Master the art of misdirection. This is where new toys, puppets, and other distractions come in handy. Even an enthusiastic “Look at that tree!” might stop the flow of tears. If your child is crying because someone took something away from her, quickly replace the item with another one.
If your child is crying because of a minor injury, pretend to “punish” the item that caused the injury. “Coffee table! How dare you hurt my girl! You need to apologize right now.”
If your child sustains a relatively minor injury (a bump on the head, a scrape on the knee), you can often stop the crying by reenacting the “crime.” This can get you a laugh and stop residual crying after you’ve initially comforted your child. Pretend to investigate the cause of the incident by saying, “Now how did you fall? You were running like this …” (Run the same path as your child.) “When you tripped over a stick like this …” (Pretend to trip, then fall.) “Then you cried like this.” (Cry in an exaggerated and amusing manner.) It should defuse the situation and make your child laugh.
Perform physical humor by reenacting the incident in a funny way, pretending that you didn’t see the initial injury. “My poor girl! You fell—now how did you do tha—whoooaaaa! (CRASH) Ow—that did hurt!” There’s nothing funnier to a child than seeing her parent fall.