I hate interruptions. Phone interruptions. [You know... if you are listening to the person on the other end, you are not talking, and if you are not talking then ...in your children's minds... you can listen to them!] Walk-in Interruptions [Children walking into a conversation between me and someone sitting right next to me and breaking into the conversation full steam ahead,]
Arrrgggghhhh! It used to drive me crazy!
Did you notice the "used to" in that sentence? I rarely have those interruptions anymore in my house and haven't for several years. I have an almost magical solution. A truly "hands-on" approach. Remember the old secret handshakes? This is our family's "Secret Hand Signal." Here is the totally simple, two-step, instantly usable solution to teach your kids:
1- When my children come in and hear or see me talking [OR listening] they are to come in and gently put a hand on my forearm. [That is their silent signal that they need to talk to me.]
2. When I feel a hand on my forearm, I quietly and gently cover it with one of my hands, while continuing with my conversation. [That is my silent signal that I know they want to talk to me.]
The two hands stay that way until I am able to pause in the conversation and give a moment to attend to what my child wants....giving them my full attention when I remove my hand and look at them.
This has worked a virtual miracle in my home that has lasted for years. They even sometimes use it when they come in and I am busily typing this blog. With these two steps your home can become almost interruption free... Try the Secret Hand Signals in your house!!
Image credit and thanks to: canadian family.ca