Many of us are concerned with our children interrupting our conversations. Children are often told, “Wait! I’m on the phone right now!” or “Can’t you see, I am talking to my friend right now. You need to wait.”
I get it.
It’s frequent & it can feel frustrating to have our conversations interrupted constantly.
We also want our children to respect the fact that we are busy talking to someone else & that they need to wait for their turn.
I get it.
One thing we can all agree on is that it’s our responsibility as parents to keep our children safe.
Allowing children to interrupt us allows them to feel & be safe.
Let’s picture a beautiful sunny day where we meet up with some friends at the park. Our kids run off to play together & we dive right into a conversation with our friends. Suddenly, one of our kids come & interrupt us. We have no idea what our child has to tell us.
Many of us, would only accept our child interrupting us if it’s something that is important. Thing is, how can a child understand what’s important to us & not? They don’t have the mental capacity to assess situations in the same way that we do.
What if our child came to tell us that their ball got stuck somewhere? That’s really important to them.
What if our child came to tell us a person that they don’t know is telling them to go with them somewhere? Surely, we’d want to know about this.
What if they came to tell us that another child is injured & needs our help?
We can’t tell children to interrupt us only when it comes to important things, because everything they have to share with us is very important in their eyes.
I’m not saying that every time our child interrupts us we need to have a conversation with them. What I am saying is that when our children interrupt us, we need to listen. Listen & understand what our child is coming to share with us & then we, as adults, can assess if our child can wait until we are done our conversation or if it’s something urgent that we need to attend to.
After listening to what our child has to share with us & assessing that they can wait we can tell them something like, “What you have to say is important to me & I want to give my full attention. I am going to finish my conversation with my friend & I will let you know as soon as we can talk about this.” It’s then important to follow through & make the time to go back to the conversation our child wanted to have with us.
A parent who is part of our Instagram community shared the following:
A mother was at the pool with her baby & toddler.
She was on the phone ordering Uber Eats when her toddler came & interrupted her.
She told her toddler to wait until she was done her phone call, little did she know that the toddler was coming to share that her baby sibling went into the water.
The story doesn’t have a happy ending.
This story is not meant to frighten you.
I’m sharing this story because it clearly highlights how young children cannot asses emergencies, it’s our role to make sure they are safe. We can listen & resume what we are doing. There’s no rush, people on the phone can wait, our child is our priority & we really never know what they have to say.