Preschooler sensitive about laughing
August 29, 2014 9:00 AM Subscribe
My almost-3-year-old is cute and delightful in all the typical ways. So, people smile and laugh when she says or does cute things. So what's the problem? The laughter makes her cry.
posted by barnoley to Human Relations (31 answers total) 8 users marked this as a favorite
My daughter is adorable. She gets excited and runs around and says cute things, all the usual stuff for a child her age. However, whenever someone laughs, she gets super sensitive....she stops whatever she is doing, lowers her head as though she is ashamed, and often starts to cry. This happens whether it's her dad or myself, other adults she knows, or strangers. (And these are just usual fun laughs, nothing mean-spirited at all.)
This has been happening for quite awhile, and we don't know how to handle it. We always try to comfort her when it happens. At first, we tried to explain that we are laughing with her, not at her, but I think that's a little advanced for her age. We tell her that it's a "joke", people are not laughing AT her....so often she will lower her head, frown, and say to herself, "just a joke, just a joke". But we can see that it upsets her. It takes her out of the fun moment she was having, and makes her feel bad about herself. It is absolutely heartbreaking to watch! I just want her to be herself and have fun.
She is a normal child, developing right on target for the most part. (A little on the late side with some physical milestones, but nothing out of the ordinary...walking at 15 months, a little late to start jumping, etc.) She is very bright and curious, and good with language. She tends to be shy around new people for the most part - not really hiding behind our legs or anything physical, but she can sometimes be hesitant to talk to new people.
Have any of you experienced something like this? How should we be handling it? This has probably been happening for about a year.... and while it has improved a little bit at times, it still happens quite often. We are at a loss...any and all suggestions are welcome.