Toddlers know no bounds. They fully embrace the ME STAGE—consequences be damned! Toddlers tend to run the show 24/7, and it can wear you down! So, every parent of a demanding toddler (a.k.a. tiny dictator) has to learn the fine art of handling your child’s lack of impulse control AND constant demands for attention. The interrupting toddler can make you feel reactive, fast. But, there’s a simply genius positive parenting trick to stop your toddler from interrupting & gives you back your patience!
BONUS: Your kiddo will LOVE this new little game!
If you have a toddler or early preschooler who is constantly interrupting your conversations, then you’ve got to check out this positive parenting trick that can put an immediate end to interruptions!
Are Constant Interruptions from Your Toddler Driving You Crazy?
If you’ve ever wondered: why my toddler won’t let me talk to others without interruption? You’re not alone! When my oldest was about 3 years old, I couldn’t hold a conversation with anyone for longer than 20 seconds. Questions, comments, distractions, demands, and on and on! It was making me batty and trying my patience on a grand scale.
I knew that I was reaching my own limits in the patience department, so I wasn’t doing a great job of teaching patience much less giving social skills lessons on interrupting. Plus, truth be told, I didn’t really know how to teach patience or manners to a toddler.
That’s when I discovered a super simple “game” that helped me AND changed my child’s relentless interrupting behavior. Actually, I still practice this trick with my 5 & 7 year olds today! It’s the gift that keeps on giving!
It’s so easy! Any mom can teach this to their child.
No manners charts for toddlers or preschoolers are involved! No cutesy Pinterest activities (like monster manners, which is totally cute if you’re into that!) either! Just a simple little game that you can teach your child in 10 minutes over a bowl of Cheerios.
Secret Game That Stops Toddler Interruptions
This positive parenting trick to stop your toddler from interrupting is great for toddlers and preschoolers alike. But, head’s up: the younger the child, the more times you’ll have to play it to get it right.
The trick to getting this game to work is to pick a neutral time to teach the game. For example, choose a time over breakfast, or during playtime, to talk to him about a new game you’ve learned.
Really build it up! Tell him that some of his friends and mommies play this fun secret game together and they LOVE it, too! That’ll pique his interest for sure.
Then explain the rules of the “game” to him.
RULES OF THE GAME:
- When mommy is on the phone, or talking to another grown up face to face, then the GAME begins!
- If your child has something important to say, (and it can’t wait till later) then the SECRET signal is given by the child to mommy.
- The SECRET signal is the child quietly (secretly) holding mommy’s hand and giving it a squeeze. No need to say a word! This is secret agent type stuff. This is your secret handshake to let each other know what’s going on!
- Then, mommy will give the SECRET signal (squeezing the child’s hand back) back to the child letting him know that mommy understands there is an important message mommy needs to hear!
- Mommy knows that it’s important because the child used the SECRET IMPORTANT signal, and the child understands that mommy will listen very intently ASAP to the child’s message. But, for the secret signal to work, the child has to be patient and wait for mommy to finish her conversation.
Tips to Stopping Interruptions for Good
Now, if you want this little game to work—and it does work!—you’re going to have to keep a few things in mind.
First, and most importantly, this is not a way for you to dodge your kid’s chatter. YOU have to actually play the game if you want this trick to stop your toddler from interrupting to work! The first few times you play the game, you’re going to have to let him see that it works. You have to receive his signal, give it back, and pretty quickly thereafter ask him to tell you his important message. I’m talking 30 seconds tops for the first few times!
Second, you need to really get your kid to buy into it. Make this your secret game that’s fun and really special. Your child will love being in on something special with you. So, don’t forget to reinforce! Tell him how great he played the game, and how happy you are that yall have a secret together! Maybe you could even share the secret game with daddy:)
Finally, after a few times of practicing the game, you can gradually lengthen your response time. Once they know you’ll respond, then they’ll have a little more patience. Over time, they’ll get it. They’ll understand that you want to hear what they have to say—when the time is right.
This little game helps you ease into teaching your kid patience while also making them feel heard, valued, and a part of something special.
Positive parenting tips for the WIN, again!
Positive Parenting Techniques Teach Kids Patience
Toddlers aren’t known for their patience and tact. But, we can still teach them not to be wild animals that sabotage every single conversation we try to have. And, you can do it with positive parenting techniques that don’t involve belittling, ordering, or threatening your child.
The hand “squeeze” game is a genius trick to stop your toddler from interrupting every time you try to have a grown up conversation (or just order food at a restaurant).
This secret signal game stops your child from interrupting by actually bringing mommy and child closer together. When your child feels like they’re doing something special with you, that may be all the closeness they need. They can receive more from that one little hand squeeze than from an hour of endless interruptions that never get them what they want—YOUR ATTENTION!
If you’re struggling with an interrupting toddler or preschooler, then give this game a try! It’s not a cure-all, but it has worked like a charm for me for years!
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