Daughter Won't Stop Talking in Class

Updated on December 11, 2012
J.C. asks from Bronxville, NY
12 answers

Help - I posted a few weeks ago about my daughter's problems in school. This is a follow up...

So my daughter is getting into trouble for constantly talking during class. She is in 1st grade. I just don't know how to get her to stop. It's hard for me to punish her at night for something that goes on during the day (but I do - if she gets in trouble there is no TV that night - it's been tough this Christmas season). I've advised the teacher to send her to the principal's office if she feels it's right.

I just don't know how to get her to keep quiet in class. Any advice?

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So What Happened?

Thanks so much!! I did meet with the teacher two weeks ago. She sends home a booklet every night to tell us if she had a good or bad day. Some days are fine, others, horrible (like yesterday). I will ask her again what she is doing to stop her from talking in the moments she is chatting. I think I will also try the marker on the back of her hand. Maybe a heart to signify mommy loves you and wants you to learn. I will also start a reward chart at home for days that we get a good report.

By the way - at my job, I am paid to talk all day long! Where does she get it from???

More Answers



answers from Minneapolis on

What has the teacher tried? At my son's school they start with the "take a break" chair if the child is being disruptive (talking too much, interrupting, not sitting still when asked, etc). The child is asked to go sit there and to come back when they feel they are in control again of their body, talking, etc.

If they are already using something similar and it isn't working then I would meet with the teacher and ask what has worked with other kids who talk a lot. Sometimes it helps if the teacher and the student have a secret signal that the teacher can give to remind the child not to talk. Sometimes a little card on the child's desk where the teacher makes a little tally mark (child brings it home each day and you set up goals and rewards for her to start to decrease the number of tallies she gets).

I agree that punishing her at home is not likely to make much difference. The consequence is just too removed (by time and by lack of connection). It would be better if she has a behavior contract that lists a goal and a reward if she makes the goal. Then daily reminders from you about remembering not to blurt out and what her goal is can become a useful tool to get her focused and on track.

4 moms found this helpful


answers from Hartford on

Your child's teacher needs to handle this. It's up to the teacher to follow a behavior plan to get her to stop talking in class.

Did you set up a meeting with the teacher, social worker, principal? You need to do this ASAP and request that a Behavior Plan be established. Your daughter shouldn't be constantly getting in trouble and sent to the principal's office because that's a waste of everyone's time. Instead, the teacher needs to have a solid plan on how to handle your daughter each and every time she speaks out in class or decides to chat it up with friends.

First off, did the teacher move your daughter away from her friends? Unfortunately some children can't sit anywhere near their friends at all. It just can't happen. If she's not sitting near her friends and it's still happening, and she's simply making new best buddies, that's where you'll need to brainstorm with the school.

The teacher should have the option of giving your daughter visual, verbal, and gentle physical reminders (like a touch on the shoulder). In other words, cues between the teacher and your child that are established so that when your daughter starts up, the teacher can immediately catch your daughter's eye and give her a signal or she can walk up behind your daughter and whisper a key phrase in her ear or lightly touch her hand or shoulder.

If those things don't work, she should have a fall back plan or a Plan B.

If none of those work, then she needs to have some minor consequences that are in-class only. If those don't work, then more serious consequences which would be in-class (such as sitting at a desk apart from other students for the remainder of the class period) AND she would then get an immediate phone call and/or e-mail to you with a note sent home detailing what happened requiring your signature and to be sent back to the teacher.

3 moms found this helpful


answers from San Francisco on

You know, I think this is something the teacher needs to handle. You are correct that at this age, you can't control your child speaking when you are nowhere nearby. Your job is to send your daughter to school well-rested, fed, and ready to face the day. The teacher's job is to maintain control in the classroom. If the teacher doesn't have control of the classroom, then maybe she's in the wrong line of work. My older daughter's Pre-K teacher tried to pull this on me once, and I sat down with her and the principal and stated what I stated above - I send her to school ready to learn, I do not experience behavior problems with this child at home, and if she is acting up at school, I expect that the teacher will handle it. I assured them that I would back them up at home, but that there was no way I could maintain control of a classroom where I wasn't even present. Suffice it to say, once I notified them that I wasn't going to be blamed for the teacher's lack of control of her classroom, they stopped whining about it and got my daughter to behave in class. Easy as that. Once my daughter realized her teacher wasn't going to put up with any chatting in class, she stopped doing it, and we haven't had an issue since then.

3 moms found this helpful


answers from Cumberland on

The teacher needs to stop speaking and give your daughter her entire attention-after a few uncomfortable times-she just might stop....

2 moms found this helpful


answers from Austin on

Have you met with her teacher? What does she suggest? I was a talker in school. Sometimes I had to sit at a desk away from everyone else. Maybe your daughter needs to be seated at a desk next to the teachers desk.

At home pay the quiet game.. See who can go the longest without talking or making a sound.

When you read to her, read a chapter at a time and insist she not speak or ask a question, until the chapter is completed.

Play the memory game with cards.. Do a whole game without speaking, or she loses the game..

Our daughter was an early talker.. Being around me, she also spoke a lot. One day in the car, I mentioned that it is ok, if sometimes, we do not talk, but just enjoy looking around and enjoy just being together.

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answers from Washington DC on

I'd involve her in a solution, and ask her what might help. I would teach her times to do things and time to be still. Practice at home. Go to a library or community story time. If she interrupts you at dinner or while reading a book, tell her now is time to listen and wait. She can talk after. Show her how to wait and be patient. Teach her that interrupting others is rude (to the teacher, to her friends who are trying to listen). Basically, work on her impulse control. I've been working with my DD to answer questions simply. If she's asked during story time about x, don't go on and on about what the cat did that day.

You should also find out what the teacher is doing and what the consequences are in class. IMO the principal should only be used for big things, not being chatty.

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answers from San Francisco on

When our exuberant oldest son was that young we made up a behavior chart that was on our fridge. Each day we checked with the teacher regarding his behavior. If he had a good day then he got to put a sticker on his chart. We didn't do anything for a bad behavior day. We would just say, "I know you will have a better day tomorrow." And we would ask him what he will do the next day to make it a better day. We also would draw a happy face on the tops of his hands as constant reminders to be happy and respectful. It was our way to help him when we couldn't be there during school hours. We made it a fun little game.

Once he filled up our determined amount with stickers on the chart then we did a fun activity with him..out for a treat and a game together, or rent a favorite movie etc. We usually did a 5 day stretch. You don't want to make it so long and drawn out that they lose interest..or get overwhelmed. I just made up my own chart with bright colors a catchy title.

This really helped. We also talked about the importance of following rules when we are someone else's home, or at a store or at school. Other people have varying rules that we need to adhere to when they are in charge.

We made it a point to talk about the good behavior instead of the bad behavior. We kept it very positive. You can even do a little something special for each day she is respectful in class...read an extra story at night, stay up 10 minutes later to play a short game etc. Make it special time with you or daddy. If she has a tough day at school then you just simply say, "I am sorry we can't do that special activity tonight. I know it is sad when you choose to talk in class and miss out on our fun time. I know you will do better tomorrow." Keep it all very positive...and let her own her behavior.

Just as a side note. We really try not to punish our kids at home for what happens at school. This has worked out very well for us. I can't even think of the last time we had a serious problem. We have 3 very outgoing,talkative and social kids. They have learned to restrain their urge to talk.

Last year I got an email from a teacher saying that our oldest,now 7th grade, was abit chatty. We talked to him, just as we did years ago. We didn't punish him..we didn't get mad. We talked about rules and the need to respect others.

On his own, he sent the teacher an email to apologize. He even listed 3 things he planned to do to help himself do better at keeping his yapper shut. The teacher was so very appreciative and they had an email dialogue back and forth. My son learned so much from that experience. I was so proud of him and we praised him for days for doing that.

Maybe have your daughter write the teacher a nice note.

Good luck and best wishes. She is young...she is learning.

2 moms found this helpful


answers from Philadelphia on

The teacher needs to handle this. I think before school you should reinforce she is not to speak when the teacher is teaching etc. but I do not think she should be punished for speaking hours after the fact.

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answers from Los Angeles on

It is hard to discipline at night after the fact, though certainly her consequence of no TV that night should help. What does her teacher do at the time it happens? What is her immediate discipline?

Since it's ongoing perhaps her seat should now be moved right next to her teacher's desk where no other children are. It could be explained to your daughter that since she hasn't stopped talking in class it's a consequence of her actions. Talk to her teacher about it.

Meanwhile go over class rules with her daily (it's working with my preschooler to not run and yell in class, or hit), and explain that lunch, recess and after school are times she can talk, not during class when everyone is trying to learn...that's teacher's time to talk. Reinforce that she can talk in class only if she raises her hand and her teacher calls on her or her teacher asks her a question or it is a free time when everyone can talk. Explain it is about respect and following rules...we all have them.

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answers from Dallas on

My son has high functioning autism and sensory seeking challenges. He's a pretty normal kid generally, but he REALLY wants sensory input and he "bugs" the other kids to get it - he just wants to interact, but learning time isn't the right time. The teacher has him at a desk by himself closer to hers when necessary, or he's at the end of the table slightly farther from the kids so the temptation is not right on top of him. I totally support this because it helps the teacher, the class, and my son. He is still part of the group, but his challenges are managed to everyone's benefit.

If you haven't already, give your teacher permission to experiment with alternate seating. Maybe that immediate consequence and prevention of the behavior through location will combine to train her what not to do. And remind the teacher to POSITIVELY reinforce when she is NOT talking in class. Discipline works best when the sought after behavior is rewarded too.

1 mom found this helpful


answers from San Francisco on

I answered your previous question, and I will say it again:
this is the teacher's job, not yours.
There should be consequences at school for talking and being disruptive.
What are they doing to motivate her?
Do they use the color coded warning system (green-good, yellow-warning, red-time out) ? This is a popular and effective system in lots of schools.
Is she getting sent to the office, and/or losing recess time when she's not cooperating?
The teacher and the school NEED to do their job.
You can only control what goes on at home, it's up to the school to handle guiding, teaching and disciplining the students while they are at school.
Call or email the teacher and ASK them what they are doing, and if it's not working, ask them what their plan B is.

1 mom found this helpful


answers from New York on

Hopefully she has a good teacher who gives the children plenty of time to interact with each other, plenty of time to work with partners, and to ask questions. And she is complaining only because your daughter is interrupting, calling out, not raising her hand not allowing other children time to talk and think. Do you feel this is true?
Since you are sure your daughter is not ADD or Hyperactive, since she hasn't responded well to the behavior plans set up, my guess is she never learned to respect adults when they are talking, that you never expected her to wait, that you allowed her to interrupt you whenever. Do you think this is the problem, you said you and father are not very strict? did you ever take her to a story time or church where she had to be a good listener? Laurie A. has some great ideas for teaching her how to control her desire to talk without permission. Never allow her to interrupt when adults are talking, teacher her to say excuse me, and then wait. Most kids can do this in Kindergarten.
Another thing that could be causing the problem is your daughter feels she isn't getting enough attention, she desperately wants to be heard. Could this be the problem? See if it gets better if you make sure you take the time every morning to let her talk a lot and be listened to and have your undivided attention even if it means waking up earlier. My son and I have a routine that every night we have a "talk about" where we sit in his darkened bedroom and talk about the day. She needs a routine where she has her time to talk to you and have your undivided attention to help her deal with the majority of the time when she has to be polite, take turns and not interrupt. For now, it needs to be in the morning, to try to get the talking out before school.

1 mom found this helpful
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