As it usually does, the tired and grumpies led to quite a bit of bickering between my girls. After finishing up some work and chores, all three of us sat down to play a game of Uno. I was a little concerned that the game would be a disaster. Two competitive girls, one competitive mom, a whole lot of tired and grumpy and a board game often equals a complete disaster in our house.
As we sat down on the floor to play, my older daughter sat down cross-legged. My younger daughter immediately jumped into my older daughter's lap and yelled "Santa!" All three of us burst into laughter as my younger daughter proceeded to tell "Santa" what she wanted for Christmas.
We spent an hour playing games together and not one time did someone get upset. There were no tears and very little grumpiness. A few minutes of spontaneous laughter had changed the mood in our house.
It's easy to get frustrated with our kids when they're tired and grumpy. It's easy to get annoyed when bad moods permeate our homes. It's easy to forget the attitude-changing power of laughter.
Laughter is powerful. It can change an entire day. It can bring comfort in the midst of sadness. It can help someone through a challenge. It can simply make the day brighter.
Make it a point to laugh with your kids. Christ-followers should be the most joyful people in the world. We have access to peace, security and love. We've peeked at the end of this world's story, and we know it ends in victory. That alone should give us reason to be joyful.
Make laughter a goal in your home. Keep a book of jokes on hand to break up bad attitudes. Declare silly days in your house, like "wear a wig day" or "eat dessert first day." Be ready to laugh at yourself and teach your kids to do the same. Find some amusing movies and videos and use them to break up a bad day. It's hard to hold on to anger and frustration when you're laughing.
As we head toward the middle of summer where we might have days with tired, bickering kids, remember the power of laughter to soothe and refocus your family.