A little while ago, I wrote a post about preventing whining before it begins. Essentially, it’s briefly stopping what you’re doing, letting your child share while you're on his level and responding appropriately. This is a fabulous tool to use to help reducing whining. Unfortunately, I found myself needing a reminder of this tip recently. We had family over for dinner and I failed to use this tip. Instead, I repeatedly ignored the same requests over and over while I was talking to adults. The truth is, in parenting, we have a lot of opportunities to try again and be just a little bit better as a parent.
The tip I shared last time works great when you’re doing things around the house, but what about when you’re finishing a phone call or checking out at the grocery store? What about when you’re hosting a meeting or just hanging out with friends or family? Let me introduce another favorite tip to help in these situations.
The Interruption Rule is a fantastic tool to utilize when you are having those precious adult conversation moments or when you need to finish a conversation before responding to your child. Here’s how it works:
- Have your child put her hand on your leg when she wants your attention
- Put your hand on hers to acknowledge you know she’s there. It’s helpful to keep your hand on hers until you can direct your attention to her so you don't forget to respond!
- Finish your conversation if it's near completion or get to a point to pause the conversation
- Turn to your child and let her say what she needs to say. Respond appropriately.