Your preschooler has been happily playing with their favorite toy for a while now, so you decide it’s a good time to make a phone call and catch up with a friend. You barely make it into apologizing for not catching up in so long before your preschooler comes barreling into the room, suddenly needing to tell you a million things all at once.
Here are some tips for how to get your preschooler to not interrupt, so next time you call a friend to catch up, you don’t have to hang up before the conversation even begins.
Preschooler’s are going to interrupt… Waiting patiently is just not part of their nature. If you have realistic expectations of your preschooler you can save yourself from a lot of frustration.
When a preschooler gets excited about something, they want to blurt it out right away. Preschoolers naturally tend to be a little bit selfish, and have a “what I want, when I want it” mentality. It’s not their fault, they just don’t know any better.
Telling your preschooler to be quiet or wait when they interrupt you may temporarily fix the interruption, but ultimately your preschooler may start to feel like what they have to say isn’t important. Instead of simply telling your child not to interrupt, teach them the importance of putting other people’s needs before our own.
LEAD BY EXAMPLE
If you want your preschooler to see the importance of not interrupting people, then it’s important to make sure you’re modeling that behavior. If your preschooler sees adults interrupting other people, then they won’t see anything wrong with it, and they will continue doing it themselves.
It’s also important to not interrupt your preschooler when they’re speaking unless you have to. Letting your preschooler finish what they have to say will not only set a good example, but also make sure they know that their voice matters too. Listening to your preschooler ramble about that thing they saw may not always seem important, but it’s probably important to them, and telling you about it is all part of the discovery process.
MAKE A PLAN
Get Attention Without Interrupting
If your preschooler needs you for something that isn’t urgent, they can learn a silent way to let you know that they would like something from you. You can teach your preschooler to raise their hand when they need something from you, or they can come and place a hand on you.
Acknowledge that you know that they’re there with a nod, or a gentle squeeze on the hand, but don’t speak to your preschooler until you’re finished with what you’re doing.
Find Something Else To Do
If it’s going to be a long time before you’re available for your preschooler, you may let them know they need to go do something else for a little while. If your preschooler has a pet, or a favorite stuffed animal, they could talk to them so they don’t have to keep it all inside.
If you know you’re going to be busy for a while, you may set your preschooler up with some activities and a drink and snack, so they will be less likely to need something while you’re busy.
These tips may not save you from all interruptions, but keep helping your preschooler practice their waiting skills and you just may be able to make it through a phone call every now and then.