Dear Nancy -

It is great that you are learning to block them!

Think of them like puppies. They do things to get attention. It's not that they want to bug you. That's not what they're thinking. They want attention and bugging you is how they get it. In their mind it's all about "them". It's about what they want.

If your puppy wants attention, and when he barks you go pay attention to him, he'll keep barking. That's how he gets attention.

If you react, you are encouraging your parents to keep it up, because you're giving them what they want. You're giving them their reaction. You're training them to keep up their behavior.

Even eye rolling is a reaction. It gives them satisfaction that they got a reaction.

Just walk away. Don't give them any reaction at all. If they are intruding on your space, close the door. If you're somewhere you can't close the door, get headphones and put them on. Block them out with no reaction. The more you train them, the more they will react differently.

But if you keep training them that you'll react to their bugging, the more they're trained to bug you smile. You are rewarding them for their behavior and they'll keep it up.

Lisa Shea, Low Carb and Video Games Editor
Low Carb Forum