Kids can be overly talkative. And when they transfer this chatter to the classroom, it becomes a concern. You may find your kid’s teacher sending you a note complaining about this behavior. So, how can you help your child to keep quiet in class? Here are 10 effective tips on how to do it.
1. Teach them listening skills
Your child talks too much because he doesn’t listen. You will need to teach this skill at home. Say things and have him repeat exactly what you say.
Of course, they won’t remember everything words for words, but it will teach them to listen attentively without interrupting or saying anything. This way, he will easily follow his teacher’s directions and will speak less, unless prompted to.
Practice this over and over every day. Ask their teacher if there’s is an improvement. You can even ask the teacher if they can help you to reinforce it in the classroom. Make it friendly, so the teacher doesn’t feel you are imposing it.
2. Play ‘quiet’ games
Have games with your child where the rule is to utter no word. Whoever talks the first loses. It’s fun, and your child will try his best to win. As in other games with your kids, lose several times, deliberately. You will encourage them by making them feel silence is making them superior, and especially over you.
With time, they will start to reprimand you if you talk a lot and claim how they are better. And then you will know the technique has worked. That they have learned to control their chatter.
3. Have set times when talking is allowed
Choose times when your child can freely talk and when silence is to be observed. Make this clear to your talkative kid and stick to it.
During silence periods, find them an engaging activity, so they don’t bother you by constantly breaking the rule. Make sure the rest of the family get involved too, or your kid will feel singled out, and start to loathe it.
When the silence time is over, allow them to talk freely. With time, it will fall into a routine, and you will find your kid easily following it. Once instilled, it’s time to transfer it to school. With the help of your child’s teacher, get your kid to understand that lessons are silence time and break talk times.
4. Ask them about school every evening
Ask them about the day’s experience at school. Was the teacher angry with them? Did they talk in class? What happened with other kids in class. Children are honest and will open up about everything, what the teacher said about them even.
Praise them if they behaved well. If the teacher was angry with them, ask what they could have done to not anger the teacher. They will already know their mistakes and how to correct them. Encourage them to be good next time by being quiet during lessons. Tell them to apologize to the teacher if they disobey by being noisy.
5. Ask to see their day’s work, every day
Often, noisy children don’t finish classwork. They are also not attentive and don’t get most of the classwork right. By going through your child’s work, you are reminding him that you care about how they perform and that you are happy if they do well.
So they will feel compelled to work harder. And with time, they will readily show it to you after school, bragging. By wanting to do well and make you happy, their classroom behavior will greatly improve, including being less of talkers.
6. Have the teacher move your child’s position in class
This technique greatly helps check noisy kids. Your kid’s teacher can move him to the front, often near the teacher’s desk. Or to a separate desk where they don’t have any other kid near enough to talk to. This mild isolation has been known to work.
Your child will learn to concentrate on classroom tasks since they have no one to play with. If near the teacher’s table, he will be unable to get mischievous as he’s is under the teachers’ constant monitoring.
7. Try the ‘tape and markings’ techniques
This works by having a masking tape stuck to your child’s desk. Every time he talks in class he draws a mark on it. At the end of the day, the teacher will remove the tape and have your kid bring it home to show to you. You will know how many times your kid talked against class rules by the number of markings.
Because your kid will not want to bring many markings home, he will learn to shut up before he utters anything when he remembers he has to mark it. By checking the number of markings every day, you will be able to gauge the progress your kid is making. Make your teacher involved fully in this exercise by writing him or her a note now and then to celebrate the progress.
Praise a reduction in the number of markings and talk to your child if there’s no reduction.
8. Reward your child for good behavior
Make it a routine every day or once a week. If he keeps quiet in class, be evidently happy with him and reward instantly. Of course, you will need to have the presents with you ready, or your child will not take you seriously. A never coming present and your child will begin to attach no importance to keeping quiet.
Once you make it routine, it will become impressed in his young mind, and over time his chatter will reduce, naturally.
9. Talk to your child teacher about’ raise your hand to talk’ technique
This involves kids in class having to raise their hands when they want to say anything. Only after the teacher approves their request can they speak. This may already be happening in your kid’s class. If not, you may want to talk to the teacher about introducing or enforcing it, even if only to your child.
This is the most effective method of all in keeping extremely talkative children calm in the classroom. They may still abuse it by raising their hand way too often, but since the teacher can easily refuse them permission, it still works.
10. Play ‘school’ at home
Pretend to be your kid’s teacher and your house a classroom. Do the things you would do and set rules to be followed. Make your child follow them and praise them accordingly. Encourage him to get on task quietly. Your child will transfer the rules you teach him to school.
If you have other kids the better. It will help it look more like a classroom. But with the advantage that it’s controllable. Remember, a typical classroom will have around 30 kids. This is why your kid’s teacher may not manage to reach out to your kid to manage his behavior as they would want to.
By playing class at home, you will be supplementing the teacher’s efforts, and will greatly help your child change from his noisy behavior.
Using these tips, you will help your child to learn to be quiet in class. Make sure you involve their teacher fully so they can know the efforts you are making and assist where necessary. Hold regular parent-teacher conferences to discuss progress.