Yesterday, I mentioned how we are making the attempt to subdue outbursts of anger in our household. Identifying the problem is key, then handling the problem, and, finally, dealing with the heart. One of the best ways we have found to remove anger from our hearts… laughter; it’s always the best medicine!
When my husband and I were first married, I didn’t understand why he would constantly keep pushing me when I was frustrated. The logical thing would be to leave me alone, wouldn’t it? However, my husband proved to be correct. Had I been left alone, I would have stewed over my frustration and probably become worse off. He would calmly tease me, joke at me, and pick at me until I became so frustrated there was no alternative but to start cracking up laughing.
I am not sure why this works, I only know it does. And, for some unknown reason, it works like a dream on our kids.
Often when we find our kids holding in their anger and frustration, making them increase in agitation, the best medicine is to make them laugh. Once that barrier has been broken, the problem seems less important and the real work can be accomplished.
Now comes the tricky part…. How do we get them to laugh? Not everyone likes being tickled; I certainly don’t. Here is how we usually break through the barriers and tackle the anger monster:
- We challenge them to not smile. “Don’t smile; don’t. I know you want to, but stop yourself before it breaks out! Oh, wait! I think I spotted it. Hide it quick!” This usually does it every time….
- Challenge them to make faces at you and you make faces back.
- Act ridiculous. “Well, honey. I don’t know what we’re going to do about those pesky blocks. Perhaps we need to just take them outback and torture them until they behave.” “You’re right. This game isn’t working right. Let’s put it in the corner for a time out and let it come out when it’s ready to cooperate!”
In reality, getting our children to focus on any emotion other than anger ought to do the trick. Hugging them, feeding their imagination, and just plain loving on them, should redirect their thoughts and hearts towards a more positive outlook. We just prefer the mode of laughter.
Laughter really does a body good. It not only eases tension on those facial muscles, it give us peace of mind and relaxes the entire body.
So, as Donald O’Connor would say… when all else fails, “Make ’em Laugh!”
How do you add laughter to your lives?
“A joyful heart is good medicine, but a crushed spirit dries up the bones.” – Proverbs 17:22