David, August 2009
"Daddy, Daddy, Daddy, Daddy!" (This is how our children currently interrupt.)

We’ve been going crazy with the way the girls interrupt us — while we’re talking to someone or on the phone. It’s loud, insistent and doesn’t go away unless you reward the poor behaviour. (Exactly what we seek to avoid!)

However, we have seen how to do things correctly. And it’s done by teaching and insisting on the Interrupt Rule:

  1. Teach your child how to interrupt politely when you’re talking on the phone or in person with someone.
  2. Show her how to place her hand on your arm, shoulder, or leg. This will be her signal that she needs your attention.
  3. Place your hand over hers as your signal that you understand and will acknowledge her as soon as politely possible.
  4. Very young children should not be made to wait more than 10 or 15 seconds, but this time can and should grow longer as your child becomes used to this rule.

David and I sat the girls down this morning to explain this rule to them, especially as we knew they would have the opportunity to practice it at church. As it happens, I still haven’t been interrupted since, but Aisha and Brioni both seemed eager to try the technique.

We’ll seek to follow through with this rule and will let you know how it goes!