When Kids Laugh With Reprimands and What To Do About It


Did you know that smiling, smirking, or sniggering is a common way for toddlers to cope with the stress of being scolded?

It can be challenging for parents to deal with what looks like sassy behavior. But toddlers are not being purposefully rude if they laugh, cover their ears, stick out their tongue, or get angry and run away when they get criticized or pulled up. They tend to do that because they don't know what to do with their intense feelings. They are still learning about social norms, so they might not understand what others expect of them. They realize they have done something wrong and may feel confused, shameful, uneasy, or uncomfortable.

Today, I respond to a question from a frustrated and confused mom from Ohio. I dive into what is truly happening when kids laugh when they get corrected or reprimanded and explain what to do about it.  

Stay tuned to learn how to recognize it when your toddler feels overwhelmed or uncertain and avoid having knee-jerk reactions.

Show highlights:

  • Some other reasons why kids tend to laugh when being corrected.
  • Laughing when reprimanded often reflects that a child is sensitive and empathetic.
  • Why you must remain calm if your toddler laughs when getting scolded.
  • What is the best way to respond?
  • I go over the steps of the EASY Method.
  • Should you force your child to apologize?
  • How to model an apology and teach your child to respond to correction without laughing or smirking.
  • How to inspire good behavior without any punishment or shame.


Links and resources:

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