Parenting Coach

Practical ideas for social, emotional and behavioral challenges

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Practice how to “hold that thought.”

What you can do

Work on strategies to help your child be patient and wait until it’s his turn to talk. Keep in mind that kids with learning and attention issues often fear they’ll forget what they want to say if they don’t say it immediately.

Help your child practice ways to “hold that thought” so he won’t feel the need to interrupt others. Try having him repeat a key phrase over and over again in his mind. In class discussions, it might be good to write the phrase down to help him remember what he wants to say.

What you can say

“Jacob, let’s play a game to practice some ways you can ‘hold that thought.’ What if Charlie is talking about the baseball game and a thought pops into your head about the comic book you got over the weekend? Even though he’d probably like to hear about the book, you need to let him finish talking about the game because it’s important to him.”

“If you think that you might forget what you want to say, just keep repeating the word ‘Batman’ in your mind. OK, I’ll pretend to be Charlie, and I want you to listen to me talk about baseball while you keep holding on to your thought about Batman. Let’s play this little game now. We can also try working on using this technique during dinner, OK?”

Why this will help

Some children with learning and attention issues may feel an urgent need to interrupt. Others may not realize they’re committing a social error and are annoying people in the process.

Showing your child the connection between how his message is delivered and how it is received will help him understand people’s responses. Practicing holding a thought will help him get the desired response. Praising him for waiting to speak will help too.

149Found this helpful
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