Once you become a parent, it seems that having an uninterrupted conversation with your friends is a thing of the past. The truth is, it doesn’t have to be that way. Children are like sponges and are more than capable of picking up new manners, including how to stop interrupting. You can teach your child to not interrupt you or others with a few simple practices.

4 great parenting tips to teach your child to stop interrupting.

1. Stay Calm.

Children often interrupt because they’re excited and can’t entirely understand how to calm themselves down. A good way to teach your child to be calm is to maintain a calm and relaxed home environment. If your child is coming from a calm place, he’ll more than likely carry that out into different areas of their life. When he’s still overly-excited, your calmness will carry over and prevent you from adding to his excitement.

2. Talk to your child beforehand.

Explain to your child the impoliteness of speaking to you while you’re in the middle of speaking to someone else. For example: Let him know that what you’re discussing is important to you, just as what he has to say is important to him. Remind him that while you do want to hear what it is he has to say, he needs to wait his turn.

3. Use hand gestures to communicate during conversations.

Instead of using words to grab your attention, ask your child to place his hand on your wrist, and wait until you’re through talking. When your child does this, it’s important that you acknowledge his presence. You can do this by placing your hand on his, and holding it there until you’re through speaking and able to ask him what it is he’d like. With time, you’ll have a respectful, non-interrupting child at your side patiently waiting to share something with you.

4. Be consistent.

Teaching your child to not interrupt can be challenging, but it is not impossible. While working on it, be sure to be consistent and acknowledge their profress with a reward. Naturally, you may have a few slip ups where you tell him “Wait, I’m speaking.”, but you’ll find the verbal communication during these moments will lessen.