Its perfectly normal behaviour for your little one to interrupt you, however it can be a bit awkward at times or even whilst your trying to gather important information. So, as parents we often want to help our child develop patience and polite ways to join a conversation and here are some Simple Top Tips to Help Your Child Stop Interrupting
Usually the endless interrupting happens when you’re talking with friends or on the phone and your little one starts bouncing around desperate to tell you something and if you continue to ignore them it can actually escalate the situation.
Kids have lots to say and they mostly interrupt you as they want to share things with you that to them is really interesting, important or relevant to what you’re talking about. Too they often just want to feel like they are a part of things.
Quite simply the reason children tend to interrupt us is because they are too young, impulsive or just haven’t been given any tools to help them respectfully interrupt.
So as parents if we help put in place some simple things it can help your child from Interrupting so much.
Especially useful for younger children is a simple physical connection between parent and child can help. If you teach your child to put their hand on your wrist when they want to say something, then you can place your hand over theirs to let them know you know they are waiting to say something.
This secret code will stop you having to stop and say “hang on” or “stop interrupting” or the classic of all parents “I’m Talking”
This simple reassuring contact lets your little one know that they have been heard and that you will speak to them as soon as you can, but don’t make them hang on longer than needed. Be sure to finish your conversation where you can and then give them your complete attention for this to work well.
When your child gets older giving them the chance to learn that waiting is important is really valuable.
For example you can plan ahead, so if you know you’re going to meet someone or your going on the phone, explain beforehand that you are going to busy, that its important that you are free to listen and speak so if they could wait to speak with you once your free to pay attention to them that this would be helpful and really good manners.
Giving them very specific information can really help with this such as
I need to tell your Mum something and then I will come and find you, so if you could have some quiet time with this book that would help
I need to talk on the phone for a few minutes and then we can play your board game together
Obviously, you don’t want to child to never interrupt you, as what if it was an emergency if they waiting to speak with you something terrible could have happened that you could have prevented.
So, this is why we explain to them that sometimes it’s OK to interrupt but we should be polite when we do it.
So, if they can learn to simply touch your hand or arm and say “Excuse Me” this will service them well as they grow into adulthood.
This of course does need some practice and kids will still make mistakes by interrupting you with something they could have waiting to tell you, but that’s ok a little remind like
OK I hear you I will listen fully to in a moment
Let’s talk after I’m done on the phone
Do you want to Hold my hand and I will be able to listen to you in a shortly?
It’s worth remembering that how you manage this with your little one comes with consequences.
For example, if you were to always tell your child to shhhhh or shut up it might very well help you in the short term as your child stops talking or bothering you.
But in the long term you have missed the opportunity to teach and practice that it’s a vital part of life to take turns, to wait, to listen attentively and to be respectful to others.