Busy mom on phone holding toddlerYour phone rings and you know that your friend on the other line needs you in that moment, but you also know that taking a phone call with a toddler or preschooler nearby means constant interruptions. Your spouse comes home from work, and you rush to catch up with him or her, because you know that if you don’t address the important stuff quickly, your child will pop up and demand an end to the conversation. How do you quell the interruptions of a small child? We are Child’s World Academy, a day care with two location, one in Monroe, CT and one in Peekskill, NY.

  1. First, try to teach your child when it is appropriate to approach you when you’re in conversation. When your child interrupts you, ask her to wait for a pause in the conversation before she asks her question. If she can remember to do this, be sure to reward her with positive reinforcement of her behavior.
  2. If your child cannot remember to wait for an appropriate pause in the conversation to ask a question or make a request, do not respond to her by answering his question or fulfilling his request. Let him know that he can wait until you are finished with your conversation to ask a question, and address his question when the time is right.
  3. Give your child a few examples of when it might be the right time to come to you while you’re in the middle of a conversation with another adult. For instance, if a friend or sibling has been hurt, if your child needs help to use the potty, or if it is a hot day and your child needs water, these are good reasons to interrupt the conversation. But let her know that if she can’t find the green crayon, has a complaint about what her brother is doing, or wants more crackers, those types of interruptions can wait until you are finished with your conversation.
  4. Talk about non-verbal ways to connect while you’re on the phone, or conversing with your spouse or a friend. For instance, if your child feels a need for a bit of acknowledgment, he can touch your arm for a hug or even just play quietly beside you while you talk. The fact that you are in conversation does not necessarily mean that you are off limits to him.
  5. Remember to model appropriate manners yourself! If your child sees his parents interrupting one another every night at dinner, he’s going to assume that it’s OK for him to interrupt others, too!

How do you handle interruptions in your family? Is this something you need to work on? Let us know in the comments section! If you are looking for quality day care near us, give us a call to set up a tour of our facility and to meet our wonderful staff.