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Kids who interrupt

 
Does your child often interrupt you? When you’re talking to someone else, on the phone or in the middle of something, it can be frustrating when your child constantly interrupts. Teaching them how to determine if something warrants an interruption and how to pay more attention to other people's needs as well as their own will help control the interruptions.
Does your child often interrupt you?

When you’re talking to someone else, on the phone or in the middle of something, it can be frustrating when your child constantly interrupts.

However if they get a response from you straight away every time, they’ve learned that you are willing to stop what you're doing to answer them and will continue to do it.

When they're young, kids are so focused on their own needs that they don't realise that you have needs too.

Teaching them how to pay more attention to other people's needs as well as their own will help control the interruptions.
 

What to do when your kids interrupt

 

1. Give lessons and examples

Teach your children how to determine if something warrants an interruption, as they may have a hard time deciphering when interruptions are justified.

Discuss examples of when it's okay to interrupt, such as when someone is at the door, or if a sibling is hurt.
 

2. Encourage good manners

Teach your child good manners and how to wait for a pause in the conversation and to say, "Excuse me." When they remember to do this, respond positively.

If the interruption is about something that should wait, let them know that you'll be with them shortly.
 

3. Don't answer the question

Many parents tell kids off for interrupting, but in the same breath respond to the child's interrupted request, which just reinforces the habit.

Look at your child, and say, "I'll be with you in a minute."
 

4. Teach "The Squeeze"

Tell your child that if they want something when you are talking to someone else, they should walk up to you and gently squeeze your arm.

You will then squeeze their hand back to indicate that you know they are there and will be with them in a minute.

At first, respond quickly so your child can see the success of this method. Over time you can wait longer, just give a gentle squeeze every few minutes to remind your child that you remember their request.
 

5. Create a busy box

Put together a box of activities or games that can only be used when you are on the telephone, working at your desk or talking with someone else.

Occasionally refill it with new things or rotate the contents.

Be firm about putting them away when you are done. Your child will be look forward to your next conversation, which will be interruption free!
 

6. Plan ahead

Before you make a phone call or have a visitor, let your child know what to expect.

For example, say to them "I'm going to make a phone call. I'll be a while, so let's get your busy box ready to use while I'm on the phone".
 

7. Give praise when it's deserved

Catching your child doing the right thing can be the best lesson of all.

Praise your child for using good manners, for remembering to say "excuse me," and for interrupting only for a valid reason.
 

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