Sunday, September 18, 2016

How to Teach Your Child to Not Interrupt

We've all experienced being in a heavy conversation only to be interrupted by a demanding child. That child is your responsibility and you must tend to his every need. Shouldn't you see what he wants? Maybe something terrible has happened. Besides, the more you ignore him the louder he gets so you have to find out what your precious son is carrying on about. His well-being is the most important thing in the world to you, right?

Well..... your response to The Interrupter depends on your parenting style. You'll either respond reactively by stopping your conversation to answer him, or you'll think proactively by remembering that your response today will determine how he approaches you next time.

The Interrupter will never learn on his own how to get your attention properly and respectfully. He must be taught. That is why clearly stating the rules ahead of time, such as before you meet up with friends, will give you the leverage to teach self-controlled behavior.

You say to little Alice, "Sweetie, Mama is going to talk with Mrs. 
Jones for a little while and you must play quietly. If you need something then you give me a signal or quietly wait until there is a pause in our conversation and I can stop and see what you need. Only interrupt when someone is hurt."

When Alice comes up to you, loudly demanding your attention, you lift up your forefinger in the "one moment" position, and finish your sentence. Don't even give her eye contact. Don't tell her to wait. Your signal should be enough. She should wait next to you quietly. Then when the time is right you can bend down, praise her for waiting so quietly, and then tend to her need.  

If she breaks the rule and continues to carry on, then excuse yourself and take Alice aside to be reminded again of the rule. If a time out is necessary then give her a time out, telling her to think about that rule and how she should behave next time. After a couple minutes, ask, "What did you think about?' She must recite the rule and how she should behave before she is allowed to get up from time out. Go back to your conversation and have her wait again for just a short while, to ask her your question. She'll learn!

Proactive parenting is hard work but so worth the effort! You'll raise well-mannered adults who will do the same with their children. Remember you are training future generations! Don't expect schools to do it. Don't expect your church to do it. Don't expect grandparents to do it. Don't expect neighbors or friends to do it. You You You are the one who is to train your own child.

Read more about teaching children respect from an earlier post here.

And now for a fashion tip...
I recently bought a new pair of shoes that turned out to bother my heels. Easy peasy solution - I cut out a piece of fabric from an old fuzzy sock and placed it inside the shoe. Ahhhh. So much better!