As parents, we’re not the only ones who are trying to help our kids manage themselves and pay attention at school – so are their teachers. So if you want to stop your child from interrupting in school, try introducing post-it notes for self-management.
No, I’m not kidding. Here’s what I mean.
Our kids tend to struggle with interrupting in the classroom for one of two key reasons:
- either because they are afraid they won’t remember what they want to say
- or because interrupting keeps them engaged in what is going on
Start by helping your child understand the source of his interruptions. Does he struggle with remembering things? Does he tend to want to have his questions addressed right away?
Help him see that, the way his brain is wired, it’s normal for him to want to address his thoughts right away; but also help him understand that it’s important to learn to hold his thoughts or questions until someone else is finished. Like taking turns when playing a game, it’s a skill he needs to practice and learn to master.
Then, ask him if he wants to learn a strategy to help make it easier in class. Start by practicing at the dinner table.
The strategy is to put a small stack of post-it notes and a pen or pencil on his desk at the beginning of every class in school. Encourage your child to write down any comments, thoughts, or questions that are distracting him from paying attention to the lesson, the directions or the conversation. He can capture anything that comes to his mind, or even doodle on the paper when he needs a fidget.
The simple post-it note becomes a masterful strategy to stop your child from interrupting in school. It helps him reminder that he is practicing ‘not interrupting’ and ‘waiting his turn’ to talk. As an added benefit, he may find that he’s captured an idea that would be a good topic for a writing assignment, or that all of his questions were eventually answered. Most of all, it brings awareness to this process for him, and a strategy to help him learn to manage himself over time.