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Some children talk; I mean a lot. You ask them not to interrupt, or to give you a moment and almost as soon as those words have left your mouth they start up again! Its frustrating and can be a real annoyance. Often the child doesn’t even realise they are doing it much less that it’s not appropriate. What can you do without ending up chastising or downright shouting at the child??

Out of a spontaneous moment came a fabulous technique for breaking the cycle of chatter which was both hilarious and effective.

So we are in that situation, parents trying to discuss something , child constantly chattering away and interrupting. The child is quietly and calmly asked to stop interrupting. Alternative activities are suggested, the child is asked to wait until the conversation is finished – nothing is work. Parent slightly more tense says “please stop!” “Child says I cant help it is just comes out of me!”

In a moment of inspiration I puffed up my cheeks and exploded in a POW! Arms flying up. He burst out laughing , I burst out laughing. I said you’re like this and the words just explode out of you. We didn’t have nagging, we didn’t have cross words there was not fight – just laughter. Importantly it broke him out of the cycle of keeping talking, and he realised he was doing it. Since then there are times when he has been a chatterbox and I’ve said “hey you’re like POW! (doing the actions) we laugh he realises what he’s doing and calms down for a bit.
Sometimes I just say his name, he realises and makes the POW back to me. We laugh again and his behaviour changes direction.

It may not work for everyone but it’s a great way to defuse and redirect rather than confront and face down. As I said children often don’t even realise how much noise they are making so finding a fun way to bring it to their attention without condemning it is great. Carol Tuttle’s The Child Whisperer is a great book giving insights into behaviour and how to work with a child’s nature rather than against it.

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