The Mark of a Dad (pt 2).
Last week I started a new series called The Mark of a Dad. I highlighted the fact that we must Cherish the time we have with our children, God knows that between working and being a responsible father, we have very little time to spend with our children! For more on that, read The Mark of a Dad (pt I). Cherish them!
Today, I want to discuss the fact that we need a good sense of humor to be a good father. As a matter of fact, I would say that it is required if you are going to be a good parent!
There will be times when your child does something that might make you blow your lid — writing in crayon all over the walls is a good one, as is dumping some kind of liquid on your couch, or sneaking out and taking your car to meet up with friends (I did that when I was 16). While you need to teach your child not to do these things, it’s better to just laugh at the humor in the situation. I’ve learned to do this more often, and it helps me keep my sanity.
I’m a big believer that parenting is the most important job a person can take on. Making money is an essential part of life, no question about it, and our careers are a significant part of our pride and identity — but in my opinion, nothing can replace the importance of family.
Being a father happens to also be one of the most difficult jobs out there, because not only are the challenges huge, but the consequences of our actions (or inactions) are a constant source of anxiety. Being a father also does not offer us the rewards of a professional career, which include an income, a 401k plan, health insurance, and the respect of our colleagues and peers. Add to this the fact that we’re on duty 24 hours a day for at least 18 years, and it might make you wonder, “How did I get myself into this?”
Of course, we know exactly how we got ourselves into this, and we wouldn’t trade it for anything. That’s because only after you’ve walked the walk can you understand the enormous rewards of fatherhood. They simply cannot be quantified or adequately described.
That, however, doesn’t make it any easier when you’re in the thick of it. Being a dad challenges us in ways that we never imagined, and while I think that greater challenges bring us greater rewards, there are times when every dad feels like they are losing their mind.
It is therefore vital to keep a healthy perspective on things, and to have a sense of humor whenever possible. Here are 11 good reasons why
it’s important to laugh.
1. It’s good for you.
Intuitively we all know this, but science backs this up. Laughing helps to lower blood pressure and increases vascular flow.
2. It makes you feel good.
What person doesn’t know this? Laughter encourages the release of endorphins, the “feel good” compounds, in the brain.
3. It makes us more enjoyable to be around.
This will help to improve your social life, because people gravitate to people who laugh and make them laugh.
4. It helps you connect with your kids.
Children (and adults) enjoy being around people who are happy and pleasant — people who laugh.
5. It helps you connect with your spouse.
One of the key qualities that makes a person attractive is being personable with a good sense of humor.
6. It is a good physical release.
The benefits are similar to exercise, giving the muscle of our back, legs, face, stomach, and lungs a workout.
7. It is a good distraction.
What parent hasn’t been stressed or anxious? Laughter helps to reduce stress hormones like cortisol and adrenaline.
8. It might make you more creative.
Laughing involves multiple parts of the brain in a similar fashion as creativity.
9. It might make you smarter.
A study at Johns Hopkins found that laughter increases memory and learning.
10. It helps you to sleep.
What parent can’t appreciate that? Laughing relaxes us and helps us unwind in order to fall asleep, and for every parent, sleep ranks up there with sex and food.
11. It will confuse your kids.
Try laughing when you actually feel like yelling. Getting crazy and acting silly can disrupt whatever it was that your children were fighting about and make them forget about the entire thing. Plus, it will create fun memories with that crazy dad of theirs.
Everyone appreciates laughter and the benefits of it, but in the daily grind of parenting and making a living, it’s easy to forget how or why we laugh. This is a disservice to ourselves and our families, so make sure to find the humor in things and laugh as much as you can.
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