The other day I came across this blog post entitled: Stop Laughing at Your Kids. When it came across my Facebook feed, I immediately thought it to be just another parenting diatribe designed to point out all the things I was doing wrong as a parent and that I was setting my child up for disaster. It turned out to be a satirical piece that opines, in a nutshell, that if you laugh at your child when they are expressing their worst behavior, you are an enabler and your child will grow up to be an obnoxious, worthless member of society.
I do agree that laughing at your kids may encourage them to display abhorrent behavior and does little to enforce discipline, but I have to admit, this post really made me think of all the reasons that I do laugh at my child – freely and often. Here are some reasons why:
Because she has developed quite a sense of humor. She laughs out loud at the appropriate moments during a movie or kid show and tells (and laughs at) her own jokes. I love that she finds things amusing. Besides, the best way for us to get over a dispute that lands her in “time-out” is to talk it over and then laugh it out.
Because toddlers do funny and strange things. Last year, I wrote about how I firmly believe that toddlers are very similar to drunk elves. I still stand by that notion and find more and more ways they are eerily alike.
Because I spent the first few months of her life stressed out, now I want to enjoy the rest of it as much as I can before the teen years hit. The infant stage was definitely the hardest to bear when our child came into the world. The colic, the crying, the constant needing to be held. Now, even if she’s being “difficult”, at least she is being verbal and is able to communicate her feelings so I can better address them (most of the time).
Because I don’t want her to grow up to be so serious. I want her to enjoy life and be the source of happiness to many and maintain her “life of the party” status. My greatest wish for her is to stay true to herself and not let fear or what others might say keep her from living her life with the same fervor and joy that she does now.
Because she should enjoy life with parents that don’t sweat the small stuff. Parenthood has taught me many things like: take one day at a time; don’t judge because everyone is doing the best they can to survive; and that carrying a grudge, can really weigh you down (duh). Letting go of all the small worries for the sake of my daughter has been a huge source of release and relief.
Because if you are not laughing, you are probably crying (also known as, how laughter helps my marriage). On those nights when we feel especially exhausted, defeated, and wondering why we ever chose to let this little dictator enter our home, there is nothing my husband and I can do but look each other in the eye and laugh at our messy, chaotic, and pretty awesome life.