Children who do not let others speak, who do not wait for us to finish telling them something and are already giving the reply, who do not listen. Why do they behave like this?
The reasons can be many, partly it will depend on the age of the child, partly on his personal characteristics, but whatever the reason, we must teach them some basic rules of communication and behavior.
- This way of behaving is very common in young children from 3 to 4 years old. At this age, children on the one hand have not yet learned the rules of behavior, on the other hand they are very impulsive they fear that if they do not say what they are thinking at that moment, they will forget what they want to say to us and have to say it at that precise moment.
- There are children who do not let others speak because they are usually at a stage where they are still they think the world revolves around them, (egocentric stage) so they don't care much about others, they will speak and say what they want when they want.
- It may also be that our child is a charlatan, that he is a boy who generally talks a lot and without stopping, it seems that he does not listen when they speak to him so we must also teach him how to act and how to participate in conversations.
- There are cases in which the child is more "older" (remember that between 3 and 6 years that interrupt can be normal) let's say wants to be the center of attention. Let's take an example. We are in the park or in any other place and we start talking with a friend, and immediately our son arrives and "gets into" the conversation. He keeps asking what we are talking about, gives his opinion, tells us a story that has happened to him at school ... that is ... he claims to be the center of attention.
- Another case, which we cannot ignore, is the case of impulsive or attentional children. These children, due to their personal characteristics, have problems regulating their behavior and also tend to be children who do not finish listening to what we are saying or asking them and they are already answering, they go ahead.
In any case, for whatever reason, being constantly interrupted by a child is an annoying situation, which can lead us to scold the child and get angry with him. But it is important that parents know how to act and how to teach the child to respect both speaking turns and other people's conversations.
- In front of children who do not allow to speak with others first, act calmly and calmly and be very clear about how we are going to redirect that situation.
- The first thing we must bear in mind is that we must establish limits and teach you when and how to interrupt. If my son interrupts me while I am talking to another person, and I leave the conversation and attend him, the message I send him is "you decide how and when I talk with others" when what we have to teach him is precisely the opposite.
- The moment you interrupt me, I must make it clear to you that this is not the time, that you must wait a bit and I will attend to you. How do I do it? How much is "a little" for a child? To do this, we can look at the child, get at his height, and say "honey, now I am talking to this person, when I finish what we are saying, it will be your turn to tell me what you want, so do not forget what you want to tell me huh? " I can hold his hand so he knows I am not forgetting him or put my hand on his shoulder. If the child continues to insist, ignore him, he already knows that you will listen to him but not at that moment. And if he still continues and has a tantrum, take him somewhere else, and tell him that this way you will ignore him, that he has to wait and that you will be with him soon.
- It must be taken into account that children do not understand time like adults, and that what for me is 5 minutes for him is an eternity, so we must take this into account, and if I have said "I'll be with you right away", I must attend to him after a little while. I stop my conversation and say, what did you want? and then I go back to my thing.
- We also have to teach him how to interrupt, for example, teach him that if you are with another person, and he wants to tell you something, he can come over, hold your hand, and so you will know that he wants to tell you something and as soon as you finish you will attend him.
- On the other hand, what if you want to tell me something very very important and that is why you interrupt abruptly? It is important teach the child when something is important, (someone has fallen, something has happened that requires an adult, my house floods) or when not, (I want to have a snack now, I want you to buy me a candy, to look at me ...). This will take time, because as children everything that happens to them is the most important thing in the world.
- When we speak with a child who does not respect speaking turns, we must teach him how to do it. Now I speak, now you speak. At home we can practice. We can play to ask ourselves questions about what we have done in the day, first I ask and you answer and then you ask and I answer. If we are in our turn to speak and he interrupts us, we will say, "I have not finished yet, wait and now it will be your turn."
If the child interrupts me while I'm talking on the phone, I stop the conversation for a second, I say "now I can't honey, I'm talking on the phone" we can give him a "mission" to do while I'm talking and as soon as I'm done talking I'll go to him and I ask him what he wanted.
- We have to set limits for children, as with everything. Clear rules and limits that help them regulate their behavior.
- Teach them basic conversation guidelines: speaking turns, how to interrupt, when to do it ...
- Reinforce those situations where you get it right so that he knows that is what we want and ignore or correct those in which the child does not do what we want to teach him, (that is, when he interrupts).
- Patience, patience and patience. Children are not born learned, we must teach them how to act, how to relate and this is not an easy or quick task. So a lot of patience and little anger.
- Make the child see that he is important, but not the center of everything, help him little by little to get out of that typical egocentricity of children, but without making him feel displaced.
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