I love my kids’ laughter. The best is when it is a belly laugh. It can be contagious. Someone or something has happened that they think is hilarious, usually a bodily function. I cannot help but laugh too. We may all begin cracking up some of us not even knowing why.
When I was a kid I wrote a poem about my bus driver. One line from it read, “We cannot laugh or even have fun.” At the time I thought she was a grumpy old grouch. What had we done to her anyhow. Flashforward 25 years. I am frustrated with my kids and gripping at them for tiny things when they just want to laugh and have fun. Oh, the irony.
Relish is Your Child’s Laughter
Being mindful and relishing in my children’s laugher is really important to me because I do not want to be a grumpy old grouch for, in their eyes, no reason. Of course, there are many reasons we as parents can be on the grumpy side. Now I realize my bus driver was probably a kind pleasant person but had bills, family, many life stressors, and to top it all off noisy kids, who didn’t listen, and very little recourse to deal with us. Never the less, I can easily be on the grumpy side, missing out on the little joyful moments when I am stuck in my to do list, that day’s stress, and general overwhelm. Why not give myself a 2-minute break from my head and learn to relish in my children’s laughter.
Notice your child’s eyes as they crack up into laugher. Notice the twinkle and how the corners of their eyes squint up. Notice the sound and volume of their laughter. Is it a deep belly laugh sure to get everyone laughing along? Is it a soft quiet laugh?
Relax Into Laughter
Now notice your reaction. What thoughts go through your mind as your child crack up? How does your mood shift or change? Notice your shoulders, a common place we hold our stress, do they feel a bit lighter? Pay attention to how go it feels to relax into laughter? What in particular feels great about laughter to you?
You have just taken a little mindful break from your to do list and daily stress to laugh and enjoy life with your child. I hope these moments come to be a joyful part of your day that you look forward to with your kids.
Michelle Puster M.Ed., LPC
Helping moms replenish and restore
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