Interruptions Can Serve Practical Purpose
Imagine you are three years old. You are short and on the floor. All the big people are sitting in big chairs. They are talking, laughing. No one sees you. B-O-R-I-N-G! You squirm, make noises, throw a toy. No one cares. Finally, you join them by climbing up on the buffet. They become angry. So are you…GRRRR! All you wanted was to be included.
How to cope, parenting young children, trying to reduce stress and provide an approach that fuels emotional intelligence: Dad is talking business. Doesn’t want interruptions. But Jamie interrupts, wanting attention. Dad says, “We’re having a meeting, Jamie. You can have a short turn talking. Then we’ll have our turns.” Jamie sheepishly says “hi” and shows a favorite toy. She is acknowledged as a person by the adults. Good feelings swell inside.
Results: By giving Jamie positive attention, Dad has:
- Reduced level of stress by preventing an anger crisis.
- Helped Jamie to feel recognized as a person. This enhances her self worth.
- Improved his relationship with his daughter by relating to her with empathy, understanding and respect.
- Saved time by coping creatively with the stress of interruptions. Anger ordeals with young children draw on more mental/emotional energy time and take longer to resolve.
Attention-Getting Stress Tips for Parenting Young Children:
- Ask child to say what she wants. Do you want a turn? A hug?
- Encourage children to express themselves verbally instead of having weird behavior. For example, “I don’t know what you want when you kick and scream. Tell me with words, please.”
- Role model.. Express your wants and needs. Be clear and simple. “I need fun time with my friends, Jamie, just like you have with your friends.” Parents need to be recognized as persons, too.
- If strange behaviors and interruptions become too numerous, set specific limitations and explain. Also express your feelings. “I am irritated, Jamie. You had your turn, now I want mine. If you choose to interrupt again, then you won’t have your turn playing with your friends this afternoon.”
For parents, interruptions are a way of life. For children, learning is a way of life. Interruptions can serve a practical purpose when they become focal points for learning. Helping young ones feel Superkid Power in the midst of dealing with children and stress.