Laughter as Medicine – Using Humour to Cope as a Foster Family

Caring for foster children who come from difficult backgrounds brings joys as well as challenges. Using humour and laughter can help foster families connect, cope with stress, and create a positive environment. Laughter releases chemicals that improve mood and foster bonding between people. Finding reasons to laugh makes everyone more cheerful and relaxed.

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The Therapeutic Benefits of Laughter

Laughter has proven physical, emotional, and social benefits. It releases endorphins that relieve pain and produce a sense of euphoria. Laughing together also reduces stress hormones. Humour connects people, fostering positive relationships. By laughing together, foster families can bond and build resilience. The act of laughing also gives our bodies a mini workout, enhancing circulation and digestion. Filling your home with laughter creates a positive emotional climate for everyone.  

Using Humour to Cope with Challenging Behaviours 

Caring for traumatised foster children can sometimes lead to frustrating behaviours like tantrums, defiance, or withdrawal. Responding with empathy is important. However, using humour – in the right circumstances – can also help diffuse tense situations. Shared laughter builds connections that make discipline easier. It also teaches children positive ways to manage anger or sadness. Humour reminds both children and adults that we all make mistakes.

Creating Daily Opportunities for Levity

Foster carers can incorporate more laughter into daily routines. Playing silly games, telling jokes, or reading humorous books are simple ways to lighten the mood. During chores, turn up fun music for an impromptu dance party. Display funny comics around the home. Infuse humour into ordinary interactions. Finding reasons to laugh together every day reduces tension. Making sure children hear laughter regularly gives them permission to relax. Exposure to daily humour provides valuable stress relief for overburdened foster families.

Humour as a Valuable Coping Mechanism

Managing complex foster care responsibilities inevitably brings episodes of stress, exhaustion, even burnout. However, humour provides an invaluable outlet. Swapping amusing stories with other carers builds camaraderie. You can connect with other carers through your agency, such as Orange Grove Foster Care. Sharing the comedy in chaotic moments preserves perspective.

Finding opportunities to laugh, even during trials, makes challenges feel more manageable. Laughing through difficulties strengthens bonds between family or friends. It reminds foster carers of the humanity we all share, even in hard times.  

Fostering Resilient and Happy Children

Laughing with children builds resilience that serves them well when facing difficulties. It relieves anxiety, helping children view problems as temporary rather than overwhelming. Sharing joy and humour models positive coping strategies, enabling children to gain emotional skills. Creating an atmosphere of fun and laughter gives foster children nurturing memories. This allows them to carry inner warmth even through hardships. Building in frequent opportunities for play and humour preserves childhood joy. It helps foster children develop their sense of humour and ability to regulate emotions.

Being a foster carer has meaningful rewards but also real stresses. Using humour and encouraging laughter provides a valuable outlet for both foster carers and children.

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