Q. What's brown and sticky?
A. A stick.
This is my favorite joke. I know, I know . . . I'm a professional writer, I've traveled, I'm a grownup, for heaven's sake – but my sense of humor is a match for that of any 10-year-old boy. I'm proud of this.
Laughter is good for your health. It boosts your immune response, lowers your blood sugar, and dulls pain.* Even more importantly, it's good for your soul – and what's good for your soul is good for your family.
A family that laughs together has stronger ties. A shared joke is a shared history, and it is precisely this “us united against the world” feeling that makes a family strong. A close family will have private jokes, favorite stories and lots of “you had to be there” moments, and these links to a happy past are what will bind you together during the rough times.
Best part is, it's easy and it's free. Go to the library and check out an assortment of DVDs for movie night – my kids love Buster Keaton and Robin Williams. Look up age-appropriate jokes online and post a new one on the kitchen whiteboard every day. Stick a joke in a backpack or lunchbox. Tease your kids – contrary to what the PC Police would have you believe, teasing that's not cruel is fun for everybody involved (and will help keep both your child and you from taking yourselves too seriously).
A home that's filled with laughter is a home indeed.
Two snowmen are standing in a meadow. One snowman turns to the other and says, "Do you smell carrots?"
*Give Your Body a Boost – With Laughter