Saturday, April 25, 2009

The Interrupt Rule

My friend (in this case, Maya) and I are chatting away and one of the kids wants to talk to me. Instead of incessantly interrupting with: "Mommy, mommy, mommy!" and my having to constantly say: "Hold on a minute, I'm talking" (thus interrupting my friend), the child puts his hand on my arm and waits patiently for me to turn my attention to them. Depending on the age of the child, this may be a few seconds wait or it may be a minute or two.

I put my hand on his to acknowledge him and let him know I'll get to him in just a minute.
And then I tell my friend to excuse me as I turn my attention to my little one, who is then beside himself with excitement to talk to me. (I'm in high demand around here.)
And then someone else runs up and puts her hand on me while Daniel's still talking. I feel so loved. And look how patiently my friend waits to have my attention again!

Everyone gets the attention they want and there's no interrupting.


debhmom3 said...

That's a great idea! I just may have to implement this here as well.

Jamie said...

I love the interrupt rule. It's so polite. We're still working on one of the kids. The problem isn't the interrupting, it's the implimentation of the rule. This one taps. It's getting better tho.

The Herd said...

What a great pictorial lesson! Is pictorial a word??? get my drift.
Thought of you yesterday---we talked about the 5 love language book and I thought back to yours and Kyle's magnets that you you remember???

CK said...

I've always believed in requiring a child to interrupt politely and this is an excellent method. I particularly like that you can acknowledge the "interruptee's" presence silently, thus curbing impatience before it takes over.

Quick question from a novice mom: my one child is now 18 months old and is just at the very early stages of comprehending rules. At what age do you begin utilizing this and other etiquette-type training? I want to keep my expectations age-appropriate, but I also don't want to wait too long and then have to undo behaviors. If you have any suggestions, then I thank you.

Ginger said...

At 18 mos, I would go ahead and teach the rule, but expect that you'll be interrupting your guest to re-teach her the rule each time. Once she gets the rule (by age 2 I would expect), then you can expect her to use the interrupt rule, but you'll be responding to her immediately, not making her wait at all. My babies have just turned 4 and I now I can make them wait a little bit. A year ago, they couldn't have.

Gretchen said...

I love it! Thanks for sharing all you wonderful tips and techniques. I love learing different styles of teaching and disciplining from you. This is a great suggestion.