C ra c k th e m up w ith s o u n d c lip s s ta r r in g y o u r fa v o r ite c h a r a c te r s
fr o m r e a l life a n d b e y o n d . S e e th e c a rd s a t H a llm a rk .c o m /F u n n y .
Ow n s to r,e^ t, m akesab>g
11 s o m e th in
M u r in g - ^
My son and daughter generally love
school, but once a week, one of them
has a meltdown. Thomas suddenly can’t
remember a single spelling word for the
quiz. Anna can’t find her homework. Or
her backpack. Or a pair of shoes to match
her dress. Pretty soon, neither of them
wants to get on the bus. Some days, it’s no
laughing matter: I’ve seen my kids work
themselves into stress-induced headaches
and stomachaches.
for stress, but you won’t find it in
the medicine cabinet. You have to
look for it in the most unexpected
places—that’s what makes it
funny. And that’s how we had our
One night, I was trying out
a no-nonsense tip from a reader
who suggested brainstorming
solutions to common stress-
inducing scenarios kids have:
production of the stress hormones cortisol
and epinephrine—it also raises levels of
feel-good chemicals. The trick, though, is
actually getting kids to laugh.
My problem was that I was trying too
hard. Laughter may be the best medicine
Something in me snapped. “Okay,” 1 said.
“Then what would you do if .
attacked the school?”
It worked: They both started giggling,
then came up with their own disaster
situations, drawn in equal measure from
all, what’s the big deal about forgetting a
few spelling words or misplacing your
backpack, compared to, say, an alien
invasion, taking a spelling test where all
the words are in Pig Latin, or getting your
finger stuck up your nose? —Lon
So when BHG readers started
What to do if you left your book
sending in tips for this story, 1 was excited
to test them out on my kids, especially the
bag on the bus, or had to deflect
cattv remarks from the mean girl
one of those worst-case scenario
advice from parents who said there was
in your class. Things like that.
handbooks and an improv comedy show.
only one sure-fire way to deal with school
But 1 was losing my audience. My son
Turns out planning for absurd situations
la u g h
it off. Research has shown
began fidgeting in his chair. My daughter
is not only fun to do, it also puts your
that laughing not only reduces the body’s
did a brief, contemptuous eye-roll.
everyday worries into perspective. After
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