Laughter is the best medicine.

There is an old saying that “laughter is the best medicine.” It may or may not be based on something from the Bible, as Proverbs 17:22 tells us that a merry heart “doeth good like a medicine.” As a matter of fact, that same verse goes on to advise readers that a broken spirit dries up our bones. I thought of that scripture after catching a recent interview of Rick Johnson, founder of Better Dads and author of 10 Things Great Dads Do: Strategies for Raising Great Kids. Johnson told American Family Radio’s “Today’s Issues” program that the number one strategy is to have fun.

“Quite a few of the fathers that I talked to about this really listed humor and having fun,” said Johnson. “One guy said that he judges the health of his family by the amount of laughter that he hears during the day.” Johnson went on to acknowledge that life is tough, but dads can lead their homes and have a good time by not taking themselves too seriously. In doing so, Johnson said it gives kids a good understanding in life of what is important and what is not important.

I like making people laugh. The Bible even tells us that there is a time to laugh (Ecclesiastes 3:4), and when it’s your job to deliver bad news to people, you find ways to brighten their day through humor. The same could be done for and with our children. Yes, there is a time for discipline. Moreover, we should help them develop character by learning things on their own. Those are things Rick Johnson discusses in his book. Still, his number one strategy is to have fun.

Are you having fun with your kids? Are you making them laugh? Are you even bringing a smile to their face? Only you can answer these questions. For those of you with kids who are grown, reconnect with them if necessary. If they have children that you have not seen in weeks, make time for a family gathering. If you are like me and have young children, take the time to go over knock-knock jokes. Do some crazy voices and or act like an animal while chasing them around the house. While they may grow to appreciate the lessons you taught them, they will cherish the laughter. One needs to only visit a few eulogies to realize that anecdotes are what people share more about their loved ones.

Hold off on something today and have fun with your kids, even if it’s for one hour. Over time, you will come to appreciate the time you had with your children. Because when they are gone, you will not be thinking, “Man, I should have I spent more time at the office.” You’ll be glad you skipped that self-serving project and made a fort or appeared at “tea time.”

 

Chris Woodward

Assistant Editor, One Million Dads
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