What is the age when children understand not to make noise when I am on the phone?

by Fed Up
(Ithaca, NY)

I am a single mother who works from home. I have a son who is 3 years and 9 months old.

I have repeatedly told him not to make noise (play his instruments, hit the walls, bang his toys) or come and talk to me when I am on the phone.

Today, the phone rang and when I answered it, my son decided it was time to play his kazoo. I smacked him on the cheek and sent him to time out.

My mom, who is here visiting, witnessed this and accused me of child abuse. I told her she isn't here on a daily basis and does not know how many times I have had this conversation with my son over the last 6+ months.

I am at my wit's end with him not listening to me. Is this just the age or is he developmentally disabled that he cannot remember things?

Fed up in Ithaca, NY

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Jun 28, 2011
Child Tries to Get Attention When Mom Is On Phone
by: Laura Ramirez

Your child is trying to get your attention because it is focused elsewhere. This is a common issue experienced by work-at-home mothers of small children. As a work-at-home mom myself, my children did the same, but I handled it differently. I agree with your mother-in-law that smacking your child was abusive, no matter how many times you have told your three-year old not to talk or make noise while you're on the phone. The fact that you do not seem to see this concerns me.

Unfortunately, your lack of understanding of child development and what is needed by your child cannot be fixed with a simple answer. I suggest you find a parenting coach in your area or consider my parenting coach program. Having support will help you learn what your child needs from you, how to give it and still attend to your at-home business and take care of your own needs.

Please get help. Your child's well-being depends on it.

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