Pause Your Nose!

With four kids…all of them old enough to talk…and all of them with VERY important things to say…things that MUST be said RIGHT now…

Sometimes I can feel overwhelmed with everyone talking at once and never really feeling like I can hear any of them.

It sorta sounds something like:

“MOM! We-I-Can-But-are-need-you-I-going-to-get-need-to-go-me-to-have-potty-a-pillow-fight-drink-talk-to-you!”

Okay, um…what?!

And of course, trying to have a conversation with my husband…one that I can actually finish…kinda looks something like thi……

(I may never really know how his work day really went…)

So while we’re working with the kids (constantly) to not interrupt…and to recognize that when others are speaking, they need to wait their turn…

And helping them to understand that their need to tell me about what happened to LarryBoy on the most recently watched Veggie Tale show is maybe not as urgent as they might think that it is…

I one day came up with a little tool that worked for me.

As two of my boys walked into the room and both started talking at once…I just reached out my pointer finger at one of them, pushed gently on his nose and said, “Pause.”  (as if I was pushing his pause button…)

And he did…pause.

The first boy finished what he was saying.

And then I turned back to the other one and pushed his nose again, and said, “Unpause.”  He grinned…and finished what he had started to say earlier.

From then on, I have been pushing their little pause button noses left and right. (so to speak…) 

It’s a lot easier than saying, “Please wait until your brother is finished talking, and then you can have your turn to speak…” 

Oh, and the kids love it!

Now, I am so used to pausing noses…that one day while talking to my friend in the church foyer…one of my kids came up and really needed to say something important…so I reached up without thinking and pushed my friend’s nose and said, “Pause.” 

She started laughing…and said, “Um, did you just pause my nose?”

And I realized that indeed…I had just pushed on my friend’s nose and told her to pause. 

(Thankfully she loved the idea and started using it with her own kids. I’m pretty sure she has since then paused my nose on occasion…)

While I am now more careful about who’s noses I’m pausing in church foyers…this plan works VERY well for my kids…and I highly recommend it!


  1. says

    This is so absolutely, wonderfully perfect! I can’t wait until the kids wake up in the morning to try this. I have 6, so I know you feel my pain. lol


  2. says

    Hmmm… I wonder how my teenagers would react? I think I need to try it just to see the looks on their faces! This is a great tip tho’- it would definitely work with my 10 year old son… Thanks!


  3. says

    I laughed the first time my young son asked me to “pause” when I was reading to him as he needed to get up and go to the bathroom.

    We also have a huge problem with 2 kids talking at the same time. It’s especially difficult for me to read to them. B/c mid sentence they both decide they need to comment or ask a question about what I am reading.

    On one hand it drives me crazy – on the other hand I’m glad that they are such active listeners – wanting to know more about the subject.


  4. says

    Okay, I am SOOO glad I clicked on your link at Laura’s blog. .. My hubby and I are having this problem with our kiddos and I think this will definitely work! Thanks for sharing, you may have saved my life. :-)


  5. says

    Good stuff Laura… I laughed out loud while reading this, and of course the kids came running to find out what I was laughing about. So, I explained about pause and their noses, and Samuel especially thought it was HYSTERICAL. He’s the one one who needs a pause button the most, so we’ll see how it works!



  6. says

    I LOVE creative parenting ideas like this one. The best ones always seem to just come to moms almost as a joke. But then…they work! Brilliant!


  7. says

    Too cute! Great idea.

    As for teenagers and when in the car (can’t reach ’em) just hit the imaginary pause button in the air.

    May I add, however – that children should be taught never to interrupt an adult conversation unless they are bleeding. Pause your kid – not your adult friend!


  8. Beth says

    That’s a great idea. I have 7 kids ages 13-5 and this is a constant problem at our house. I’m going to try it!!!


  9. says

    That is too funny! I wonder if my little one (just turned 2) would understand it, but it would definitely work when my 5 year old interrupts!


  10. says

    Oh this is great. I am SO doing this from now on! I love it. Now you’ll have to watch for “nose pausers” whenever you go anywhere to see if you can spot some of your blog readers. :-)


  11. Debby says

    OMG thank you!! This is such a great idea!! I just had my 5th and have been having serious issues with everyone coming at me at once. Especially when I am dealing with the baby’s diaper and such…….or on the phone AND changing a diaper with 3 kids yelling me at once and the other screaming because she wants me to hold her LOL. :) THANKS again I plan to implement this one right away!! :)


  12. says

    Fantastic! Unfortunately, only my 3 yr. old will get it; my screaming 9 month-old, not so much. (Found this through Parent Hacks, by the way… Congrats!)


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