You are here

Ideas on how to ease the annoying behavior? Anyone- summer is killing me!

AlwaysSmiling's picture

Other than disengagement, how do you cope when the stepkid is being...extra....? (She's 9)

When the stepkid nonstop talks and intrupts others.

When the stepkid has to be the center of attention.

"Look at me do this! Look at me do that! Did you see me do this? Did you see me do that?"

Any little thing has to include her. If it doesn't, she will find a way to include herself. Like if anyone comes over to the house (like family members) and we greet each - or say goodbye with a hug, she rushes up & joins in saying "group hug!!!"

The having to reply in conversation to everything that anyone else says.
For example- normal conversation in home:
Stepmom: Hey, hun, I was thinking about going to the park today.
Step Kid: I like the park. I am fast on the slides.
Stepmom: Thanks - but I was talking to your dad...
Dad: Which park?
Step kid: I want to go to the park with the big slides. I am the fastest on those slides. I can beat anyone there.
Stepmom: I think we should go to the park by the school, it's got things that all the kids like.
Step kid: But I want to go the park with the big slides. I am the fastest on those slides. I can beat anyone there.
Stepmom: Yes- you've already said that, but I'm actually trying to decide this with your dad.
Dad: I think the park by the school would be better, it's got more shade too.
Step kid: But I want to go the park with the big slides. I am the fastest on those slides. I can beat anyone there.
Dad: We have three other kids beside you today and we want everyone to have fun. The park with the big slides won't have anything for the younger kids.
Step kid: But I want to go the park with the big slides. I am the fastest on those slides. I can beat anyone there.
Dad: We will be going to the park by the school- I'm sure you can find something fun to do there.
All three other kids that were over visiting and didn't interupt the adult conversation: Yay!!!
Visiting kid 1: What kind of playground is there?
Step kid: It's a small one. And the slides are gross.
Visiting kid 1: Are there monkey bars?
Step kid: I like to play on monkey bars at my school. I can go faster than other kids at my school.
Visiting kid 2: but are there monkey bars at the park where we are going?
Stepmom: I don't think so.
Step kid: You should see how fast I can go on monkey bars.
Dad: I'm sure you are fast, you have strong arms.
Step kid: I do daddeeee. I'm your favorite kid in the whole wide world, aren't I?
Dad: Of course.
Visiting kid 1: Are we going to bring a picnic for lunch? My little sister cannot have peanuts or peanut butter, she's allergic.
Step kid: I know someone who can't have peanut butter. She's in my class. Her name is Sandy.
Step mom: I'll make sure that she doesn't get any peanut butter.
Step kid: I want peanut butter and jelly sandwich now hahahahaha.
Step mom- looking directly at visiting kid 3 who cannot have peanut butter: Do you like chicken salad?
Step kid: I want peanut butter and jelly sandwich for lunch. Can you make me one?
Step mom: You can make your own. You know how. I'm trying to figure out what the little one can eat, now.
Visiting kid 3: I like chicken, thanks.
Step mom: Great I'll make some chicken salad sandwiches.
Step kid: But I want peanut butter and jelly. Can we go to the park with the big slides so I can show everyone how fast I am?

It's like her mind is always going 90 miles an hour and mouth. How do keep yourself from screaming: OMG do you ever just shut up?!?



SayNoSkidsChitChat's picture

Only make decisions and speak with your DuH behind a closed and locked door, quietly. Definitely disengage. What a horrifically rude little twat!

tog redux's picture

Yes, talk to DH in private to make plans And when she is around ask him to shut her down, along the lines of: "SD, stop interrupting us immediately.  If you can't stop interrupting us, go to your room. Your wants are not the only ones we are considering. "  Or whatever. 

Neither of you are shutting her down. 

AlwaysSmiling's picture

Yes, agreed plans are best made in private. But I'm not just talking about when we make plans. Interrupting isn't always an issue bc that can be dealt with also. It's her personal commentary on everything that's getting overly annoying. Like if someone says a tree is green, she has to say something too.

I'm looking for ways to get past the annoying behaviors and enjoy time with her.

SayNoSkidsChitChat's picture

Kids are not supposed to interrupt adult conversations unless the house is on fire! Me and my DH give our real kids (lmao) major shit for interrupting us.

Trying to Stepmom's picture

I feel like my SD was like this at that age too. It’s better now that she’s older (13), but she still interrupts or makes comments off topic. I’m not saying that this is a 9yo thing though. 

Kids only learn to not interrupt if they’re taught. Didn’t seem like your SO made an attempt to squash the interruption. 

My SD got hella bent out of shape when I tried to squash the interrupting at that age. Like crying, shutting down, saying we ignored her, etc. Exhausting! My DH and I also came to the conclusion that she just didn’t know how to participate in a conversation. (Once again, something that has to be taught.) She’s still not great at it, but we don’t have the giant blow ups like we used. 

My advice would be to talk with you SO about it so you’re on the same page. That way you have a strategy to redirect her behavior. Even at my DD’s daycare, the provider isn’t afraid to say something to a kid about interrupting when she’s taking with a parent. Gotta learn early!

Props to the both of you for not giving into her requests for the big slide park. If my DH would have  tried to agree with her, he would have gotten the biggest stink eye from me. 

AlwaysSmiling's picture

Care to share some of the ways that you helped her learn to participate in conversation?

And SO would have got more than stink eye lol.

My SO was sat down with the owner of the daycare last year and was told that she was at the point of being kicked out of daycare because she was always interrupting the teachers. When he told me about it, he thought it was ridiculous that she could get kicked out for that. But once it was brought to his attention, he started paying more attention to interupting adult conversations and he has gotten better about saying something to her. And there are times that when just he and I are engaged in conversation, when she will patiently wait for us to finish. So she is working on that part- until she gets excited about something again.  

Trying to Stepmom's picture

So it’s when she gets really excited? Is there a way to talk with her about thinking about what she’s going to say before she says it? So she can determine if she needs to say it? I don’t know if that would work though. 

Or if she keeps repeating what she’s saying (like in the park conversation) say something “We hear you, you already mentioned that.” 

If those don’t work, I said this to my class one time when they couldn’t stop blurting our comments:

”Life isn’t YouTube and you don’t need to make comments about everything.”

(Not saying that worked either, more for shock value. But it did turn some lightbulbs on for some kids. LOL)

AlwaysSmiling's picture

I am going to try that one! She loves YouTube lol, so maybe it will make a lightbulb turn on for her.

raindrop's picture

I’m a fan of recording annoying behavior like this without the annoying person’s knowledge. And then immediately play it back to then after having a little talk about the rudeness and annoying behavior. Usually it straightens people out because they don’t realize how annoying they are until they hear it for themselves. 

AlwaysSmiling's picture

I hadn't thought about that. I'll have to keep my phone charged this weekend lol! I wonder if she'll realize it's annoying when she sees it played back. Good idea-  thanks!

hereiam's picture

She definitely needs to be shut down but she also needs to be told why. Does she understand how rude it is? How she sounds so self-centered? How others do not want to be around people who do this?

Just like you had a conversation with her about her meltdowns, have a conversation about interrupting people, making herself a part of conversations that she is not a part of, and going on and on about herself, repeating the same thing.

I am so glad that my SD was timid and quiet!

AlwaysSmiling's picture

I think it will be several conversations over time. But yep, good advice - thanks,

STaround's picture

I read your bio, I dont understand who these younger kids are?

AlwaysSmiling's picture

My own bio kids are grown and out of the house- and let me just do a quick little Cabbage Patch Dance...

My family is big! I have brothers and sisters with young children and they have been visiting a lot this summer. At one point we had 10 kids in the house that were all under 10. So, the dynamics of the house are a little different of course, when we have visitors. But I'd still like for step kid to enjoy her time when she comes over.

Aniki-Moderator's picture

Is SD there full-time or every other weekend or...? While the constant interrupting is NOT okay and needs to be addressed, I'm wondering if it is, in part, because she wants Daddy's attention BECAUSE... if she's there EOWe and there are other kids around, she may be jealous that his attention is so divided.

Do she and her dad spend any one-on-one time together? If not, they should.

AlwaysSmiling's picture

She's typically here EOWE but has been spending more than that due to summer schedules- but no where near halftime even with the extra days.

It's not new behaviors, she's always been this way. But yes- she does step it up several knotches when there's other kids around- and even seems to regress to some older behaviors that were already almost gone (like whining and baby talk). When she does that, I can assume it's attention seeking and jealousy wanting her dad's attention. SO has even noticed this and says he spoke to her about it recently- but I doubt it was anything more than a short statement that went in one ear and out the other.

I do make sure that she gets one on one time with dad. I have always done this since the very beginning of our relationship. She usually has every other visit or two some sort of chance for her & her dad to do an activity or something by themselves.

Over the years, the routine at our house is pretty predictable. And I'm sure there's some saving grace to that predictability. At first, I would leave every other visit to visit my adult children out of town. Those visits have gotten more scarce now, as my kids aren't kids, but adults and have their own lives and busy schedules. Step kid actually has a pretty good relationship with me and I even took off time from work this year to spend time with her. So, it's not just dad that she's getting one on one time with, it's also me. And when it's just her at the house, she is mostly the same, but there's not as many people to commentary on- not sure if that sounds right- meaning when it's just me & dad, she'll still comment on like everything we say- it just doesn't seem as bad, I guess. Now with others around, she is commenting on everything that everyone says. And makes it extra annoying! And is making my time with her less than desirable.

Aniki-Moderator's picture

It certainly sounds like she's ramping it up when other kids are around to compete for Daddy's attention. And he needs to nip that in the bud ASAP.

Rags's picture

That is what the kid's room is for.  If she cannot act appropriately in public or around other people , she is not allowed in public or around other people. 

Parents who force their ill behaved spawn on others or who do not keep their kids under control do not stay in my life for long.

My college BFF used to take exception to how we parented SS.  We were "Too hard on him. He is only a kid."  When he became a parent it did not take long for him to not bring his daughter to any event we would be at.  He was embarrassed by her being an animal in public.   He has brought it up in conversations several times over the years.  He recognizes that our son could be present and participate in any event because we held him to firm behavioral standards and his daughter was a freaking animal who had to be sequestered due to the nasty looks, comments, etc... that she would draw any time she was in public.

She is now about 11yo and is finally close to being worthy of public presentation.  I still am very wary of her and her dad is always extremely nervous when she is with him in public.

Thumper's picture

Does she do this at school...IF she did, I would imagine the teacher would have told dh. It is rude






AlwaysSmiling's picture

Teachers from her school and also her daycare have complained about this also.

ESMOD's picture

After the 2nd or certainly 3rd "slides.. park with slides comment" I would have given her the consequence of.  SD, we already told you we are not going to that park.  Do you want to stay at home with your father while I take the other kids to the park.  (not sure what relation the other two kids are.. so whether everyone should just stay home or not)..

And by staying home.. it's not 'fun" it's a 'go to your room and be alone time.. because you didn't listen

AlwaysSmiling's picture

That is just one conversation as an example. The other kids are my nieces and nephews that have been visiting also for summer.

In some instances, the other kids around is great- bc I am pretty strict about my house rules. Like 'children in this house will not speak rudely to adults in this house' & anytime one of them gets out of line with the 'house' rules, they are reminded and given an oppurtunity to correct behavior before consequences are handed out. And she gets to see that I'm fair and consistent with all the kids. But she's definately extra annoying too, so that makes it harder.

You're right though. It should have been nipped. I'm going to have a convo with SO about it before he picks her up this weekend bc it really is bothering me more than it used to.

ESMOD's picture

Because she is getting a response.. she isn't getting the impression that her inserting herself into an adult conversation is a she keeps putting in her 2cents.

I mean, part of this is so that she isn't annoying with others too.. so she learns proper social conduct.  If dad lets her be equal with adults in conversation and allows her to monopolize.. she will have a harder time outside the home.

So.. when she inserts herself the first time it's.

Honey, your dad and I are trying to make a decision.. we will let you know if we need your input.

The second time.. SD, we told you that we don't need your input.  Please go to your room while we decide what to do.

After that.. any further "extra" is met with.  Do you want to stay at home with your dad while I take the kids to the park (or whatever the thing is.. that she will now be excluded from)

Doublehelix's picture

My SD7 is a little like this too and I was really hoping it'd naturally get better with age, but if your SD is 9....  O.o

I haven't implemented this myself yet, but I think I'm going to really start putting a stop to the interruptions soon. It's like the minute FH and I start talking about something, she'll ask "can I talk??" So she's asking permission to say something, but she's also interrupting to do it. And it's never anything relevant, she just wants to hear her own voice basically, or feel like she has something equally important to contribute. I fully blame her parents for instilling (or not deterring) this sense of entitlement/equality in her - you are a child! Your opinion matters sometimes, but certainly not all the time, and not all things are appropriate for you to be included! /endrant

At any rate, I think for the interruptions, it would be completely reasonable to ask her to wait until whoever has finished talking before she butts in. Unless it's something we specifically don't want SD to hear, we don't bother going into another room, bc why should we have to have all our conversations in private? We should be able to have routine conversations w/o having to work around SD. SHE needs to learn how to be respectful of others, and that has to be taught.

Similarly for the attention, maybe don't feed it? In the sample conversation you wrote out, it seems like you and your DH acknowledged SD after every comment she made. I would have stopped responding after the first time, but if you're not as passive-aggressive as I am, lol, then maybe you guys could have just told her "ok, we heard you, but your dad and I are going to decide what's best for everyone, and that's the end of that discussion, thanks." And if she keeps going after that, just ignore it. 

simifan's picture

Neither you or DH even bothered to correct her, instead you fed into this behavior by responding. Clear and simple.

"Stop interuptng, your opinion is not needed."

"This is your second interuption, go to your room."

This is your third interuption, there will be no park for you."


In the same respect, look for time she's not interupting (even if occupied with something unrelated - video games, you tube,etc.) Praise her - make a big fuss about being older and knowing conversations are private unless invited. Give her a chance to voice her opinion appropriately.  "Thank you for respecting our conversation, what do you think about going to ...tomorrow"

Rags's picture

Easy solution.  Remove her from the presence of others until she corrects her behavior.

Both you and her father are facilitating and much of the cause of this because neither of you are breaking the behaviors immediately when they arise. Tolerance of this rather than zero tolerance is exacerbating her behaviors. Adopt a zero tolerance stance and she will either correct the behavior or she will not be where the rest of the family is. Easy, direct, effective.

If she interrupts, injects herself into conversations she is not a party to, etc, etc, etc..... pull her aside, explain to her that she is not to interrupt and until she can learn this basic lesson that most 4yos can master she will have to stay in her room and she will be sent to her room each time she violates this tenant of kid behavior and politeness.

Then send her to her to her room with a firm "You are interrupting and this conversation does not include you. Go to your room until you can learn to stop being rude and interrupting conversations that do not include you. If you are asked a question you answer the question. Until then, be quiet. Now go to your room."

Lather, rinse, repeat.

She will learn to STFU or she will learn to enjoy being alone. Either way, the rest of the family wins.

Keep it simple.