How to Teach With Love When Your Child Interrupts
Children act on impulses and emotions, and if they feel they need to tell you something, they will tell you without a problem.
February 13, 2020
Mª Jose Roldan Prito
Usually when you are talking at home or doing some important work, if your child interrupts you many times, You may lose your nerve. Your child doesn’t understand that what you say to the other person or what you do at that moment is important and must wait. Children act on impulses and emotions, and if they think they have something to say to you, nothing else matters to them at that moment.
Whether you’re on the phone, busy at the computer, or talking to another adult, it can be frustrating when your kids keep interrupting you. Children are so focused on their own needs that they don’t realize you have yours too. They can learn to focus more on the needs of others and their own. It helps control these endless interruptions.
How to teach children not to interrupt
Try these ideas the next time your child interrupts:
- Give lessons and examples. Teach your children to judge when an interruption is necessary, as they have difficulty understanding when interruptions are justified. Discuss examples of when it is okay to interrupt, such as when someone is at the door or a sibling is hurt.
- Teach proper manners. Wait for your child to pause in the conversation and say “I’m sorry” when you want to start the conversation. When you remember to do this, answer positively. If the interruption is something to wait for, politely inform your child about this.
- Do not answer the question immediately. Many parents instruct children to interrupt, but respond to the child’s request for interruption in the next breath, which only reinforces the habit. Wait for an appropriate pause in the conversation, then turn to your child and ask, “What do you want?”
- Remember your behavior. Parents are sometimes so quick to intervene to correct their children’s bad behavior that they don’t realize that the way they are correcting is rude. Use your own good behaviors to model appropriate communication skills. Pause, look at your child, and say, “I’ll be with you in a minute.”
- Teaches “pressure”. Tell your child that if they need something while you are talking to another adult, they should gently squeeze your hand. Then squeeze his hand that you know he’s there and you’ll be with him in a minute. First, respond quickly so that your child can see the success of this method. You can wait longer, pressing gently every few minutes to remind your child that you remember the request.
- Create a busy box. Create a box of activities or games that you can only use when you’re on the phone, working at your desk, or talking to adults. Add new stuff occasionally or rotate the content. Be sure to put them away when you’re done. Your child will look forward to their next conversation and it will be free of interruptions!
- Plan ahead. Before the phone call or visit, tell your child what to expect. “I’m going to make a call. I’ll be here for a while, so I can get your busy box ready while I’m on the phone.”
- Give praise when it’s due. When your child does well, he deserves to be praised because you will encourage him to repeat that good behavior. Kids want to be recognized when they do the right thing (just like anyone!) Telling them things when they do it right is a great lesson for everyone. Praise your child whenever he uses good manners, when he doesn’t interrupt, and when he knows how to behave properly.
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