Raising a family is indeed a serious business, but that doesn’t mean it has to be devoid of any fun and laughter. On the contrary, it is in fact the lighter side of life which makes the hard lessons easier to learn. As the famous Mary Poppins once said, “a spoonful of sugar helps the medicine go down…” Perhaps you are wondering how to go forward as a family, especially if you feel that you did not have a functional example to follow from your own upbringing. Then take heart and be encouraged because life is all about learning new things, and why not have a little fun while you are about it?
Having fun takes time and planning
Although some of the most special memories are made spontaneously when something unexpected happens, it is also true that having fun usually entails some purposeful planning and setting aside the time to be together as a family. It is very easy to become caught up in a busy work schedule, but remember that no one on their deathbed has ever wished they had spent more time at work. Rather than having regrets later, while you have the time now, use it wisely to invest in your precious family relationships.
Friends make all the difference
Whether it’s a camping trip, a day at the lake, or an evening playing board games, it’s always more fun when some friends come along too. Encourage your children to invite their friends to join your family time. Perhaps those friends do not have stable homes and your family may be the only example they get to see of a happy, functional family. You will also be teaching your children to be inclusive rather than exclusive and to share their times of fun and laughter. It is certainly true that as you are a blessing to others, you yourself will be blessed in return.
It’s all about talking and listening
Yes, communication is where it starts and ends. If you listen carefully as your spouse and children speak, not interrupting, and noticing the emotions that accompany their words, you will find that they in turn will be more willing to listen when you speak. Good communication skills are essential to family life in every area, whether it is setting boundaries, making decisions or getting chores done. And as you get to know each other so well, you will develop those special little family ‘inside jokes’ or even nicknames which go a long way to affirming a sense of belonging within a happy family.
Everyone enjoys a riddle
Most people, and especially children, enjoy a good riddle, brain teaser or knock-knock joke. These are not only useful for light hearted fun, but can also be an excellent way of getting kids to really think about the question before answering. They instinctively know that the first and obvious answer they think of is probably not correct, so they dig deeper and sometimes the answers they come up with are even better than the ‘correct’ one! And while you are all having a good laugh, the amazing fact is that healthy and healing chemicals are being released into your brain – no wonder they say laughter is the best medicine.
So here are ten great family riddles, brain teasers, tongue twisters and jokes which you may find helpful and amusing as you seek to combine fun and functionality in your daily life as a family. Feel free to make up a few of your own as you go along, and add them to your favorite family collection.
1. Question: Before Mount Everest was discovered, what was the tallest mountain in the world?
Answer: Mount Everest
2. Question: Which weighs more, a pound of feathers or a pound of gold?
Answer: Neither. They both weigh a pound.
3. Knock, knock
Lettuce in, it’s cold out here!
4. Question: a house has four walls. All of the walls are facing south, and a bear is circling the house. What color is the bear?
Answer: The house is on the north pole, so the bear is white.
5. Question: If you have only one match, on a freezing winter day, and you enter a room which contains a lamp, a kerosene heater, and a wood burning stove, which should you light first?
Answer: The match, of course.
6. FuzzyWuzzy was a bear,
FuzzyWuzzy had no hair,
FuzzyWuzzy wasn’t very fuzzy…
7. Question: How many beans can you put in an empty bag?
Answer: One. After that the bag isn’t empty.
8. Knock, knock.
A herd who?
A herd you were home, so I came over!
9. Question: What do you call a crocodile with a GPS?
Answer: A Navi-gator.
Well, at the close of this article on the best family advice, here is a final riddle for you
10. Question: Almost everyone needs it, asks for it, gives it, but almost nobody takes it. What is it?