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Getting Silly With Your Child Has Proven Benefits

Children, as it turns out, love it when their parents get silly with them. That could mean anything from using funny voices for characters in their bedtime story or tugging the child’s ear when reading the word ‘ear’.

Ask yourself, “When was the last time I had a good laugh with my child?”, and if you can’t remember, you just aren’t laughing enough. No matter how chaotic, busy, or stressful your day can sometimes be, add a dose of silly laughter, and you will not only give yourself an instant boost of spirit, but will also help to shape your child’s social and emotional development and behaviour in a positive way.

Proven benefits of silliness

  • Relaxes the body and relieves tension.
  • Boosts the immune system (decreases stress hormones & increases immune cells)
  • Triggers the release of those ‘feel-good’ hormones, endorphins
  • Improves the function of blood vessels and this increases blood flow

If Being Silly Does Not Come Naturally To You Or If You Are Not Sure Where To Start, Here Are Some Suggestions For Getting Silly:

  • Dance Out Your Emotions – Put on some music and call out emotions like “Happy” or “Sad” to your child and have them dance different feelings as you name them.
  • Tell A Silly Story Together – Take turns telling a story, breaking off at random with one of you taking up the narrative where the other leaves off.
  • Try to keep a straight face and have your child try to make you smile.
  • Tell jokes – Share some good jokes that are age-appropriate and have a good laugh.
  • Let them style your hair or do your make-up or paint your nails.
  • Make Silly Orange Wedge Smiles. Cut an orange into wedges. Eat the fruit, leaving the rind intact. Put the peels in your mouths over your closed teeth. You can even add raspberry finger caps with for instant “manicures.”
  • Pretend to make the bed while they are still in it.
  • Make food in fun shapes or add some food colouring.
  • Face paint (make sure that you let the child paint your face too!).
  • Try to talk with marshmallows in your mouth.
  • Eat ice cream for breakfast.
  • Build a fort with them out of blankets and then climb inside and have a tea party.

When parents read to and play with their children, they confront challenges that are outside their everyday experiences. Adults can help children think about how they can deal with these situations. So, lead by example, and your whole home will be smiling, cause as the saying goes, laughter is contagious.

Parenting is the most important job you will ever have. Go ahead and have fun and be silly!

Lizaan Spangenberg
Biolink Attention Training Head Office