Kids should not be allowed to
interrupt their parents.
When children are allowed to control whether or not their parents converse, they're at great risk for developing the notion that they have more importance and power in the family than their parents. While we believe that children should be given plenty of love and attention, we know that kids who believe that the world revolves around them…well…grow up to be adults who believe that the world revolves around them.
Another piece of the puzzle involves setting and enforcing clear limits. Some parents experiment by calmly yet firmly saying, "I will listen to you when I am done talking with Dad."
When children continue to interrupt anyway, there must be a consequence delivered with loving empathy. Many possibilities exist. Perhaps the simplest involves doing your best to finish the conversation…then calmly saying, "This is so sad. You interrupted us when we were trying to talk. Now we don’t have the energy to do the things you wanted us to do today."
One couple commented on their unique strategy:
Our kids had gotten so bad about interrupting us that we decided to hire a baby sitter…at their expense. We said to them, "This is such a bummer. You guys haven't been letting us talk. Now we need to go out and get all of our talking done. You'll be staying with Mrs. B. She's going to ask you how you plan to pay her for her time." After we did this one time, our kids were far more careful when we said, "We'll listen when we are done talking."
Thanks for reading! Our goal is to help as many families as possible. If this is a benefit, forward it to a friend.
Dr. Charles Fay
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