Talking on the phone or to a friend or basically anyone other than your toddler can become more of a chore as your toddler’s vocabulary grows. While it is great that they can talk so much, it can also be exasperating when they constantly interrupt your conversations with other people. But you can’t blame you toddler entirely.

Aside from their natural disposition that allows them to believe that their parent’s world revolves around them, toddlers also have a short-term memory. If they don’t tell you right now that they finished the puzzle, they’ll forget. And they don’t want you to miss out on hearing about any of their accomplishments. So, what can you do to curb their constant interjections?

Be the Best Example You Can Be
It’s no secret that children of any age mimic the behavior of those around them. If you have a habit of cutting off other people while they are talking, then there is a good reason why your toddler believes this is acceptable behavior. Take stock of your actions and make sure you allow people to finish what they are saying before you respond, especially to your toddler.

If you do cut in, apologize and allow the other person to finish. Not only are you teaching your toddler proper manners (“I’m sorry. Please continue”), but you are also demonstrating the ability to admit to a mistake, which is always an important lesson for children to learn.

To help reinforce the lessons on etiquette that you are trying to teach your toddler, buy some books that deal with proper manners in a child-friendly way.

When you know that you will be unable to give your toddler some attention for a while, sometimes distracting your toddler can help you have a full conversation.

If you are meeting a friend, see if you can schedule your date for somewhere child friendly, like a home or a park. Although you may prefer to meet at a nice little café, they offer very little entertainment for toddlers. Your two-year-old will have a hard time sitting still for an hour or two with little to do. Meeting somewhere that there is space for them to play and run around (while you keep watch over them), will help you and your friend have a more enjoyable time.

On the Phone
Toddlers always seem to have the most important things to tell you when you are on the phone. While they may not be able to wait until you are off the phone, making them wait a moment before you pause your conversation to hear them out will help them learn the art of waiting.

If you have a cordless phone, you may find it easier to move about with your toddler as you talk. If you can sit in the backyard with them and then head inside for some coloring, your toddler will still feel as though they have your attention. However, sometimes all a toddler needs is to sit on mommy’s lap while they talk. This lets them feel as though they at least have some of your attention.

Patience is a Virtue
Teaching your toddler about waiting will help you talk with others uninterrupted. If your toddler wants to play but you first need to make a phone call, then let your daughter know that mommy can play when the egg timer goes off. Set your egg timer for however long you think your phone call will take (but no more than five minutes) and make your call. When the timer goes off, finish your conversation and then join your toddler for some playtime. This way, your toddler knows that something positive comes out of waiting.

And don’t forget to thank them for being so patient. Good behavior comes out of verbal encouragement. When your daughter has quietly colored while you talked on the phone, thank her. When your son has patiently waited for a break in the adults’ conversation to speak, thank him. Soon, you will find your toddler has the best manners on the block.