I have 2 daughters, a one year old and a four year old. The four year old will often call for me when I am speaking to someone else or watching a news show, interrupting me.

I already tried to explain to her that sometimes she has to wait for talk because I'm talking to someone and she has to wait for her turn, but do not stop interrupting me, sometimes it's really frustrating.

I know it must be a way to get my attention, but I really want to teach her that she has to respect others. Is it just a phase? Or is there any way to make her understand?

  • Are you indicating clearly that, yes, you are aware she wants to say something? That is, are you turning your attention to her, telling her clearly "I am doing XY, you can tell me in a moment", or something like that?
    – Layna
    Dec 13, 2017 at 9:40
  • Yes, I do, sometimes she does not even mean anything like that, she stares at me and says ... "Umm humm do you know what color it is?" other times I tell you wait a moment please, the mother wants to hear this news, and she continues, "But mom, mom, mom..." and so on until I stop and wait for her to speak ...
    – Somebody
    Dec 13, 2017 at 10:58

2 Answers 2


Our kids are using our reactions to learn what is effective behaviour and what is not.

This means your reactions should be consistent, so the child gets a clear message and is able to take it in. So, if you turn your attention to her after the first time she calls you and tell her to call you later, then you should ignore her subsequent calls for as long as it takes her to get tired of it (admittedly, that might be a long time). If you do this every time, she will eventually learn that calling you like that does not yield a result and will gradually give up on this ineffective behaviour.

On the other hand, if you get tired before she does and you do respond after the 10th or 15th call, you are basically rewarding her effort and the lesson you are teaching her is that 10-15 calls will get her what she wants.

  • But I don't know if I can ignore it for so long, I mean sometimes I'm talking to a person, and from saying "mom" that much I miss the rationale.
    – Somebody
    Dec 13, 2017 at 11:31
  • I think considering the age you can't expect her to let you watch the news for a full 15 minutes before giving her attention. Kids that age also need confirmation of love and attention
    – Batavia
    Dec 13, 2017 at 11:47
  • that's obvious, i'm talking about 2 minutes or less... something in tv catch my attention and i wanna hear.
    – Somebody
    Dec 13, 2017 at 15:08
  • @Somebody "can't do it for that long", "i'm talking about 2 minutes of less". Just try to do it for that long for a month or so. Turn up the tv if you can't hear. If talking to someone, tell the other person it's ok to yell over her, as you are teaching her boundaries.
    – user29403
    Dec 13, 2017 at 16:13
  • @AytAyt i'm trying to imagine the scene :D but let's try :) thanks
    – Somebody
    Dec 13, 2017 at 16:29

My parents did a "one more minute" rule. If I had something to say, and they were already talking/doing something, they would say "Ok honey, I hear you. I need to finish this first, then I will help you."

If I persisted or had a fit, they would say "Ok, now you have to wait one more minute before we help you!"

My mom kept an egg timer with her (no cellphones at this point), and set it to a minute (plus however long she estimated the task/conversation would last). If I persisted after that, they‘d add another minute. This would go on like that.

I learned pretty fast that patience is quicker. I think that the noise of the ticking also helped me focus on the fact that I had to wait. It was like a verbal timeout.

  • Let me see if I noticed, in case you didn't wait for your turn, she put's the egg counting for 1 minute?
    – Somebody
    Dec 13, 2017 at 16:36
  • @Somebody correct.
    – user29403
    Dec 13, 2017 at 16:39
  • 1
    that's is really different, it might be work :) and i like the noise of ticking, i agree that might be easier to stay focused
    – Somebody
    Dec 13, 2017 at 16:54

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