The sound of your toddler or preschooler laughing is one that often warms your heart and brings a smile to your face. However, that is not likely the deal when he has a case of the giggles in the middle of a church service or other inappropriate time. If you want to avoid this embarrassing situation, teach your giggly kiddo to save his crows for more appropriate times.
One of the most effective ways of teaching your little one to stop laughing at inappropriate times is to use everyday events you witness to start an age-appropriate conversation about the topic. Next time you see someone slip and fall at the grocery store, use the opportunity to tell your youngster that someone falling is not an appropriate time to laugh. Tell her that the person might hurt himself and that is never something to laugh about. In contrast, the next time you hear someone tell a funny joke, point out to your happy youngster that laughing at a silly joke is a great time to demonstrate her contagious laugh.
Nearly every youngster enjoys listening to his mommy read a story, but according to Mary Renck Jalongo, author of “Young Children and Picture Books,” children’s literature also introduces a child to a topic and teaches him about it in a way he can easily understand. Select a book like Jane Yolan’s “How Do Dinosaurs Laugh Out Loud?” and laugh with your little one as you read jokes about dinosaurs. After the story, remind your youngster that it’s not good to laugh at inappropriate things and better to save those giggles for funny jokes and stories.
Give your future Oscar-nominee the chance to shine as you ask her to act out situations where it might not be appropriate to laugh. Talk about places like church or a quiet library where she should keep her laughter to herself. Then, ask your actress to role-play going to the park and playing with a friend or riding a kiddie ride at the carnival where laughter is not only appropriate, but expected. For younger kiddos, use puppets or stuffed animals to demonstrate these examples so she can better relate to the role-playing examples.
One way to teach your child to stop laughing at inappropriate times is to teach him when it is appropriate to show off his adorable giggles. Host a family joke-off and invite your comedian to tell his favorite jokes or riddles to the family. Laugh at each joke, even if you feel like rolling your eyes at the groaner instead. After the production, use the opportunity to reinforce the idea that sharing laughter is wonderful, but that it should be reserved for appropriate times.