This blog can also be read at RockyParenting.com.
Apologies for not blogging the last two weeks! But I’d love to share some perspective today in light of everything going on around us this last week:
I’m not a very serious guy.
Often times, people take my humor as disrespectful and often times I’ve been told I don’t take things very seriously.
About 80% of the time, I’m joking or being sarcastic. It’s the way I deal with situations around me.
This is true about me. I am only serious when I should be in a professional setting or when the situation requires it. However, even then, I still often crack jokes or have to bite my tongue before I say something that is ill-timed in a meeting, professional situation, or what is to be a reverent time.
Don’t get me wrong. I’m not disrespectful–intentionally. I am always mindful of the company I am in and what is appropriate and what is not. I would never be disrespectful at a funeral or when certain situations demand silence and respect. I stand up when I am introduced to someone, look people in the eye, and have a firm handshake. But I love to joke around and be silly–a quality I am trying to instill in my own children. It’s like the Van Wilder movie…
“You can’t take life too seriously. You’ll never get out alive.”
I have two children who live by this, even if they don’t know it yet, but I have one kid that takes himself a little too serious sometimes. He hasn’t quite learned to laugh at himself when he does something funny just yet or if he makes a mistake. He’s very hard on himself.
He’s very sensitive and actually loves to dish out jokes, but if it ever becomes apparent that the cause of the joke is something he did or said, he most likely gets offended easily and may even cry. It’s something we’ve really had to work with on him not being so quick to get upset.
Well, a few months back, something came to mind. Elijah, my oldest son, was no longer allowed to joke. That’s it. No more. Cold turkey. We even shook on it.
He was great at dishing it out and playing around and laughing when we all were about something funny that had just happened, but he just couldn’t handle it if something so subtle became about him. So we said no more joking was allowed for him. He wasn’t allowed to joke with anyone else and no one was allowed to joke with him. This proved to be difficult for him after just a few days.
He would begin to laugh at something and we’d immediately remind him, “Hey buddy, you’re not allowed to joke around, remember?” His face would go serious and he would say, “Oh yeah.”
Well after a couple weeks went by of this…actually, more like 10 days. He quietly came up to us and humbly asked, “Can I start joking again?”
Caiti and I took on our serious parenting faces and went on to explain to him the best we could without cracking a smile with the humor of all of this situation that he could begin to joke again as long as he remembered to not take himself so seriously and worry too much about what others think about him. It’s okay to laugh at yourself and just be silly…To just be himself…because he really is pretty funny and silly when he wants to be.
It opened the floodgates….
Elijah had so many zingers saved up that it rivaled even the best jokes we have all come up with as a family in our silliest moments. He has since really gotten over this issue. He still has his moments where we have to slow him down and remind him that we are all having fun, but you get it.
We’ve all been through tough moments, I know. There are a lot of people right now who are going through the worst situation they could imagine with all their belongings being washed away with the flood waters in Colorado. It’s not cool to joke about that situation, I am not condoning that, but take the time to laugh with some loved ones and remember that life is still about the good moments you remember and laugh heartily. It will cleanse your soul. Laughter is critical to our emotional and spiritual well-being.
So today, I want to remind you to not take yourself too seriously and please teach that to your kids. Life is about those moments you remember where you laughed with the ones you love. It’s these moments you’ll always remember! Think about your favorite memory right now…it involves laughter, doesn’t it?
I’ll leave you with this final prayer my father recently shared with me that often keeps me centered in the times where I feel like I’m taking myself too seriously and focusing on the wrong things:
“Lord, teach please teach me to laugh, but please dear God, never let me forget how I cried.”
…and I’ll also leave you with this awesome video as a reminder to live with child-like perspective and not take yourself too seriously. You’re never too old to make a fool of yourself at the expense of others’ laughter…Thanks for reading!
Click the video below to watch