CHILDREN AND LAUGHTER... a winning combination!

There is nothing more precious than a giggling baby.  Their nose crinkles, their eyes widen, and they giggle until they tumble over or fall to the ground and writhe in a sea of chuckles.  Somehow as we age, our laughter slows down… and down… and down. I read that Dr. Robert Provine, a neuroscientist and Professor of Psychology at the University of Maryland, Baltimore County, who studies the development and evolution of the nervous system and behavior, including human social behavior, stated that babies laugh 300 times a day and adults only 20.

Shame on us! Just because we age does not mean we have to lose our ability to stay young at heart.  We all must age, but that does not mean we have to grow old.  Some say that laughter is good for our health, but they’re not sure if it is the laughter or the positive mental state it puts us in that makes us feel better.  There is needed research to support that claim, but we all know that laughter is the best medicine!

To teach your child to laugh, to look at the world with love and compassion and humor, can only help a child.  It may help them to be more creative, to use their imagination in a way to see the glass half full instead of half empty… to look at the streams of colors from the hidden sun instead of the nearby gloomy cloud… to laugh at the Sunday comic-strips instead of frowning at the world’s sadness.

So go dig your toes into the gushy mud with a child.  Hear the chuckles and ignore your recent pedicure or that ringing telephone.  Laughter IS contagious – so is love!

--Debbie Caldwell