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We had an incident this weekend when FIL (who visits 2-3x a year) *yelled* at dd for interrupting. (She kept saying "It's my turn!" and after a while he yelled , very loud "It is NOT your turn! The adults are talking now!") <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/irked.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="irked">:<br><br>
Lucky for him, I was in another room putting the baby to sleep. DH handled it perfectly-- he picked up dd and brought her to me, reminded her that she needed to wait to talk but also reassured her that Grandpa didn't mean to yell. Then he went back and told his dad, in no uncertain terms, that his response was not acceptable. FIL was apologetic. dd went back to be with them and things were fine.<br><br>
This made me think about a few things. At dd's age (she will be 4 in a few weeks), she doesn't have a good grasp of time and asking her to wait more than a few seconds doesn't have very good results. Although at preschool, she has no trouble waiting for some concrete event (like "wait until the toy is back on the shelf to play with it" or "wait until a seat is available to sit at the snack table". It's a montessori school btw. They talk a lot in the beginning about not disturbing someone who is working.)<br><br>
I realized that the issue was more that she's never been exposed to the idea that "adults get to talk first". We mostly socialize with other families and I guess we all just EXPECT interruptions. <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/smile.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="smile"> Personally, I don't see much benefit in trying to teach her that there's one set of rules for adults and another for children. Am I missing something? Setting myself up for trouble?<br><br>
Right now, if she wants to talk and someone else is speaking, she does say "Excuse me?" and then she waits... it's just the amount of time she can wait is not terribly long. I tend to tell her "It will be your turn next" and then (pretty quickly) I give her the go ahead. I feel like this encourages her to continue asking politely. (FWIW, dh and FIL were deep in discussion/debate at the time and I doubt either one was going to let her have a turn to speak anytime soon!)<br><br>
Would you do something differently?
 

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Maybe teach her to put one hand on the arm of an adult she wishes to speak to in addition to saying "excuse me?" That's how we were taught to get our parents' attention when they were on the phone.<br><br>
I think your method is excellent, the touching would just be to help get adult attention when they are deeply involved in their conversation.
 

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Some people are really, really irritable about this--even the women I most admire and enjoy as friends, perhaps because they tend to be in the over 45 (I have lots of friends older than myself), are very uppity and clearly annoyed by an interrupting child.<br><br>
And it IS a bias towards children, as the same adults never feel annoyed by adults who interrupt (or at least, they aren't so obvious about it).<br><br>
Ds is really bad about this~I would say it's the one thing he STILL does as an older child that could be seen as a lack of discipline by others. BUT the thing is, we three (dh, ds, and I) interrupt each other constantly as we talk. It's just how we talk. We tend to jump in and finish each other's sentences or offer ready agreement so the other person doesn't waste time finishing a thought we already understand. Not sure if that makes sense.<br><br>
I have waffled all over the place on this issue, at times feeling irritable with ds, at other times feeling irritable with the adults.<br><br>
Long term I've just tried to show him that there IS a flow to conversation, and it's important to time his comments with others to correspond to a lull in conversation. This is surprising difficult for him, and he tends to become somewhat obstinate over this--it's really the only issue where he comes close to pouting. I am still working this one out. I really see both sides--ds' side being that he just doesn't "get" the finer points of conversation, thus his interruptions aren't as tactful as an adult. I also can see that the other adults are annoyed at being interrupted, it defies their expectations of polite behavior, so they feel almost *obligated* to show ds they are annoyed with him. I have mixed feelings there, as that is a natural consequence, but I think it assumes some negative intent on the part of ds that isn't there.<br><br>
Sorry, no wisdom here, we are truly a family of talkers I guess!
 

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Well... I witnessed a similar incident when I was 20, and cousin was 4, my Uncle was being lectured by his mum (my gran) about something in the music room of his house, and little 4yo kept coming in to check...<br><br>
1) can she have a yoghurt from the fridge<br>
2) can little sis have one<br>
3) can her friend have one<br>
4) would he like one<br>
5) should the spoons go in the dishwasher or the sink<br><br>
drove my gran crazy cos my uncle kept trasfering his attention to cute 4yo 100% everytime she came in, and gran was busy trying to build to some explanaton climax hahaha<br><br>
so then she is red, and says to him... "When ... are ... you ... going to teach that child some MANNERS!"<br><br>
To which he replied very gently, but firmly<br><br>
"What are you talking about? You are the one with 76 years of life experience to fall back on, and in that time I expect you to have learned tollerance and patience! She is 4, at the beginning of her life, and the one in this room with the fewest tools or life experience and least able to behave fo your convienience. If you want her to grow up with manners, show her your best example <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/orngbiggrin.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="orange big grin"> ... Now what were we talking about?"<br><br>
This incident has been a guiding example to me in my adult life on the treatment of children.<br><br>
as<br><br>
Edited to add: I have always encouraged my children to interupt me, and anyone else, and pay them 100% focus attention, going back to my thread later. Strangely, now that they are 11 and 7, they almost never "interupt", just slot in with their 2c worth.<br><br>
Paying the young interupter attention, and validating their ideas and even their existance, is far more valuable in that it provides strong self esteem gives them a sence that they belong to a community of caring people. No stronger motivation for learning the rules of that community than belonging, and copying is how they do it!
 

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<div>Originally Posted by <strong>Alexander</strong> <a href="/community/forum/post/7945503"><img alt="View Post" class="inlineimg" src="/community/img/forum/go_quote.gif" style="border:0px solid;"></a></div>
<div style="font-style:italic;">"What are you talking about? You are the one with 76 years of life experience to fall back on, and in that time I expect you to have learned tollerance and patience! She is 4, at the beginning of her life, and the one in this room with the fewest tools or life experience and least able to behave fo your convienience. If you want her to grow up with manners, show her your best example <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/orngbiggrin.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="orange big grin"> ... Now what were we talking about?"</div>
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<img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/clap.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="clap">
 

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<img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/clap.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="clap"> well done on all fronts. I think you and DH handle this issue great!
 

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Discussion Starter #8
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<div>Originally Posted by <strong>polka hop</strong> <a href="/community/forum/post/7950142"><img alt="View Post" class="inlineimg" src="/community/img/forum/go_quote.gif" style="border:0px solid;"></a></div>
<div style="font-style:italic;">It seems like, in this case, the onus was on your DH to take note of your DD's polite "Excuse me"s and in turn excuse himself from his conversation with FIL long enough to listen to her and meet her need. Your FIL was out of line.</div>
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I totally agree. And thank you all for sharing your stories and comments!
 

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My four year old is at this stage, too. Actually, my main problem is when ds and dh are both trying to talk to me at the same time. My main theme is that I want to hear what they both have to say and in order to give them each my attention, I need for them to take turns talking. Dh tends to think what he is saying is more important at times, so sometimes he just gets a hand or finger raised in the air from me with a "just a minute."
 

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I sort of go both ways on this issue too. I think that adults need to make an effort to creat "space" in their conversations for children to express thoughts and needs. And at the same time, I think kids need to be guided toward not interupting, with the understanding that it is a process.<br><br>
I have a friend who allows her children to interupt our conversations *constantly.* She will phone me, say hello, then ask me to hold on a second. A quick phone call turns into 30 minutes of my time, because I have to keep waiting for her to address kid's issues and then keep coming back to whatever issue she phoned about. Honestly, it makes me furious. That is time that I could be spending with my kids, kwim?
 

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<img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="/img/vbsmilies/smilies/notes2.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="notes right-handed">: Learning a lot from this one.
 

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<div>Originally Posted by <strong>mamaduck</strong> <a href="/community/forum/post/7953054"><img alt="View Post" class="inlineimg" src="/community/img/forum/go_quote.gif" style="border:0px solid;"></a></div>
<div style="font-style:italic;">Honestly, it makes me furious. That is time that I could be spending with my kids, kwim?</div>
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Then you should do so! She can always mail you, PM you or skype you!<br><br>
Or she can make a clear space in her time.<br><br><img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/wink1.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="wink1"><br><br>
as
 

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I feel that children need to learn to at least interrupt politely, unless it is a real emergency. Even at 4 yrs old, children are capable of saying, "Excuse me please", if they need something.<br><br>
And sometimes, children need to wait until the adults are finished speaking. In fact, I feel that it is rude for an adult to just interrupt, too.<br><br>
I don't mean to say that people should never allow a small one to speak, but I also don't see the harm in two grownups having a conversation and the child not butting in every two minutes. I have seen both extremes and it is awful either way.
 

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i am very torn about this issue, as my boys can be perfectly silent and playing but as soon as dh and i try to talk to ane another about anything they feel the need to talk to us constantly, we have tried everything, but it is so frustrating and so hard to be patient when it really feels as though dh and i cannot say a full sentence to one another without somebody wanting to say something of earth shattering importance.
 

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<div>Originally Posted by <strong>TinkerBelle</strong> <a href="/community/forum/post/7956018"><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 feel that children need to learn to at least interrupt politely, unless it is a real emergency. Even at 4 yrs old, children are capable of saying, "Excuse me please", if they need something.<br><br>
And sometimes, children need to wait until the adults are finished speaking. In fact, I feel that it is rude for an adult to just interrupt, too.<br><br>
I don't mean to say that people should never allow a small one to speak, but I also don't see the harm in two grownups having a conversation and the child not butting in every two minutes. I have seen both extremes and it is awful either way.</div>
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Yes, yes, yes. I don't think this is an adult vs child issue but more of a "what is acceptable and polite" issue. Interrupting is generally rude, regardless of the age of the interrupter. DD knows that when people are talking (adults or other kids) and she needs something, she says "excuse me." If I can, I turn my attention to her, fulfill her needs, then go back to my conversation.<br><br>
If I can't, for whatever reason, I at least tell her that I need a minute before I can help her. As she gets older, the times I ask her to wait become more frequent than the ones where I drop everything to help her, so hopefully she will become a patient (and non-interrupting) adult.
 

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<div>Originally Posted by <strong>oliversmum2000</strong> <a href="/community/forum/post/7956088"><img alt="View Post" class="inlineimg" src="/community/img/forum/go_quote.gif" style="border:0px solid;"></a></div>
<div style="font-style:italic;">as soon as dh and i try to talk to ane another about anything they feel the need to talk to us constantly, we have tried everything, but it is so frustrating and so hard to be patient when it really feels as though dh and i cannot say a full sentence to one another without somebody wanting to say something of earth shattering importance.</div>
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<br>
Ugh, this is where DH and I are right now and it's beginning to affect our family. Really it is.<br><br>
We have to wait until DS is in bed (11:30pm <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/irked.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="irked">: ) to talk. But I've passed out by then.
 

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<div class="smallfont" style="margin-bottom:2px;">Quote:</div>
<table border="0" cellpadding="6" cellspacing="0" width="99%"><tr><td class="alt2" style="border:1px inset;">
<div>Originally Posted by <strong>Alexander</strong> <a href="/community/forum/post/7945503"><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 have always encouraged my children to interupt me, and anyone else, and pay them 100% focus attention</div>
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I'll differ on this.<br><br>
If it's an absolute emergency, DS has permission to interrupt me, DH, or another Adult who is speaking.<br><br>
If it's NOT an emergency and he needs myself or DH he should wait until we are done speaking and then say "Mommy, Daddy I need..."<br><br>
I feel this should be Best Practice especially when you have Adults who are in heated Debates such as Religion or Politics.<br><br>
Emotions are running high and self control is less evident.
 
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