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Hey hey, my friend! Welcome to Parenting A-to-Z! I'm Kelly Bourne, and this week

we're diving right into interrupting! Why are kids do it, how to deal in the moment --

Cuz that can be a messy business, huh?! Especially when it gets a little bit

annoying after a while! And then what we can do to set our kids

up for success moving forward, so that they're interrupting less and making

things a little bit easier on us! Comin' right up!

So why do our kids interrupt? Lots of times it's

just because they really want to talk to us. They're excited,

they've got something on their mind, and they want to share it. And they're

impulsive at the same time! So they can't wait -- really, they quite

literally can't wait. They're bursting at the seams to share whatever it is that

they want to share with us right then. It doesn't matter if we're on the phone

with FedEx or we're making dinner or we're talking to somebody at the front

door, they'll interrupt to tell us what they want to do because they've got some

big ideas. They've got exciting stuff going on and they want to let us know

about it. The other reason why kids interrupt is that if this has become a habit,

sometimes kids can develop the mistaken idea that they only matter if they're

the center of attention. So part of part of breaking the cycle is showing them

that they matter and that they're loved even when they're not the center of the

universe. Because it can definitely feel like that sometimes, right? That

they're always trying to grab center stage and always

trying to steal attention away. So that's definitely something that we're going to

talk about. And it's a really important thing to work on because boundary

setting -- cuz that's what, really when we're working on interrupting that's

what we're working on, is setting a boundary, setting the standard

that yes, we are available -- but not at all times and at all moments. Because it's

it's a really important social skill, waiting our turn for those social

interactions and to share our piece and to say what's on our mind is a really

big social skill that that will serve them so well down the road. So it's great

that we're gonna start the process working on this together. And

it's also important to to show our kids that boundary setting and kindness can

go hand-in-hand. It's not like we're slamming the door in our kids' faces or

sending the message that that we don't care or we don't want to hear what they

want to say -- although sometimes those those thoughts cross our mind, right?! It's

showing them that it is possible to set boundaries and remain connected and have

kindness all at the same time. So before we get into any long-term strategies, I

think it's important to go over how to deal in the moment, because that's

where so many of us realize that this is an issue. When we have had it up to here

with interrupting. When we feel like we can't have a conversation with our spouse at

the dinner table, we feel like we can't have a phone conversation without

somebody constantly interrupting us. The first thing is to try your best -- I

know, it's hard to hold the nagging, to to hold the reminders,

to hold the, "I told you a million times! Just go over there! I already

told you this!" like "how come you don't know this?!", getting on their case and

coming down on them. Because if your kids are of the mindset that they only matter

if they're getting attention, any kind of attention counts. So they may be using

interrupting just as a way to keep you busy with them, to keep in the center

of your attention. So your nagging and constant reminders, not only are they

driving you crazy, saying that all the time, but it's not really helping change

the behavior. So instead, what you can try is letting them know when they CAN have

your attention. So still holding that boundary firm, "you know what, honey? I

really want to listen to what you have to say, I'm just cooking dinner right now.

Why don't you go read a book and I'll come and talk to you in 15 minutes."

or "I want to give you my full attention, so let's talk about that after

supper." So telling them when they can have your full, undivided attention.

And then if they still keep at it -- because hello, I live in the real

world, here! I realize that trying something out doesn't always (or very

rarely) works the first time, you just gotta hold that boundary firm. So

whether you are trying to cook dinner, you carry on cooking dinner. If you're

trying to have a conversation with your spouse -- one of the things you can do

after you have asked them to wait their turn and that you

want to give them your attention, if they can just wait five minutes until

you're done, and they still keep interrupting, try to keep talking with

your partner. Talk over them. It doesn't mean you have to raise your voice or get

all like [grrrr] about it, just continue trying to have your conversation. And it'll

probably feel pretty impossible, you may have to continue the conversation later,

but just keep your focus on your -- I'm looking at my husband's chair as if he's

sitting there. He's obviously not, but keeping your attention focused on the

original conversation so your child is forced to practice waiting. And

keeping your cool during that can be really stressful and really hard, but

it's really important to send that message that "I'm in a conversation right

now, I really want to talk to you, but you're gonna have to wait." One way

to practice this that I found really helpful was having "pretend"

phone conversations. And I know, you're probably thinking I'm totally nuts, but I

found this helped. Because it took away the stress of trying to carry on a real

social relationship while someone was constantly interrupting me. So I would

pick up my phone, (of course I've got it here, right in hands reach) I would

pick up my phone and I would have a pretend phone conversation. Talking,

talking, talking, saying "okay yeah honey, I see that, I'm just busy right now

but I'll come and talk to you in five minutes so I can give you my full

attention." And I would carry on walking around the house talking to myself on my

phone, having my pretend phone conversation to work out the kinks of my

kids practicing waiting when it was low stakes and nothing mattered and I wasn't

making anyone else upset or I wasn't making... Because you lose your train of

thought, right? When someone is constantly interrupting you it's hard to hold a

conversation. So that's where I found that pretend phone conversations worked

wonders. And then finally, I think it's also important to to make exceptions.

Because sometimes our kids have pretty big things they want to tell us.

Sometimes they have something serious or something that's really bugging them on

their mind, and nothing sends the message of being connected and that they belong

and that they matter and that you love and care about them, then shutting off

the stove and going and sitting with them if they have something they really

want to share with you. I feel like with parenting it's so hard, I think all

of us want a guide book of what to do in every situation at all

times, but we need to be flexible. Because our kids are unique and we're unique. We're

all having experiences all day long. And sometimes we need to make exceptions

to the rules. We need to allow our kids to interrupt and show them the respect

that, you know what? If you have a big thing I will drop whatever it is and

come and listen. Because you are important and I value what's on your

mind and we'll work through this together. So just keep that in

mind, to not be afraid to make exceptions. And then what you can do

moving forward, building some practical skills for your kids, is just practicing

conversation skills. The dinner table is a great way to do this. I know it's not

always possible for everyone to sit down and have a family meal, so it could be in

the evenings or whenever is most convenient for you. But just practice

having those conversations and practice what it's like not to interrupt. And call

people out in a fun way, of course. When they're interrupting, and making it

really low stakes so your kids don't feel like they're bad or they

don't feel like there's something wrong with them. Because it's just part

of the role-playing process, to work out those kinks and just kinda notice that

they are interrupting. And then also notice how good it feels when you have

everyone's undivided attention and can get your full thought out without

somebody else interrupting you. Another really good option - one that we used

with our kids when they were a little bit younger -- was making a secret signal.

So if my husband and I were talking -- I'm sorry, I keep looking over at our dinner

table -- if we were talking and the kids had something they really want to

interrupt and share, we would just have a signal, whether it's touching the nose or

touching the ear, that we could just kind of acknowledge with our head that they

had something that they wanted to say and then when there was a break in

the conversation allowing them to come in and say their piece. So it

sends the message that, okay, we notice there's something that they want to add

to the conversation, but then they also get to practice that skill of waiting. So

I hope that helps guys! It's a totally normal -- I know it can be crazy annoying,

but it's a totally normal developmental milestone -- so just really

practice setting those boundaries with kindness, practicing some pretend phone

conversations if you need to, talking over if you need to, maybe setting up a

secret signal, role-playing conversation

skills so your kids have a chance to learn what it's like when someone

interrupts them, right? Because that's the other piece of role-playing -- they get to

see what it's like when other people interrupt them and how that feels --

and just practicing that when it's really low stakes when nothing matters.

When you can just have fun! And of course, if you're looking for

more in-depth support, in-depth resources, join us over in The Parent 'Hood,

our private membership community. We'd be so happy to have you! And yeah, as always,

leave your questions, comments below. Always happy to chat with you guys! Have

a great day and I'll see you in the next video!

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