Wednesday, December 2, 2015

How to deal with interruptions when you're on the phone



"Mom, mom". My son called as I was chatting away on the phone.  "One minute love." I said, as I was trying to finish my conversation. Waiting as patiently as he could for a 3 Year old, a few minutes later I hear again.... "Mom, mom look at this." He kept repeating and repeating louder and louder until I could no longer hear the person I was talking to. I was getting frustrated. All of the sudden I yelled "shut up. Can't you see that I'm on the phone?" I watched my little boys excitement and smiling face fade into a frown, as he bowed his head and walked away.

It broke my heart. Immediately I finished my conversation and went to apologize for my behavior.  Of course I want my kids to learn to not interrupt.  Of course I want them to be respectful. However my behavior was only teaching him that I didn't have time and I was angry. I was also not being very respectful. 

When I asked what he needed, he simply wanted to show me a Lego creation he was so proud of. Somehow now it didn't seem that great to him anymore because I had already broken his spirit.
Our kids will only be kids for a short while. These are precious years that we will never get back.

Since this happened I have tried to think of different ways to not only be courteous to my caller, but also let my child know I have not forgotten them. Then I remembered something. In high school I went to a trade school and took care and guidance of children, we had an instructor who, if she was talking and a child would interrupt she would place her hand on the child's shoulder or back to let them know she heard them, and she would finish what she was saying, then turn her attention to the child. Genius! Will this always work? No. However with practice your child will learn not to interrupt. 

You could also talk to your child and let them know that in an emergency situation it is okay to interrupt but teach them the correct way to go about it. Excuse me......, Sorry to interrupt........ etc.

 Today I encourage you to spend a little bit of extra time with your child. Have a little more patience with your child, especially when it's hard to. Talk to your child about interrupting and how to interrupt politely. 

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