The Interrupting Chicken

Wednesday, January 15, 2014

The Interrupting Chicken by David Ezra Stein is a favorite around our house. Actually interrupting is also a favorite around these parts. For example, I was leaving a friend a message and Wip came running into the room asking me where his zebra blanket was located. He had no clue how loud (and annoying) he was and I had to pause my message leaving to say "SHHHHHHH, I AM ON THE PHONE!!!" (has this ever happened to anyone else?).

When I sat down to my computer that night I had received a message from a friend in California who always sends me the latest trends and savvy tips on parenting. The advice hit home with me and I must share...

It’s called The Interrupt Rule (courtesy of The House of Hendrix)
Here’s how it works: When adults are talking and a child needs to interrupt, they simply put their hand on their parents arm or shoulder. The child waits patiently without speaking.
The Interrupt Rule - How your child can show respect and honor to their elders through a simple rule. {the House of Hendrix}
By maintaining contact, the parent knows the child has a need. The parent can touch their child’s hand to acknowledge its presence.The Interrupt Rule - How your child can show respect and honor to their elders through a simple rule. {The House of Hendrix}
The parent can continue in their conversation until there is a natural pause or good moment to address the child. ” Thank you for waiting Palmer, what can I help you with?” The child’s needs have been met and were addressed with undivided attention at a moment determined by the parent.
I also have been known to hide in my closet when talking on the phone to avoid being interrupted; so I have implemented the Interrupt Rule when I am on the phone. My children don’t wait forever, but this gives me a few moments to finish up my conversation before shifting gears.
In addition to the obvious lesson in patience, the Interrupt Rule teaches children to honor and respect their elders and the conversations amongst them.

I talked to Wip about my new found rule and he is on board!  Now lets just hope my little goofball will stick with it:)

UPDATE: Today I was on the phone at the same time the boys were leaving their room from quiet time. Typically it would have been "MOM! I NEED A SNACK!" "MOM! CAN YOU PUT ON A MOVIE?!", "MOOOOOOOOOOMMY!". Today was different. Wip came into the room, saw that I was on the phone, and put his hand on my arm, without saying a word. He waited for me to look down and acknowledge him before he spoke. IT WORKED!  IT WORKED! IT WORKED! Yes, I am a little excited. Yes, I know there will need to be reminders. Yes, I know that it will not always go down like this, but it sure was a great start.