Author Topic: Laughing at my child  (Read 8918 times)

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Bluenomi

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Laughing at my child
« on: February 18, 2013, 12:03:42 AM »
Before I start I just want to say I do like my MIL, so this isn't a total MIL bash  ;)

We usually talk to MIL and FIL via skype since they live interstate. DD is your typical almost 3 year old and wanders around chatting to them and easily gets distracted by other things while we do it. They love to chat to her and we encourage her to tell them things and try to keep her attention on the call.

MIL finds everything DD says is hilarious. Everything. Now sometimes DD does say funny things, words come out wrong, she says something cute and thinking that is funny is fine. But MIL cackles and tells FIL and whoever else is around 'DD is hilarious' every single time DD speaks. Yesterday DD said 'if I don't eat all my dinner, I don't get any jelly'. MIL laughed till she almost had tears. Now I don't think there is anything funny about that statement. It's just her repeating the rule in our house. DD was being serious when she said it, and she gave me a werid look when MIL laughed. Then I realised why it bugs me, it's like MIL is laughing AT DD. The way she repeats it to everyone it like DD is some kind of performing seal doing tricks to entertain her.

Now if I told her to stop laughing at my child I know she'd take it wrong so is there something I can say/do to let her know I don't like her laughing at my child?

lakey

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Re: Laughing at my child
« Reply #1 on: February 18, 2013, 12:21:44 AM »
Your MIL's behavior seems odd. Laughing hilariously at EVERYTHING a granddaughter says isn't normal. Do you see much of MIL in person to get a feel for if she has a problem or just a bizarre personality?

MsMarjorie

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Re: Laughing at my child
« Reply #2 on: February 18, 2013, 12:38:08 AM »
I'd speak to MIL privately and tell her "I have noticed that you repeat and laugh at everything DD says and I need you to stop doing that.  Its making DD self conscious and not want to talk to you."

Then I'd give her one more chance to correct her behaviour.  If she doesn't, then I wouldn't let DD skype with her for a while.

Also, it doesn't matter if she takes you "wrong", it just matters that she stops her odd behaviour.

delabela

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Re: Laughing at my child
« Reply #3 on: February 18, 2013, 12:40:16 AM »
Instead of "stop laughing at DD", could you redirect her energy to something other than how hilarious DD is?  I know people who have the same book at each house so that grandma can read over Skype.  Or can D show off her drawings/stuffed animals/other treasures? 

I think this is a problem that will likely take care of itself as DD gets older and more able to have a real conversation, but I think you're right to try to address it before DD really clues in to it being awkward to talk to grandma. 

Rohanna

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Re: Laughing at my child
« Reply #4 on: February 18, 2013, 12:57:19 AM »
Is MIL laughing from nerves? I have a tough time talking on things like skype- for some reason it makes me very uncomfortable. Maybe she can't really think what to "say" to a small kid on the phone, so she's laughing as a default response. That would be my guess. Maybe ask her if she'd like to read a story over skype. My Dad buys two copies of story books and mails one to my niece- then they read it "together".
My friends, love is better than anger. Hope is better than fear. Optimism is better than despair. So let us be loving, hopeful and optimistic. And we’ll change the world. ~ Jack Layton.

Deetee

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Re: Laughing at my child
« Reply #5 on: February 18, 2013, 01:01:31 AM »
If your daughter is anything like mine, she will shut it down herself in a serious way in about a year. My  just turned 4 years old kid HATES being laughed at. She will yell, sulk and cry if her serious pronouncements  are met with laughter or even smiles. (though she loves it when she means to be funny and people laugh).

I should mention that my kid is generally good natured, cheery and well behaved and has no behavorial or developmental issues which makes her UTTER FURY over being a source of amusement quite striking in its intensity.
« Last Edit: February 18, 2013, 01:04:01 AM by Deetee »

Bluenomi

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Re: Laughing at my child
« Reply #6 on: February 18, 2013, 01:17:12 AM »
Is MIL laughing from nerves? I have a tough time talking on things like skype- for some reason it makes me very uncomfortable. Maybe she can't really think what to "say" to a small kid on the phone, so she's laughing as a default response. That would be my guess. Maybe ask her if she'd like to read a story over skype. My Dad buys two copies of story books and mails one to my niece- then they read it "together".

She does it in person as well so it isn't nerves. DD does show her toys and drawings and loves to give MIL a cup of tea to drink so she's not just talking to her.

lakey, MIL is all there mentally, she just seems to think DD is an endless source of amusement. I don't know if the other children she sees are just really quiet or if being her grandmother means she takes credit for all of DD's humour and feels the need to let everyone know about it!

DD does have pretty firm ideas so maybe she'll tell MIL off herself when she's older, Deetee, you've given me hope!

Amava

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Re: Laughing at my child
« Reply #7 on: February 18, 2013, 01:22:00 AM »
Ask her in a genuinely curious way what is so funny.

JoieGirl7

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Re: Laughing at my child
« Reply #8 on: February 18, 2013, 01:33:12 AM »
You could just her enjoy her grandchild without trying to micromanage her behavior.
 
It doesn't sound like she is laughing at your child in a cruel way.  She is her grandmother!  She is likely truly delighted by everything her grandchild does.  Why not just let her be?

She is not doing anything rude.  And just because it annoys you doesn't make it rude.  Sometimes we need to deal with people and their idiosyncrasies without demanding that they change for us.

Marbles

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Re: Laughing at my child
« Reply #9 on: February 18, 2013, 02:25:03 AM »
If I had to guess, she is laughing in delight. Everything your DD says is a new source of joy and wonder for her.  It's a bit over the top, but I don't think it's laughing AT your daughter.

Roe

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Re: Laughing at my child
« Reply #10 on: February 18, 2013, 06:38:01 AM »
When MIL starts laughing, calmly say, "Oh MIL, toddler thinks you are making fun of her."  And then see how she responds.  Don't smile and play along either.  Let MIL feel the awkward.

Emmy

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Re: Laughing at my child
« Reply #11 on: February 18, 2013, 07:41:23 AM »
I do think kids know from a pretty young age that they are being laughed at and not taken seriously and they dislike it as much as an adult would.  I imagine if MIL laughs hysterically when DD is trying to be serious, she will shut down.  Kids liked to be laughed at when they are being funny, but not all the time.

When DH was young, he mispronounced his middle name in a way his family thought was cute.  They would ask him to say his name and when he would, they would laugh.  DH apparently didn't enjoy being laughed at because he would clam up when asked to say his name.  He was around 2 at the time.

I don't think MIL is trying to be rude.  Maybe laughing is her way of trying to connect with DD and she find her very delightful.  It can be kind of touchy to bring this up because it may seem like you are trying to manage MIL's behavior.  My suggestion would be to tell her that DD was trying to tell her a serious story and DD think you are making fun of her when you laugh at her during those times. 

bonyk

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Re: Laughing at my child
« Reply #12 on: February 18, 2013, 07:51:05 AM »
I hate it when adults do this to kids.  Kids don't like being laughed at/discussed any more than adults do.  I know there is no bad intent, but it still feels that way for the child.  I think the best thing to do is what a previous poster suggested:  "Oh, MIL, DD thinks you're making fun of her."

Piratelvr1121

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Re: Laughing at my child
« Reply #13 on: February 18, 2013, 08:48:11 AM »
I do think kids know from a pretty young age that they are being laughed at and not taken seriously and they dislike it as much as an adult would.  I imagine if MIL laughs hysterically when DD is trying to be serious, she will shut down.  Kids liked to be laughed at when they are being funny, but not all the time.

When DH was young, he mispronounced his middle name in a way his family thought was cute.  They would ask him to say his name and when he would, they would laugh.  DH apparently didn't enjoy being laughed at because he would clam up when asked to say his name.  He was around 2 at the time.

I don't think MIL is trying to be rude.  Maybe laughing is her way of trying to connect with DD and she find her very delightful.  It can be kind of touchy to bring this up because it may seem like you are trying to manage MIL's behavior.  My suggestion would be to tell her that DD was trying to tell her a serious story and DD think you are making fun of her when you laugh at her during those times.

When my older two were little and would mispronounce things I honestly would want to laugh but would try not to. Cause it is cute when they try to say things and they come out funny.  Actually even now they both have a hard time saying "Enemy" as it comes out "Emeny". 

I agree, MIL isn't trying to be rude, just doesn't realize how she comes across.
Beyond a wholesome discipline, be gentle with yourself. You are a child of the universe, no less than the trees and the stars.  You have a right to be here. Be cheerful, strive to be happy. -Desiderata

cicero

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Re: Laughing at my child
« Reply #14 on: February 18, 2013, 08:56:59 AM »
do you know that MIL can actually hear what dd is saying? cause maybe she is just laughing because she thinks dd is the most adorable thing in the world, not *the specific things DD is saying*.

if she is hearing, then i would just say to her "Mom, we'd prefer not ot make a joke about house rules. oh, did you see DD's new doll?"

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