A busy mum of six girls has shared her genius hack for stopping her children from interrupting her at inconvenient moments.
Jessica Martin-Webber, who runs parenting blog Beyond Moi with her husband Jeremy, revealed the trick to her followers, admitting on the blog that her youngest daughter has struggled to adapt to the system, but eventually, she’d had a breakthrough.
‘I like to think I’m a chill parent but I have plenty of moments when that is not the case,’ she explained on her Facebook page. ‘Certain behaviours are more triggering for me than others.’
‘One such behaviour that requires deep breathing exercises on my part is interrupting. Particularly frequent and persistent interrupting. Which can happen easily with young children and in a large family. This greatly tests my patience.’
She added that they’d tried to teach their children to say ‘excuse me’, or ‘excuse me mommy’, but it didn’t have much effect.
‘They just repeated that louder and louder too. Cute at first but “excuse me mommy” 30 times isn’t much better than “mommy” 30 times.’
However, through trial and error, Jessica was eventually able to find a method that worked for her.
‘In order to help with this and respect our personal boundaries and limits, we have taught our children to demonstrate when they have something to share by gently laying a hand on our arm if we are speaking or listening to someone else at that moment.’
‘So they know we’re aware they want to say something, we physically respond in some way such as putting our hand over their hand or gently touching their back or holding their hand.’
Sharing the jubilant moment when hey youngest caught on, she said: ‘Our youngest has had a very hard time with this. Her excitement is quite compelling and it is just SO. HARD. To contain her enthusiasm and words all at the same time. She just hasn’t been able to find that level of control within herself.’
‘Until now! The last couple of days she has suddenly been using this practice!
And the shock has stopped me dead in my tracks to acknowledge it and hear what it is she needs to tell me.’
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Other parents have applauded the clever idea, and taken to the comments to congratulate her and her youngest daughter, with some saying that they’ll be implementing the tip in their own families.
‘I have used this with Cub Scouts and to this day, even though I am no longer their leader, I see a few of them do this,’ said one. ‘It makes conversations with everyone go so much smoother.’
Another agreed: ‘Fantastic idea. I’m going to adopt this approach.’