My kids are fabulous. Yours are too, I bet. But let’s be candid, they have some habits that are a bit annoying — or drive you completely daft! — and it’d be nice to have a way to teach them to grow beyond those behaviors.
With my kids the habit that’s driving me a bit nutty is that they interrupt when someone else is talking. Sometimes they interrupt each other, but often they interrupt me. Frustrating, to say the least, and the littlest, K-, who just turned seven, gets a thought in her head and has to push it out into the world regardless of what’s going on or who is talking. It drives everyone, including her siblings, crazy.
Candidly, what makes this hard is that I also interrupt people all the time. Yes, including my kids…
My excuse is that my brain is running at such a clip that I can make an assumption about where they’re going and make the conversation faster and more efficient by just summarizing what they’re going to say (or, more likely, what I think they’re going to say but probably aren’t) and then answer.
Even writing it makes me sound like a bit of a doofus, but really, what’s your explanation for when you interrupt someone during a discussion?
Interrupting is definitely not my most endearing habit from their perspective, I’ll tell you, and it’s no surprise that it drives me a bit batty when they get into the interruption habit too.
I know, I can hear you, if I want them to stop interrupting, I need to stop interrupting, because kids model what we do, not what we say.
Of course. I know that.
But darn if it’s not a difficult habit to break! Even with my friends I feel like I interrupt them more than they interrupt me. I think I get where my kids are coming from: if I have a brilliant insight or witty aside, I want to get it out into the discussion where it can be admired and me, by extension, honored for being so darn nimble and witty.
I really want to teach my kids not to interrupt people when they’re in a conversation, and to do that I need to teach myself how to dial this all back too. So, dear reader, what useful and helpful suggestions do you have for us?