Tips for dealing with your child while you’re on the phone


Have you ever noticed that your child will play quietly by himself until the phone rings or dings. Suddenly, while you’re trying to talk on the phone or respond to a text or email he needs your attention right now.

Let’s take a look at some tips to reduce the untimely interruptions.

Tips for dealing with your child while you’re on the phone

Victor is happily playing and leaving you to get on with your activities. But, it’s amazing that a child totally absorbed in play can suddenly have a desperate need to talk to you as soon as the phone rings.

Try to prevent the problem by talking to him about the phone and what you need to do when it rings. Explaining is only the start.  A pre-schooler rarely learns by listening. He’ll be waiting to see what’s going to happen.

For Victor the phone can be a mysterious gadget.  It rings, you pick it up, the ringing stops and you start to talk to it.  What’s going on?  You can remove the mystery if you allow him to say hello to the caller.  You can also help him to make some calls of his own. (Grandma would love to hear from the little one.)

If you’re answering an email or text, he is wondering what you are typing so let him see. That will quickly bore him but at the same time see what you’re up to.

A convenient box of quiet play toys that only come out when you’re on the phone works well for many children. Things like a colouring book and crayons, a stuffed animal or stacking toy allow the child to stay close while you talk.  When you take a call that will last more than a minute or so, take out the box and let Victor play at your feet. The toys go back in the box when your call is over.

If he just won’t leave you alone, tell your caller you will call back.  Then move him to another room and return to the call.

Consider how much time you spend on the phone.  If you’re receiving a lot of calls, ask you friends to call when he’s napping or when he’s tucked in for the night.  If you tell Victor you’ll be off the phone “in a minute”, follow through.

It’s even more difficult if you receive business calls at home.  If possible, it’s a good idea to have a separate line so you know it’s business and can choose whether to take it or leave it to voice mail for the time being.  Call display is another option to let you know whether to take a call while Victor is home and awake.

Maintain a sense of humour realizing that in ten years you won’t be able to get him off the phone. He’ll constantly be texting or whatever will be the favoured mode of communication when he reaches his teens.

Digital Books Make Parenting Information More Accessible.

Two of my parenting books started as print versions but the third is only digital. The first two are now also in digital format.

For busy parents, digital is often much more convenient. You can pull out your phone on transit, in a waiting room or while holding a sleeping baby.

When we are raising children we know that we need to give them roots and wings. Then we need to consider their particular and unique temperament.

Who’s in Charge Anyway? Talks about roots. It provides a clear road map for parent to focus on the tough but rewarding job of raising children to be responsible, self-disciplined adults.

But Nobody Told Me I’d Ever Have to Leave Home talks about raising children to become capable young men and women. And Vive la Differénce takes a look at different temperaments of children and what that means for child raising.

All three are readily available on my website.

In the summer we think about reading great, fat beach books. But spending a little time also reading about parenting is not a bad idea.



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