Kids love to interrupt. If you need proof, just rewatch that viral clip of the little girl barging in on her father's BBC interview. (You're welcome.) Children get big ideas and want to share them right away, but it can be a frustrating behavior for a lot of parents to deal with. Now, one mom's simple hack will help kids learn not to interrupt, in a totally loving and respectful way.
Portland-based writer and mother of six Jessica Martin-Weber writes a lot about motherhood for her online community, The Leaky Boob, and her blog, Beyond Moi. And she recently shared some wisdom with other parents who can't seem to get their kids to stop talking over them. She and her husband Jeremy came up with a physical way to let their eager kids know that they will be heard, but that they have to wait just a bit.
It's a totally simple and smart system to stop interrupting. Martin-Weber explained it like so, in a Facebook post:
We have taught our children to demonstrate when they have something to share by gently laying a hand on our arm if we are speaking or listening to someone else at that moment. So they know we're aware they want to say something, we physically respond in some way such as putting our hand over their hand or gently touching their back or holding their hand.
Variations on this system have been making the rounds on parenting blogs and advice sites for a while, and it's easy to see why. You might actually be able to finish a sentence in your adult conversation, while still letting your child know that you love them and will acknowledge them soon!
Of course, this kind of system is going to work better for some kids than others, particularly depending on their ages. Martin-Weber's youngest took a while to fully understand the system, but she recently had a breakthrough. In the same Facebook post, Martin-Weber wrote,
Our youngest has had a very hard time with this. Her excitement is quite compelling and it is just SO. HARD. To contain her enthusiasm and words all at the same time. She just hasn't been able to find that level of control within herself. Until now! The last couple of days she has suddenly been using this practice!
This isn't the first time a bit of Martin-Weber wisdom has made the rounds on the Internet, to an appreciative audience. Recently, Jeremy's parenting post about how he was a dad, not a babysitter, also went viral.
There may be about a million more parenting questions I'd love the Martin-Webers' advice on but hey, you know... I can wait.