A little girl was in the kitchen with her mommy and the little girl was just talking and talking. Her mommy was responding with "uh,huh" when appropriate as she continued to cook the evening meal. Finally, the little girl said, "mommy, listen to me". The mommy said, "I am honey". The little girl said, "I want you to listen to me with your eyes".
During a course on "The Art of Listening" one of the first things they teach you is if someone is talking to you, look them in their eyes so they will know you are listening to what they have to say. Kids believe they deserve eye contract with the person they are talking to and will tell you so when the opportunity is there.
We parents said to our kids, "Look at me when I'm talking to you!" and we insist upon our kids to do so - showing respect. When the kids want you to look at them when they want to say something so often they come up and tug at your leg or pat you on the arm...I have seen it a hundred times. All the kids want their parents to do is "Look at me when I'm talking to you!" This happens often when you are talking to someone else and trying to look at particular person eyes as you talk. Kids compete for attention and gets competitive if you are talking to another person.
While all this "activity" is going on, the parents have to stop and teach their kids about "do not interrupt when I'm talking or when I am busy." The best way to handle this is to tell the person you are talking to "Excuse me for a moment" then look you kid straight in the eyes and say "As soon as I am finishing talking I will stop and listen to you. I do not want you to interrupt me when I'm talking to someone else. Go play and I'll let you know when I'm finished."
Then, make sure you do go back to that kid and say "I'm finished talking now what did you want from me?" Chances are by that time the kid forgot what was so important. It would provide a great opportunity for you to talk to your kid about "do not interrupt" me. Most kids are always in the "here and now" and could forget your conversation about "do not interrupt" me so this teaching is what I all a "repeat". You need to continue to repeat and repeat until it sinks into their brain the concept that when mommy/daddy is talking to someone else they may not interrupt you.
Just remember you get suspicious when you are talking to your spouse or a friend and they are not looking you in the eyes, you think they are hiding something, right? When kids don't look you in the eyes as you talk, they too may be hiding something. Kids have not learned this communication skill yet. It is just a natural instinct for them to want full attention and want everyone to look at them, particularly in their eyes when they talk.
Rosalie Lynch is a Certified Life Coach who works with parents and kids in figuring out how to live together. You are invited to check out the blog at sites Coach Rosalie reports on issues kids face everyday and how we adults can help them go through their difficult times. She puts humor in her posts and believes adults need to always keep their sense of humor when relating to kids.
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