Sunday, July 28, 2013

Excuse Me

I have been trying to...Oh wait, excuse me for a minute.  "Yes, honey?"  "Can you get me some orange juice?  With a straw," my son asks.  "Sure," I say.  Anyway, I've really been working with my son about how..."Luke, give me a minute, I just need to write this post.  You can get your snack yourself.  You are a big boy."  Okay, where was I?  Oh yes, I have been trying to get my son to quit interrupting.  And it's not really working.

I have begun to find it impossible to finish a sentence if I am talking to another person in his company.  No matter what I'm saying, there's something that he has to say he deems more important.  This is driving me nuts.  I've tried explaining why it's rude.  I've tried giving him ideas on how to get what he needs in an unobtrusive way.  I've tried asking him to say "excuse me" but this suddenly gives him even more license to interrupt.  Nothing was working.

And it's been giving my little one some ideas.  "Mama, Mama, Mama, Mama..." he'll say incessantly as he tugs on the bottom of my shirt.  He will go fifteen or twenty times (I actaully counted once) without a breath.  This needed to stop.

I started online to read some tips.  One Montessori site suggested telling the child to simply touch your leg without saying anything.  The parent should then touch the child's hand to reassure them that they are aware of their need.  They stressed that you should not make eye contact with them, just touch.  After a sentence or two more of conversation, break away to ask the child what they needed to say.  They suggested doing a run through with your kids to make it fun so my husband and I gave it a shot.

Neither of them would even come over to us.  "Mama, Mama, Mama, Mama...Ball!" my youngest said, completely oblivious of the instructions.  I decided to use my oldest as an example.  "Luke, come over here and show Drew how to do this," I said.  "Okay but Mommy, why don't I just wait until you are done talking to tell you what I need?" he answered.

EXACTLY!!  I wanted to yell.  That is exactly what I want you to do!!  But I settled for a, "Yes!  That would be best.  But if you can't wait, touch my leg and I'll break free of the conversation for you," I explained.  He stared at me blank faced.  "Can I go play with my cement mixer now?" he asked.

Sometimes you just have to be glad you tried.  I think this one is going to take a bit more practice to sink into their little brains.  Practice and reinforcement.  Maybe I'll be able to come up with a better idea once I can complete a whole sentence without interruption.

How do you teach your kids to stop interrupting?  How do you do that in a way that makes whatever they have to say important as well?

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