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Teaching Your Preschooler To Stop Interrupting

This week, the Triple P Team discusses ways to teach preschoolers how to play quietly and independently while you are busy.

When you first become a parent, even the simplest of tasks can seem challenging. But as you move through the baby and toddler years, certain things become easier, such as your child being able to tell you when they are hungry or helping to put their toys away.

However, even when your child is 4-years old, trying to hold an adult conversation for more than 5 minutes might still prove challenging.

By the time kids are preschool aged, many are capable of playing independently for 10 to 30 minutes. That, of course, won’t always stop them for telling you something “reallllly” important while you are on the phone scheduling wellness checkups.

When teaching preschoolers about interrupting, it’s a good idea to start with setting realistic expectations for their age group.

Preschoolers can:

  • Play quietly for short periods of time.
  • Can learn 2 or 3 rules to follow regarding interrupting.

Don’t expect:

  • Preschoolers to play independently for over 30 minutes.

Children are curious and have lots of questions about their world and you are their go-to source of information. They also thrive on attention and can sometimes struggle with sharing their parents’ attention with other people.

While we try to answer all their questions and offer a listening ear to all their golden nuggets of observations, teaching your preschooler how to get your attention appropriately when you’re occupied is an important skill that will serve them well as they grow older.

For more tips on interrupting, visit lanekids.org

This article is brought to you by Parenting Now Parenting Educators and authors Amanda Bedortha, Claire Davis, and Lynne Swartz and consultant Jay Thompson (andupdatemywebsite.com). 

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