teaching your children how to properly and respectfully interrupt adults

January 31, 2019

Most moms know the struggle of being constantly interrupted by their children.

Whether you're in the middle of a conversation with a friend, on an important phone call, or maybe working on the computer, it's only a matter of time until your child wants your attention. I don't know of any mom who enjoys being interrupted every few minutes by their child. It's hard to concentrate on your own thoughts or listen to others while your little one is incessantly tugging on you saying "mom, mom, mom." Even if you appease them for a moment, they will only come back a few minutes later for more.

My husband and I have "trained" our boys not to yell for us from across the house. That's just downright annoying and completely unnecessary. Unless of course there's an emergency. If your child is bleeding to death or they are trying to tell you that someone else is seriously injured and in need of help, let them yell and interrupt! I'm sure all of that goes without saying. But what we are talking about here is the daily life scenarios where children just don't know (or care) how rude it is to assert themselves into a conversation or situation they weren't invited to.

When I learned the interrupt rule, it changed our lives! I am not even exaggerating.

Here's how the interrupt rule works:

  1. If your child needs to get your attention while you are busy, they are to quietly approach you and lay a hand on your shoulder or arm.
  2. You should immediately acknowledge them, with eye contact or your hand on top of theirs. That way, they know that you know that they need you. But they don't say a word, yet.
  3. Then they wait. Once there is a natural break in your conversation or you are done with what you are doing, you can turn to them and give them your undivided attention.

It's that simple!

My boys have applied the interrupt rule to all the adults in their lives whom they ever may need to interrupt, completely unprompted. They just like it, I guess. They even use it on each other which is so stinkin' sweet. It is quite fun explaining to unsuspecting family members or friends why my child is just standing next to them with their hand on their shoulder. Usually the adult is surprised and impressed at how mature they are acting and want to implement it in their own homes with their kids.

In training kids up this way, they learn self control, patience, and respect for their elders time and space.

And I don't have to be interrupted anymore! Parenting tip for the win.