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How do you teach kids to notice when no one is interested in what they are talking about without hurting their feelings? I mean, no one really wants THAT many details about the ____________(video game, etc). I find sometimes I avoid engaging the kid in conversation because I anticipate getting stuck to a lengthy, boring, annoying response. I know some grown ups who have never learned to moderate themselves this way and it is very off-putting. How do you gently help a child to learn these subtle points of conversation?
 

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Frankly I wouldn't. I don't see that there is any way to do it without hurting feelings. And possibly stifling a great communication between parent and child. I would be afraid that telling a small child you aren't interested in what interests them could lead to them not bothering to tell you when they are older and a good friend starts some reckless behavior or something else similar a parent should know about. I'd pretend to be interested.
 

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My mother just says "I'm not an 8 year old", usually in response to jokes that are only funny to an 8 year old, but sometimes when talking in conversation. She isn't being sarcastic (I don't think I've ever heard her be sarcastic), but letting kids know to tailor the conversation to what a not-8 year old wants to hear.
 

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My dd has social issues and doesn't really read other people so we just tel her because she really goes on quite a bit about stuff no one cares about.<br><br>
we try to keep it neutral and say stuff like "People don't want to hear that much about TV" , "i really don't feel like talking about TV right now .. what did you think of that book you have been reading"<br><br>
I really really ate it when she goes on and on about cartoons. we have just made a family rule that most TV is stupid and we don't talk about or quote endlessly sitcoms and cartoons or childrenens movies or we will stop watching them so we can get a real life.<br><br>
its maddening. and it may seem cruel that i come right out with it but I am infintely gentler than the kids on the playground are.
 

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Frankly, I can't imagine teaching my kids that.<br><br>
When I get stuck in a never-ending conversation about the various nuances of "world's craziest car chases" or whatever, I usually just nod along or ask if we can talk about something else.<br>
I would never tell my kids that they should be careful about running on and on about stuff nobody cares about. I can't imagine that it's such a concern that it would be worth addressing.
 

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When you figure out how to teach the kid, perhaps the kid could come over and teach my dad? <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/lol.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="lol">
 

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I think it is the job of a friend or family member to try to be interested in what you have to say. When my husband goes into detail about his job it is sometimes kinda boring. But, as his wife and friend, I figure it's better for our relationship if I become interested in what he's got to say. I try to engage myself in the conversation a little more, ask him questions, relate what he is saying to something I know more about...<br><div style="margin:20px;margin-top:5px;">
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<div>Originally Posted by <strong>artgoddess</strong></div>
<div style="font-style:italic;">I'd pretend to be interested.</div>
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I go further and say, I'd get interested.
 

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How old are you talking about?? I would never tell my 5 year old that someone isn't "interested" but I might guide him within a conversation if I saw the other person would rather have a hot poker in the eye than to hear another word Star Wars. <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/lol.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="lol">
 

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i haven't told my son's i'm not interested but i am sure sometimes they can tell. It is hard sometimes when they go on and on about something so and so did, or they tell you the whole movie they saw!<br><br>
But my dh does that too with lacrosse or hockey or football, i don't have a problem with telling him "i don't care"!<img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/redface.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="Embarrassment">
 

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<div>Originally Posted by <strong>sunnysideup</strong> <a href="/community/forum/post/7949856"><img alt="View Post" class="inlineimg" src="/community/img/forum/go_quote.gif" style="border:0px solid;"></a></div>
<div style="font-style:italic;">I go further and say, I'd get interested.</div>
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Good point
 

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I don't think I would want them to stop telling me about everything. My 8 year old likes to talk to me about all sorts of things ~ at the moment it's a lot about Pokemon and Neopets. On my own, I could care less about them but because he likes it ~ I like to learn about it and I even have my own neopet on neopets.com! <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/lol.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="lol"> I try to make sure that I always have an open ear for him (sometimes that means saying that I'm doing xyz at the moment so let's talk later) because I hope that as he gets older he'll still feel like he can talk to me and that I value what he has to say. I know so many people that felt their parents didn't really *hear* them or value their conversations when they were teenagers and I would like to try to avoid as much of that as I can.<br><br>
As far as conversations with other people...I don't know. My Ds1 seems to be mastering the art of conversation just fine. Ds2 loves to talk to anyone about anything and does! But he's only 3! <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/orngtongue.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="Stick Out Tongue">
 

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<div>Originally Posted by <strong>Canadianmommax3</strong> <a href="/community/forum/post/7949939"><img alt="View Post" class="inlineimg" src="/community/img/forum/go_quote.gif" style="border:0px solid;"></a></div>
<div style="font-style:italic;">i haven't told my son's i'm not interested but i am sure sometimes they can tell. It is hard sometimes when they go on and on about something so and so did, or they tell you the whole movie they saw!<br><br>
But my dh does that too with lacrosse or hockey or football, i don't have a problem with telling him "i don't care"!<img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/redface.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="Embarrassment"></div>
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<img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/lol.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="lol"> I have no problem telling my dh either. I told him that when he starts talking about cars or numbers all I hear is the noise that the grown-ups make on Charlie Brown. "Waa, waa, waa, waaaaa"<br><br>
As far as children go though, I'd never tell them anything like that. I know my feelings would've been hurt terribly if anyone had said that to me. Yes children do ramble on about things we don't always want to listen too, but so do adults. I think a better lesson to teach a child is to listen to other people's stories politely, even when all they hear is "waa, waa, waa, waaaa".<img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/lol.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="lol">
 

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<div style="margin:20px;margin-top:5px;">
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<table border="0" cellpadding="6" cellspacing="0" width="99%"><tr><td class="alt2" style="border:1px inset;">
<div>Originally Posted by <strong>artgoddess</strong> <a href="/community/forum/post/7949721"><img alt="View Post" class="inlineimg" src="/community/img/forum/go_quote.gif" style="border:0px solid;"></a></div>
<div style="font-style:italic;">Frankly I wouldn't. I don't see that there is any way to do it without hurting feelings. And possibly stifling a great communication between parent and child. I would be afraid that telling a small child you aren't interested in what interests them could lead to them not bothering to tell you when they are older and a good friend starts some reckless behavior or something else similar a parent should know about. I'd pretend to be interested.</div>
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That's great as long as they figure it out eventually, but some don't. My Dh still hasn't.<br><br>
My DS is on the autism spectrum and at 13 he still doesn't get this concept. I REALLY wish I hadn't pretended to be interested in his long winded descriptions of fire trucks and Star Wars for so long. If I started practicing this skill with him when he was a preschooler, he would have grasped it much easier. It's not really advantageous to let the kid think that ANYONE will be interested in listening to 95 minute monologue on the specifications of each piece of Storm Trooper armor and the difference between all the types of clones. <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="/img/vbsmilies/smilies/rolleyes.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="rolleyes"><br><br>
Some kids really need to be actively taught this skill. Try role playing different body language, responses, and expressions that show different levels of interest and using good conversation topics. Let the kid play both roles - the borer and the boree. <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/lol.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="lol"> Also giving a time limit or number of sentences allowed for topics that are of limited interest to others can be helpful.
 

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Discussion Starter #14
WOW! So many great insights! Thank you mamas. I NEVER want any block on communication between me and my kids, so thanks for helping me see that, Artgoddess! That is what my heart knows is true.<br><br>
Interestingly, it is my sweeties son that goes on and on and freakin on to my boys, "and then this guy was like, blah blah freakin blah, and I was all whaa whaa whaa and then you know what happened? I said....and it was SOOOOOOOOOOOO COOOOOOOOOL...."and my boys look at him like he is the most idiotic person in the world and say things like "so?" and give him A Look. That freaks my sweetie out cause he is super protective of his boy, and we kind of have a hard time with this dynamic in our home. Maybe this goes in the category of let-them-figure-it-out-themselves. I just want so much for everyone to feel loved and validated in our home, and it seems like this kiddo has NO idea when to stop. He was always an only child, who everyone feigned interest in/ or was really interested in, so now he is having to learn to navigate with older-brothers who dont give a hoot sometimes what he has to say. It proved disasterous to try (for a year) to teach my kids not to respond rudely to sweeties ds. When I took that approach I found myself caught in a snarled rats nest of kid polotics, with my kids feeling belittled and critisized, invalidated etc. Any wise thoughts or similar experiences? Obviously we have a lot of facets to this thing!
 

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It IS hard, I think.<br><br>
I think probably ninety percent of kids do eventually "get" it just by reading other people's social cues, and maybe ten percent need a leetle more formal guidance. Because we all know adults who still haven't quite gotten there. <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/lol.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="lol"><br><br>
Is is possible that your DP's kid feels pretty left out in some way? I had a friend whose daughter really struggled to feel she "fit" in the family dynamic, and unfortunately her way of trying to reach out was really quite mindnumbing. <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/redface.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="Embarrassment"><br><br>
Can you cultivate an interest in what your DP's kiddo is into, and encourage him to likewise cultivate an interest in what your kids really care about?<br><br>
Another friend of mine has a child on the autism spectrum who is WILD about all things Star Wars. I am always so inspired by how they incorporate Star Wars into family conversations, how they regard her interests as being valid instead of constantly trying to get her to talk about "normal" "real" things.<br><br>
I've attended parties with them where suddenly the "adult" talk turns animated and shifts to sci-fi and Star Wars and all kinds of crazy tangents just because they're around her family... which I think is way, way better than the parents trying to hush up their DD while the adults continue to talk about their work problems. <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="/img/vbsmilies/smilies/rolleyes.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="rolleyes"><br><br>
Really, most of the things "normal" people talk about are really dull, anyway.<br><br>
It really gives me a lot to think about, even for kids who aren't technically special-needs. <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/smile.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="smile">
 

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i have no idea but it's something i would like to teach my FIL. he will ramble on and on about whatever stupid thing his stock did, or politicians (yes, republicans suck, can we talk about something else please!!!!!) and doesnt take the "uh-huh...yeah...uh-huh" and vacant stares as a hint.
 

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<div style="margin:20px;margin-top:5px;">
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<div>Originally Posted by <strong>red moon</strong> <a href="/community/forum/post/7950785"><img alt="View Post" class="inlineimg" src="/community/img/forum/go_quote.gif" style="border:0px solid;"></a></div>
<div style="font-style:italic;">Interestingly, it is my sweeties son that goes on and on and freakin on to my boys, "and then this guy was like, blah blah freakin blah, and I was all whaa whaa whaa and then you know what happened? I said....and it was SOOOOOOOOOOOO COOOOOOOOOL...."and my boys look at him like he is the most idiotic person in the world and say things like "so?" and give him A Look.</div>
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I know exactly what you're talking about. In my family dd#1 and #3 sound just like you describe. As hard as it is, I think you just have to stay out of it.<br><br>
My struggle is with trying not to put the blame on my oldest. Her little sister is just being herself, and wants her sister's attention. She could be a little kinder, kwim?
 

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The video game example resonates with me. DS1 can go on for hours about the games, and I find them SOOOOO boring. However, he's interested. So, I try to develop an interest. However, I have "steered" him a little bit over the years. He used to give me the rundown on the exact button combination he uses for each move in every game. I explained to him that I don't play the games, and don't even really remember how the controllers are laid out, so the button pushing explanations really didn't mean anything to me. Over time, he figured out that he could tell me about a special move or whatever without going into excruciating detail about "hold down A, press X twice, move fast to the left and hit B". He also figured out that I followed what he was saying better when it wasn't full of all that detail.<br><br>
I try to find a balance between being interested in what interests him, and helping him figure out that talking people's ears off about things they have no interest in is rude. So far...he still leans to bowling people over with <i>his</i> enthusiasm, but he's getting there...<br><br>
Honestly, my real problem with ds1 is that he's an extrovert, and I'm an introvert. He completely drains my emotional batteries in the course of charging his...every day...sometimes more than once a day. It's very easy for me to be distracted into thinking that I'm just tired of hearing about video games or Spidey or...whatever...
 

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Well 2 thoughts...<br><br>
when I was little and talked too much my mom would say "ok, well, I need 5 mintues of quiet now" which was my cue to stop talking and it worked. I don't remember being horribly upset over her saying that bc she let me ramble on for quite a while before she got to that point.<br><br>
Second, interupt and ask questions. It sounds rude but its just like when you are with an adult who talks too much it helps cut them off. You have to cultivate this though so it sounds natural in the conversation. It really cuts down on the monologue effect and it does make it easier for your to feign or have actual interest.<br><br>
Maggie
 

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My brother would do that. I do what one poster above suggest about her mother, "I'm not 5 dear."<br><br>
I have occassionally resorted to "Stop! Please please stop! No more Max and Ruby! Please!" <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/lol.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="lol">
 
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