Wouldn’t it be fun to have a collection of your very own family bloopers? Learning to laugh at yourself is a healthy and happy way to live. If we can teach our children to not take themselves so seriously, in appropriate levels, we can help them deal with an ever increasingly stressful world. Use these questions to stroll down the hilarious memory lane of your own family bloopers and, in the process, laugh along with your children and tell them this is one time they can really learn from your mistakes.
If we were to make a blooper video of our family, what would be the highlights?
Be sure to ask the question in a jovial tone to set the mood for their responses. Try not to give them any suggestions but encourage them with laughter as you bring to mind some of the funniest memories. Your children should be free to bring up any memory although common respect for other family members need not be compromised. If someone starts to tell a humiliating story about someone else, as the parent, redirect the conversation. If the subject of the story is at the table they can give permission to continue, or you can simply say something like, “Wait, let’s only tell on ourselves, here,” or “That may have been funny to you, but before we add it to our highlight role, let’s make sure (name of person in story) is okay with it.” Your children will appreciate the opportunity to reject stories about themselves that are offered by another sibling.
Why is it important for us to laugh at ourselves?
After you let your children give their opinions on laughing at themselves, tell them that the ability to laugh at your mistakes actually boosts physical and psychological health. Discussing family bloopers may even boost your immune systems and reduce the effects of stress on everyone around the table; especially if you adhere to the respect clause mentioned above. Here is a silly video about the benefits of not taking yourself too seriously: https://www.nbcnews.com/better/video/the-secret-to-health-and-happiness-laughing-at-yourself-990829635583
What family blooper has actually turned out for the better?
In other words, can they recount an experience that seemed to be a mistake but ended up working out well for your family? An example may be a wrong turn on the family vacation that lead you to that great roadside market where you found delicious saltwater taffy. As your children reminisce, encourage them to consider the blessings that resulted from something that, at first, seemed like a blunder.
You are not only building great family memories with this conversation, but also helping your children to relax and enjoy life without all the stress of trying to be perfect, or at least worrying about their self-image too much. Healthy and happy children, and their families, laugh at themselves and each other in a respectful, yet fun, way and you can encourage this behavior at the dinner table.