She won't stop sticking out her tongue!

QUESTION:

How do I make my daughter stop sticking out her tongue?

Answer:

If she’s doing this in response to fun/kind/funny things, she really doesn’t mean anything disrespectful by it. Perhaps sticking out her tongue is her way of expressing that she’s feeling joy. Is she otherwise oral? Does she suck on things? Chew things? Put things in her mouth? Aidan sticks out his tongue when something is funny and it’s really quite cute. So, my first thought is perhaps you’re making too much of this.

However, I can understand wanting to teach her manners, and if this is something you really feel needs to be changed, then realize you need to approach it like a bad habit. Gentle reminders, offering alternatives (and reminding about them), and focusing on what you want more of, not on what you want less of. Maybe you can work out with her a code word for when you see her tongue that tells her to get it back in her mouth, or you can gently tug on it when it’s out. I might say, “Ah! I certainly hope that’s not a little tongue I see sticking out! ” Relying on humor (especially since she’s doing this in response to fun/funny things) would be my direction.

And, don’t take it personally. It sounds like she doesn’t mean anything by it at all.