Interrupting You On The Telephone
Some children drop whatever they're doing, as soon as the parent picks up the telephone. Avoid part of the problem by making most of your phone calls during naptime or after bedtime. However, that won't help you with incoming calls. Try this approach:
- First: Have a rule: "Don't interrupt me while I'm on the telephone." And give a reason, "Because I can't hear what the other person is saying." But keep your calls to a reasonable length, like 5 or 10 minutes.
- Second: Tell your child what you want her to do; "I need you to be quiet when I'm on the phone. You can play or look at books."
- Third: To help redirect your child's attention, keep some "special" toys near the phone.
- Fourth: If your child continues to interrupt you, tell your friend that you'll call them right back. Then take your child to time-out. Tell her that if she leaves time-out while you're on the phone, there will be no TV for the rest of that day.
- Fifth: If your child waits politely while you're on the phone, be sure to praise her afterwards and do something of her choosing.
In summary, planning in advance what your child will do while you're on the phone will also help her wait her turn in other situations.
If you have questions about the your child's behavior, consult your healthcare provider.
Disclaimer: This information is not intended to be a substitute for professional medical advice. It is provided for educational purposes only. You assume full responsibility for how you choose to use this information.
Author and Senior Reviewer: Barton D. Schmitt, M.D. FAAP
Last Review: 6/1/2008
Last Revised: 6/1/2000
Copyright 1994-2008 Barton Schmitt, M.D. Parent Advice Messages.