movie while you reserve veto power for anything inappropriate. Play a game they like, even if you don’t know or like it too much. Giving them more choice over the activity helps increase their participation, especially for teens. 
5.    If your child or teen complains about limits that you set based on realistic safety or behavioral concerns, let them know that parents (esp. moms) worry all of the time. That’s part of our job. My own mother says sleeping is just worrying with your eyes closed. I’ve said this to my kids and they roll their eyes but we both laugh.

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