When Your Child... Doesn't Know When to Stop

2-min. video | Open Door For Parents with Dr. Eileen

(94 seconds. Video TRANSCRIPT at bottom)


Here’s a quick video about a common problem I see in my practice: not knowing when to stop. We all make social mistakes. For instance, we might tell a story that our listener doesn’t find interesting. That’s no big deal, as long as we stop. If we ignore stop signals, that’s like saying, “I don’t care how you feel!” This week’s video offers some simple stopping strategies.

New webinar

I won’t be doing a live webinar this month, but I do have something I think you’ll enjoy: a recording of a presentation I gave for a live audience on Friendship in the Digital Age—a complicated topic that’s on a lot of parents’ minds. It will be available next week, but you can learn more and pre-order it here.

Does YOUR KID have a question about friendship?

Starting in January, I’ll be answering questions from kids about friendships. Answers will be available for all subscribers to Open Door for Parents.

Adults, please use your smartphone's memo function or an audio app to record your child's question. Please hold the phone close to your child's mouth to make sure the recording is clear. Have your child state:

1) their FIRST NAME,

2) their AGE, and

3) a BRIEF QUESTION or concern about friendship. (Please do not mention any friends' names.)

Email the audio file to DrF@EileenKennedyMoore.com. I’ll answer as many questions as I can. (Obviously, this is not psychotherapy, and it’s not for emergency situations.)

Warm wishes,

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Read More:

Webinars On-Demand

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  • Help Your Child Cope With Feelings

  • Helping Your Anxious Child


Video Transcript

Hi, I’m Dr. Eileen, an author and clinical psychologist based in Princeton New Jersey. 

Sometimes kids will say or do something, trying to be funny, but nobody laughs. so then they do it eight more times, hoping it will become funny, which it never does. This quickly becomes very annoying to everyone around them. 

I often help kids recognize Stop Signals. We’ll make a list of things that kids might say, like:

  • Stop it! 

  • Quit it! 

  • Cut it out! 

  • You're being annoying! (Kids can be very blunt!)

Stop signals can also be nonverbal. So, somebody might look away and roll their eyes or make a fed-up noise like “Tch!” 

When kids hear or see a stop signal, they need to stop. 

If your child has trouble stopping, it might help to sit on their hands, or cross their arms and give themselves a little squeeze, or pretend their tongue is stuck to the roof of their mouth. They could also say, “Sorry, I’ll stop now.” That acknowledges the other person's feelings and also gives your child a couple of extra seconds to apply the brakes

Photo credit: Francine Sreca/pixabay