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Boy wearing sunglasses.
Interrupting our meal

Grr! The daily ‘Cut in!’

So how can you interrupt your child’s interruption habit? We’ve all been there! You’re having an ‘adult’ convo with someone and suddenly your kid interrupts. He(my son in my case) wants to talk about Pokemon or Hello Carbot! And the reply is always “Don’t cut in while someone is speaking buddy.”

+++All the while I’m trying to remember what the hell I was talking about in my ‘adult’ convo…

So what now? You love your kids to bits, but damn it’d be nice to have a solid conversation with someone without your little one interfering, interrupting, or whatever you wanna call it. I call it ‘ THE CUT IN and cutting in.’

As a dad, I want my son to grow into a confident, articulate, and effective communicator. But, it is common for him to struggle with cutting in conversations, which is interrupting others when they are speaking or talking over them without waiting for their turn. That’s an, almost, daily deal…especially when daddy’s driving…let’s not get into that one here…

Not only is this behavior rude and disrespectful, but it can also hinder his ability to build strong relationships and communicate effectively in the future. So, it is important for me to teach him how to avoid cutting in conversations, which can be achieved through practical tips and strategies.

Hey, I’m not perfect, and I’m still struggling with this topic. But it’s getting better as he gets older. He turns 6 today. I’ve been teaching him to say “excuse me Daddy, can I say something.” Or something of that nature…

First of all, set a reasonable expectation. School-aged children have a difficult time holding their thoughts for more than a few minutes.  Indicate to them as best as you can that you’ll be with them as soon as possible and then stay true to your word. 

In this article, I’ll give some effective ways to help your kids learn to listen actively, wait their turn, and communicate effectively with others. Easier said than done! I know that…but you gotta start somewhere…and here is somewhere. Go!

Why teaching communication skills is important

Effective communication is a crucial life skill that can impact every aspect of our lives. Communicating effectively enables individuals to form strong relationships, resolve conflicts, and achieve their goals.

It is essential to start teaching your children communication skills from an early age, as it will help them develop into confident and effective communicators. By teaching your kids how to communicate effectively, you are providing them with the tools they need to succeed in life.

Understanding why children interrupt

Children interrupt conversations for various reasons. Some may interrupt because they are excited or have something important to say. Others may interrupt because they don’t know how to wait their turn or listen actively.

It is essential to understand why your child interrupts conversations so that you can address the issue effectively. By understanding the underlying cause of your child’s behavior, you can help them develop better communication skills.

In our case it’s often that my son is simply excited about something we’re about to embark on or do. Or, he likes to talk about Pokemon and Dinos and there’s no one else to speak with about these topics…so…Daddy! I listen to everything he says. Mostly…

Teaching active listening skills

Active listening is an important part of effective communication. It involves paying attention to what the other person is saying, understanding their perspective, and responding appropriately. Teaching your children active listening skills can help them become better communicators.

You can teach active listening skills by encouraging your child to maintain eye contact, ask questions, and summarize what the other person has said. These skills will help your child understand the other person’s perspective and respond appropriately.

Teaching turn-taking skills

This is a tricky one as my son is a lone child. No siblings! And none coming, for those that are curious. Turn-taking is an essential skill for effective communication. Turn-taking involves waiting for your turn to speak and allowing others to express their ideas.

Teaching your children turn-taking skills can help them develop better communication skills. You can teach turn-taking skills by encouraging your child to wait for their turn to speak, taking turns in conversations, and acknowledging others’ ideas.

These skills will help your child communicate effectively and build strong relationships. Simply tell them to keep their ideas until you’re done speaking to Mom, or whoever you were speaking with. Tell them on a continuous basis…Never stop until they learn. Be patient. It’ll work.

Creating a communication-friendly environment at home

Creating a communication-friendly environment at home can also help your child develop better communication skills. You can create an environment where everyone can express their ideas and opinions freely without fear of judgment or ridicule.

Encourage your child to express their thoughts and feelings and listen actively to what they have to say. By creating a communication-friendly environment at home, you are helping your child develop better communication skills and build strong relationships.

We talk alot at home, as we don’t use much screen time. So we play puzzles, Qwirkle and are super-active. This in return, gives us plentiful time to chit-chat about the day. It’s important!

Common mistakes to avoid when teaching communication skills

When teaching communication skills, it is essential to avoid some common mistakes. One mistake parents make is interrupting their children when they are speaking. Interrupting your child sends the message that it is okay to interrupt others in conversations.

Another one is not giving your child enough time to express themselves. Rushing your child to express themselves can hinder their ability to communicate effectively. My little one is juggling 3 languages, so he, at times, struggles to find his words.

Conclusion

Needless to say, children learn what they live.  Have you read my article about Monkey See Monkey Do?…

Your child is very unlikely to learn not to interrupt if they hear you, your spouse, or their siblings constantly interrupting each other.  Your actions have a strong influence on your child, so be a good example and ask permission to speak before speaking, and apologize when you inadvertently cut in. 

+More Tips!

No More Cut In! Develop some ideas for them to occupy themselves with while you’re on the phone or otherwise unavailable. Keep a box full of puzzles, crayons, colorful markers, or other quiet toys nearby that they can only use when you have to make a call. 

++Set snacks and drinks on an accessible level so they don’t have to cut in and ask you for help. 

When you need to make a call or have an important conversation with a visitor, avoid trouble by saying you’re about to phone someone or have a conversation and estimate how long you expect to talk. 

++Ask them if they need anything before you make your call or have your conversation with your company. 

Enjoy your kids and all the ups and downs that come along with fathering… They are only young once!

Hey You!! “At our Facebook group for fathers, you’ll find a safe and supportive space where you can share your experiences, ask for advice, and connect with other dads from around the world. Join us today!!”

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