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I remember reading a blog post with a coveted parenting secret when my girls were younger called How to Keep Your Kids from Interrupting.
I was so excited when I read the title that I immediately clicked and started frantically reading.
At that point, I had a 2-year-old and 4-year-old.
Now, if you have kids and have ever attempted having a conversation with anyone, then you know precisely why I was thrilled.In related news, if you don’t like talking to people, having little kids is the fastest way to prevent 100% of adult conversations from happening. Click To Tweet
But on the off chance that you WANT to talk to someone about more than sippy refills and when the next snack will be served, then this phenomenon can be MADDENING!
You’ve been there, too, right?
So anyway, back to the story…
This bloggy mom promised she had the trick in an article called, How to Keep Your Kids from Interrupting.
I clicked…I read…I tried.
It was a well-written article with some pretty great ideas. And though it was years ago, and I have no memory of who wrote it, you’ve probably pinned something similar…
This was her method…
To teach your kids to stop interrupting, you tell them that when they need your attention but see that you are already talking, then they are to place their hand on your arm to signal that they need a turn.
You proceed to touch their hand in acknowledgment of their request and get to them at your earliest availability.
I have to tell you. It made perfect sense to me. And because it spoke directly to my pain, I thought this woman was a parenting genius! I couldn’t wait to try her tip!!
So I explained it to my girls…
They seemed to understand the concept and we practiced it together. I was feeling pretty great about my mom skills. 😎
I was riding that high until Matt came home that evening and we were attempting to have a conversation…
Sure enough, those little stinkers acted like they had never heard of the concept in their lives!
The bloggy mom didn’t say that would happen!
She said it worked like a charm for her little people…
SO WHY DIDN’T IT WORK FOR MINE???
WERE MY LITTLE PEOPLE BROKEN????
WAS I BROKEN????!!
I sure felt broken…But I kept trying…
Kept being frustrated over unfinished conversations.
It was the stuff you dream of as a parent. True fun, I tell you. 😳
Matt and I enjoyed it so much that we decided we should create two more little humans so we’d never have to talk to each other again. Haha!
Seriously though, I’m writing this because I have spent hours and hours reading all the tricks. I’ve scoured the internet and read tons of parenting books trying to find what actually “works.”
And it wasn’t until much later in my mom journey that I realized something vital.
It is something that I wish I would’ve known in those early days of motherhood.
THERE IS ONLY ONE PARENTING SECRET AND HERE IT IS:Getting good takes time, and the only shortcut is realizing that there are no shortcuts. Click To Tweet
Think about it. Our sweet babies come out all cute and sweet, but (and I say this in the most loving way) they’re little dummies. They don’t know anything yet.
And as new parents, guess what? We’re dummies, too.
Not only do we have to learn as we go, but we also have the immense responsibility of teaching our tiny babes to be amazing humans along the way.
Mommin’ ain’t easy, y’all.
Teaching kids to be great takes LOTS of time and LOADS of consistency.
That means we will be teaching them the same things OVER AND OVER AND OVER AGAIN.
And just because they don’t get it right the first time doesn’t mean that they are being “bad.”
It means they are still learning.
And often they aren’t going to get it right for a loooooooooong time (Insert cringy face here),
We just have to remind ourselves that they are still learning the skills that we’ve had DECADES of practice at.
Take interrupting for example.
I expected that other mom’s great cure to work on my kids who were not yet old enough to understand things like conversational trends and social cues…and they definitely weren’t going to get it after one time (or maybe even after a hundred times) of practice.
I know this isn’t the typical blog post.
It isn’t a new step-by-step plan to put into practice or a pretty chart to follow.
But it is something EXTREMELY VALUABLE.
It is the FOUNDATION that you need at the beginning of your journey to be able to parent those babies better.
By knowing that it will take them years to become the person that you are hoping they will become, you will save yourself lots of tears and self-criticizing thoughts.
Remember, it takes a person approximately 10,000 hours to master something.
That is a lot of hours for you to get good at mommin’, my friend.
And it’s also a lot of hours for your kiddo to learn the things you want them to know…like how not to interrupt, how to get good at a bedtime routine, how to clean up after themselves, and how to be a good human with appropriate behavior.
So next time you find yourself frustrated because the “tricks” don’t work for your kids, just remember that they aren’t broken and neither are you.
It just takes loads of time develop greatness.
As long as you keep at it, you’ll be FABulous and so will they.
In the meantime, memorize this phrase, “We’re working on it.”
NOW SHARE THIS PARENTING SECRET WITH EVERY MOM YOU KNOW.
Remind her that she isn’t broken.