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Teaching them to not all talk at the same time

(6 Posts)
mylifeisgood Thu 13-Nov-14 10:16:16

This is the thing that ticks me off the most. The thing that is most likely to make me flip, so I'd like to know if anyone has any practical tips to teach them to not talk at the same time. #
Not necessarily quick fixes, I can put in the legwork if I am optimistic of success, but I really feel I would be a nicer person if we could get some way with this, and I need some pointers.

I have 4 dds. The oldest is 10, youngest 4. I have tried, and continue to try, to have 'cup of tea and a chat' time when we get in from school, where everyone takes turns to talk and they have to try to respect other peoples' turns and listen. It has limited success, because they tend to clam up when it is their 'turn' and things only occur to them when others are talking, and they really find it (ie listening to their sisters and being patient) more of a torture than a bonding exercise.
I try at dinner to identify each one by name, and have a brief exchange with them one at a time.
But they are just NOT respecters of the fact that I am engaged saying/doing something when they want to talk. It can be something really important/critical that I am doing and someone can obliviously just interrupt with something completely trivial about eg spellings.

Am I alone? Can anyone help?

I think I will post this in behaviour too, to see if anyone can help there.

imip Thu 13-Nov-14 17:45:27

Op, I also have 4 dds between the ages of 2 and 7 (well, 8 next week!). This really gets on my nerve. At times, I have just had to walk out of the room, especially when dh also asks me something (?!?!?).

One thing I do, which I got from the behaviour threads (and not an answer to the problem) to stop them from interrupting me when I am already talking is to get them to put their hand on my wrist. Then I put my hand on theirs and that means that mummy knows they want to talk and I will speak to them when I have finished. We don't use it all the time, and some dds like the system more than others hmm, but it has been a helpful technique on combatting the tide of overlapping conversation that slowly drowns me!

I'll watch t his thread with interest!

mylifeisgood Thu 13-Nov-14 20:18:56

Yes, I was wondering about some sort of queuing system. I am often too far away for a touch though. I try a quick "yes I've heard you dd1, hold on a sec while I finish talking to dd2" and pointing to her while I finish the convo with dd2, to show she's on hold and next in line. Then someone else interrupts, then someone else interrupts, and then I have too many people "on hold" to manage and the system gets too backed up.

It. Drives. Me. Mental.

I am sure we weren't like this with my mum..(we were 4 too).

Mehitabel6 Thu 13-Nov-14 20:29:00

Have something to hold e.g special shell -and only the one holding it is allowed to speak. Then they hand it on.

ABeautifulLie Sun 16-Nov-14 12:11:42

My youngest DD was always interrupting and her older sister used to give up talking to me. If I asked youngest DD to wait, she would forget what she wanted to tell me by the time I'd finished listening to her sister.
Now I allow her to interrupt with a single word, which I can repeat back to her when I'm ready to listen. She chooses a word that will prompt her to remember the story she wants to share with us. I use it with all of my children now.

5ChildrenAndIt Sun 23-Nov-14 19:08:53

Like Mehi - we used a 'talking hat' to help us work through the after school news. The person with the hat speaks & then passes it on. Of course they dick about with it - but they broadly bought into the concept.

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