Interrupting-A Face of Misbehavior

A youngster’s natural exuberance, short attention span, single-mindedness and overwhelming desire to express him all add up to a common childhood failing of interrupting.

The mere sight of you engrossed in conversation, either in person or on the phone, will seem to galvanize your attention hungry child. You expect the condition to be at its height when your toddler is learning to talk, but it may continue well beyond school age.

It is very important on your part to anticipate the problem before it occurs. If you expect visitors or a long phone call when your child is around, get him started on some activity beforehand. For conversations you cannot anticipate, keep a busy bag of toys handy for him to dip into.

If the toys are used only on such occasions, they may seem more special to your young one. In either case tell your child that you are going to be busy for a little while and that it is his job to play quietly with the toys. Compliment him on his cooperation each time and ask if he has questions to ask or anything to tell you.

If he forgets and interrupt, correct him firmly but pleasantly, in a tone that does not sound like rejection. If he continues to interrupt, you might use a time-out to discipline him. At the same time, ask yourself if perhaps your visit has gone too long. When the guests have gone, tell your child that you appreciate his efforts.

As always, you have to provide a good model. Try to be specific in your words in the way that you model the type of behavior you want your child to adopt. Try not to allow interruption when he is involved in a social exchange.

If sometimes calls come when you are spending a valuable time with your child may be a story telling session or may be a games session, you can just avoid the call or ask him to call you later. It is very important for children to see that the same rules apply to the adults only because children learn more by watching at their elders specially their parents.

geeta krishnan