As I stated in previous blogs, it is important to Listen without Reacting, Ask Questions & Express Your Feelings. It is also important to Use Humor & Have Fun with our kids. Laughing with your kids is so much fun! Listening to them tell you funny stories about their day or when they try to tell a joke is cute. My husband & I like to laugh together so we often try to see who can make the other laugh 1st. It spilled over to my step-kids who also like to make us laugh. One of my favorite memories is when we would have silly dance parties on a Friday night, playing UNO or watching Austin Powers & quoting the movie to each other. Humor & sometimes sarcasm can diffuse tense situations. When I 1st met my step-daughter when she was 7 years old, she was skeptical. Who was this woman who is with my dad? She gave me the dirtiest look. I ignored it initially but the 2nd time she did, I laughed & told her to "go look in the mirror & practice, you will need that expression when you are 15". She immediately giggled. Every time she tried to give me dirty looks, I continued to laugh which made her laugh. I have also found that humor can open up a conversation. When my step-son was almost 17 we were walking home from the neighbors carrying pots, pans & dishes. He was behind me & commented while laughing, "Jenn I have a pot in a bowl". I laughed & responded "I can't wait to hear about the 1st time you get stoned". He responded, "well apparently I couldn't stop talking & I craved chili cheese fries". Now my comment may have seemed like I think it is ok that he smokes pot but my real reason for the comment was to see if he would talk. By using some humor, I was able to open up a deeper conversation about drug use, being safe, & my concerns about his developing brain. Because I try very hard to Listen without Reacting & Use Humor, my step-son felt comfortable talking to me about what he & his friends were doing.