Toby is a chatty Cathy, which I adore, but now and again it drives me a little bats. When I’m talking to a friend at the park, or catching up with Alex after work, he will stand next to me and say, “Mama, Mama, Mama, Mama, Mama…” It’s not unlike this:

When I tell him to wait a second, he gets really wounded and will often even burst into tears. Blarg! Sweet boy! Still, it’s maddening!

So, last week, I was thrilled to stumble across this brilliant advice:

I was chatting with a friend one day when her 3-year-old son wanted to say something. Instead of interrupting though, he simply placed his hand on her wrist and waited. My friend placed her hand over his to acknowledge him and we continued chatting.

After she had finished what she was saying, she turned to him. I was in awe! So simple. So gentle. So respectful of both the child and the adult. Her son only needed to wait a few seconds for my friend to finish her sentence. Then she gave him her complete attention.

Such a simple gesture, and so respectful of the child and yourself and the person you’re speaking with.

We tried it this week, and Toby loves it. He’s proud of himself for waiting and psyched to know a secret code. I’d highly recommend giving it a try!

P.S. Six words to say to your child, and why you should make your home a haven.

(Photo by Nicki Sebastian for Cup of Jo)