Read about the 1 simple trick that teaches kids to stop interrupting. They will learn how to respect others, while at the same time, be assured that their thoughts and feelings are also important.
If you’re a parent, then you know how this goes.
You’re deep into conversation with a friend, and she is sharing her heart with you. Your kids are all running around wild because they know mom is really into her conversation. But that’s ok because no one is jumping off of anything, making anyone cry, or otherwise kicking an anthill or beehive. It’s all a relatively controlled chaos. Until…
(tap, tap, tap, tap, tapping on the arm)
(harder annoying tapping)
You rather sternly say, “I am TALKING!” and file a mental note for later to give them a good lecture about not interrupting.
The Simple Trick
Well, whether or not the lecture works remains to be seen. Sometimes it does for us, sometimes it doesn’t.
But there is one simple method that DOES work. Once you implement it, you’ll be able to file this one back into the relatively controlled chaos category. 🙂
Next time your little guy or girl has something they simply can’t wait to tell you, have them simply put a hand on your arm and hold it there. Or they could also hold your hand and give it a squeeze.
Then have them keep their hand there until you squeeze it back or give it a pat to let them know that you are aware they want to say something.
Then teach them to wait until you give them permission to talk.
And that’s it! So, so simple, but it works so well.
Why I Like This Method
First, it reassures your child that his or her thoughts and needs are important to you. But it also shows them that rudeness is not a shortcut to getting those needs met. When they feel your gentle squeeze in response to theirs, they will know that you intend to give them your full attention at the right time.
We want to teach our children to be considerate of others, but I love that this is also a gentle way to let them know that their feelings are just as important to you.
(But remember to get back to them! I am notorious for getting so involved in one thing that I completely forget to do the other thing. It happens probably 20 times every day. And it usually involves something I was going to do for my kids. 😉 )
Secondly, it is a great, concrete way to teach kids that they should respect others’ needs and desires and not just look out for their own. In our house, this is a verse that I’ve worked with my guys to memorize because it is applicable to every area of their lives, both now while they are children and certainly later when they become adults:
“Do nothing from selfishness or empty conceit, but with humility of mind regard one another as more important than yourselves; do not merely look out for your own personal interests, but also for the interest of others.” Philippians 2:3,4
They get to actually see what that looks like in an everyday setting. And they feel good when they can see that they are actually practicing putting others first.
Thirdly, I like anything that accomplishes what I need without a long, lengthy lecture.
And so do my kids. 🙂
Kids learn best by practicing and role playing what they should be doing. And let’s be real, most of us adults do too.
Taking the time to role play this scenario out with your kids will really cement for them what they should be doing. It will become second nature to them, and everyone will feel much happier and respected.
Sometimes we forget that what we tend to automatically understand as adults is not automatically understood by children. Interrupting is a perfect example of that. They are not even aware how it is rude–they just know that Mom or Dad meets their needs, and they have a need to be heard right now.
Remembering this fact helps me to be patient when I’m shocked at some of their behavior. It helps to remember that it is my job to teach them. And that it is worth the time and effort it takes to role play it out with them at home because it (1) teaches them to put others first, (2) keeps everything much calmer, and (3) will benefit them personally in the long run because people won’t feel the effects of their rudeness and will actually enjoy being around them more!
How about you? Any tricks or methods that have worked really well in your family? Share with us in the comments!
Pin it to Save for Later or to Share!