Oct 28

Parents Of Struggling Kids: Where Has The Fun And Laughter Gone?


“He who laughs, lasts.”

“What soap is to the body, laughter is to the soul.” – Yiddish Proverb

Every October, my husband and I host a Halloween party for our neighborhood.  This event has turned into a tradition for us and our friends.  It is maybe, with rare exception, the one night every year when everyone cuts loose, dresses in silly costumes and reverts to their younger juvenile self.   This provides us funny stories to recount all year, and gives comic relief to an otherwise over-stressed life filled with demanding jobs, raising teens, caring for aged parents, etc.

The fun and laughter we had at the party this year made me realize how parents of struggling kids can stop having fun, being silly, joking around, and seeing the humor in the every day occurrence.  The worry, guilt, pressure, and constant stress really take a toll on us, and then ‘out the window’ goes that very real healing quality that laughter can bring.

We all know that laughter feels downright good, and there is plenty of evidence out there citing proof that the benefits are truly real.  I found a great article on this very thing on WebMD, and I was surprised to even find a not-for-profit organization called LaughterHeals.org dedicated to promoting healing through laughter.

Have you forgone your fun lately in lieu of more stress and worry?  When is the last time you did or said something ridiculous and then laughed till you cried about it?  Maybe it is time for some gut busting laughter and a good old-fashioned fun time.  I promise, the issues that may be sapping your life void of fun right now will be there when you return from your humor break!

What did you used to do that brought you the benefits of lots of joy and laughter?  And how can you get some of that back now?

Let me know – I want to hear about it in the comments below!


Leslie Ferris is a Certified and Credentialed Life Coach

Serving the parents of struggling tweens, teens, and young adults

Contact her today for your 1/2 complimentary discussion to explore what life coaching can do for you.

Connect with her via her website at http://www.phase2foryou.com

Facebook:  https://www.facebook.com/Phase2ForYou

Twitter:  https://twitter.com/Leslie_Ferris

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  1. Herby Bell

    I LOVE this. Okay…okay, so here’s the game: “The Yellow Shoes Game.” Living/family room…One person starts by standing up and doing/saying/miming/mimicking/singing/whateva something (whatever comes to mind/heart) and then sits down. Whoever is inspired stands up next and does something THEY’RE inspired to do–doesn’t have to be “connected.” Etc., etc. No rules except doing something–anything. Soon the place is an out of control, unapologetic mess of laughter and joy.

    Oh, the game is named, “The Yellow Shoes Game” because.

    The Bells are playin’ tonight! thanks to you, Leslie Ferris.

  2. Leslie Ferris

    Herby, the Yellow Shoes Game is perfect. Easy, free, fun, and no doubt hilarious. Now THAT’s what I am talking about! :)

  3. Cathy Taughinbaugh

    So true Leslie that families often get so caught up in the drama that we lose sight of the joy in life. That’s why taking care of ourselves is so important. Sounds like a great party idea and the Yellow Shoes Game sounds fun as well. Thank you!

  4. Simona

    Laughter does heal. We forget to laugh, we are too concentrated on work or problems that may not even remember in a few months.
    I have two kittens, “office assistants”. They make me laugh – and they do turn the world upside-down when they start playing…

    1. Leslie Ferris

      I remember when we had a litter of kittens, we used to spend a lot of time watching them play. They do some really funny stuff. So glad you have that comic relief!

  5. Colleen

    Great, great blog! So true. I am caring for my mother who has been living with us for five years and is 81 and while she isn’t incapacitated, it is extremely hard to see her becoming more frail, etc. and not having adequate respite time can take its toll. All of that, along with running a business out of my house… talk about stress, but it is so great to laugh and when I do, I do.

    My best friend who lost her husband a couple of years ago, my son, and husband do a lot of things together and three weeks ago we went ziplining (superman style) and we were nervous and scared but we laughed and laughed and it felt so good! In fact, I wore a head video cam, and I forget I have a nervous laugh and the third time down the guy who hooks you in said to me, “Oh you’re the one with the nervous laugh.”

    My friend and I also Zumba every week and there is a new song where I can’t figure out the steps (and I’m very coordinated) and so this week when the song came on I just did what I could and when I didn’t figure it out or forgot I did my own thing and laughed and giggled and didn’t care if I looked like a fool! Laughter truly is the best medicine! Thanks for the great blog!

    1. Leslie Ferris

      You’ve got it Colleen! Good stuff. Keep it up. Sounds like you’v got quite a busy and stressful time in your life going right now, but that you are taking time for yourself (exercise) and some good laughs! :)

  6. Bill White, Licensed Counselor

    Thanks for this friendly reminder, Leslie. Dang, where would I be without laughter? I can remember all those years ago – the horrible fear and anxiety, the depression. And you know what? I somehow was still able to laugh at myself. I mean, some of the things I did were actually pretty comical. I firmly believe – were I not able to do that I would have crashed and burned. And it sticks to this very day. When it comes to chuckling, I’m more than fair game. Finally, I just love it when I get tired and full of whatever it is I’m doing and I get the sillies – especially when there’s someone around. ‘Cause it’s contagious! Ah, go figure – the Yiddish folk nailed it…

    1. Leslie Ferris

      Yes it is so contagious. When my high school history teacher used to fall asleep in church, snore, and leave his mouth hanging wide open, my brother and I used to get going and couldn’t stop. Mom used to make us get up and go outside until we could quit. Good times…..

  7. Lisa Frederiksen - BreakingTheCycles.com

    This is wonderful, Leslie, and oh, so very true!! One of the most wonderful things about being in recovery from secondhand drinking has been to find my joy, again – my sense of humor and ability and desire to laugh at all sorts of things. Something that gives me great joy is dancing in SF’s Golden Gate Park. Every Sunday from 11:30-2:30, there’s dancing on the bridge (not THE bridge) – one in the park – and people come from all over the area to dance Lindy Hop. It’s great fun – I’m smiling and laughing the whole time!

    1. Leslie Ferris

      Wow, what a great service somebody is providing there. And a beautiful setting on top of it all. I am hearing dancing as a recurring theme here with how people get there happy on – must be something to it!

  8. Carele

    usually i start to dance like crazy and still do…always bring lots of laugh! So important to have fun with our kids.

    1. Leslie Ferris

      Oh yea. Silly dancing is a great way to get it going!

  9. Jody Lamb

    Hi Leslie,

    Laughter really is a gift, isn’t it? The happiest days of my life have been simple and ordinary but full of muscles-burning, insides-twisting laughter. I laughed hardest with my best friend in high school and college, creating skits we were sure we could sell to Saturday Night Live. I laugh aloud recalling them.

    I love Herby’s yellow shoes game! And, like Lisa, I love to dance. I’m known for my silly dancing that resembles that of Elaine from Seinfeld…and one move dubbed “The Wounded Deer.” Lots of fun!

  10. Leslie Ferris

    Great stuff isn’t it? Reminds me of college days singing into the curling iron…… The fact that these are the things we remember the most about our younger years really ought to tell us something!!!! Thanks Jody!!

  11. Disney activities

    My family every time say that I am killing my time here at net, except I know
    I am getting experience every day by reading such fastidious posts.

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    1. Leslie Ferris

      Thank you so much. Glad you enjoyed it!

  12. Leslie Ferris

    Thank you, and welcome!

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