Manners matter: Putting a halt to interruptions

Many of us have sat in a restaurant, a movie theatre or perhaps you noticed this phenomenon just walking down the street. I am referring to the ill mannered child. The child that doesn’t seem to be aware that others feelings need to be considered when it comes to behavior.

Virtually every bad behavior you can think of…talking back, interrupting, stealing, violence, and overall rudeness all have one thing in common�..bad manners. Manners are literally at the heart of whether or not a child makes a good decision or a bad one when it comes to how they will choose to behave. It also has a great deal to do with how that child will succeed as an adult later in life.

One of the biggest offenders of bad behavior in kids is interrupting. It is one of the first ill mannered behaviors that kids engage in and it is also one of the easiest to get a handle on. Here are some tips on how to curb this bad habit early on, even as young as three years old.

When to interrupt
Kids are prone to wanting your attention the moment something occurs to them. Help them learn to distinguish what is important enough to justify interrupting you. Wanting a cookie is not a good reason to interrupt. However, if someone is hurt it might be a good idea to get mommy’s attention right away.

Prepare your child
Let your child know when you will be unavailable and that now is the time to tell mommy if they need anything. Explain that once Mommy is on the phone they will need to wait until she is off the phone unless it is an emergency.

Distract your child
Provide some special activities to keep your child occupied while you’re temporarily unavailable. Ideally these would be special projects that are used only in times when you will not be immediately available.

Help your child understand why
Teaching your child about respect can be a huge tool in raising kids who don’t often interrupt. The more a child understands how their behavior affects others in a negative way, the more the child will naturally make the right choice. Kids have a natural desire to behave and be loved. By nurturing that instinct with information on why interrupting is disrespectful your child will learn to stop themselves on their own when it comes to impulsive interruptions.

Use a tool
Have a device handy that you can use to physically help your child learn how to get your attention in a polite manner. One of the best products on the market is a product called Qwesty. Using products that are fun and clearly help solve the problem for both parents and kids can be an easy and simple way to keep harmony during busy times.

All kids interrupt. Your goal as a parent is to teach your child consideration and respect. The stronger those virtues are in your child, the less they will choose behaviors like interrupting that disregard people’s feelings. When your child is considerate, praise them and help them to see they made a great choice and that you appreciate that they were thinking of others. Try and focus on these virtues and not the specific behavior and in time you will see politeness and consideration on many levels from your child.


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