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rjmom
rjmom asks:
Q:

How to get our son to stop calling out in class and talking?

My 12 yr old is in 7th grade and is on the A/B honor roll. He is calling out in class and talking. None of his teachers think he has ADHD but just a lack of self-control. We don't know how to get it to stop. He has been talked to, time out, moved in the classroom, privileges taken away, grounded, sports taken away. and sent to the guidance counselor. It sometimes stop for a short period of time but nothing stops it completely. He says he tries but it just happens before he knows it.  Any other ideas to get him to stop?
In Topics: School and Academics, Discipline and behavior challenges
> 60 days ago

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Expert

Boys Town National Hotline
Feb 2, 2010
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What the Expert Says:

Thank you for writing to www.education.com for help with your son's classroom behavior. It is always frustrating for parents when children struggle with what might seem like a basic behavioral expectation.

Much like you taught your son to tie his shoes and to safely cross the street, you can help him by teaching him social skills that will help him to be more successful in the classroom. Rather than telling him what not to do, teach him how he should respond in class.

The skills of listening, following directions, asking for help, asking permission and obtaining the teacher's attention are all social skills that would directly compete with blurting or talking out in class. Much like you practiced the skill of crossing the street before he was allowed to do it on his own, you can teach, support, encourage and practice the skills your son needs to develop right at home. Your goal is to establish stress free practice sessions at home and to deliver your teaching in an upbeat, reinforcing manner. Introduce your teaching and role playing as a way to obtain the skills your son needs to achieve success at home, at school and eventually at work.

To help you learn more about social skills instruction, please check out www.parenting.org a Boys Town sponsored website with all kinds of parenting tips and proven methods for teaching and improving behavior. Once you have located the site, use the search feature to call up information on social skills instruction for strategies and the specific steps to teach for each social skill.

In addition to teaching your son the appropriate and necessary social skills, you will need to offer regular positive reinforcement for good school behavior. For example, if your son has a successful school day, allow him to select the snack of his choice when he comes home and which privilege he would like to use once he has completed his homework. On the other hand, if he does not experience a good school day it is important utilize negative reinforcement to make sure that he loses access to privileges he would normally enjoy. He would also be required to complete extra jobs around the home and complete additional role plays on the skills that he failed to utilize at school.

Lastly, many youth respond quite well to working to earn extra motivators such as an outing to the movies or the chance to visit the rock climbing wall at the park or working towards the purchase of a particular item such as a new CD or DVD; any item that generates excitement. If you think that it would be helpful to have your son work for a privilege or material item set up contract terms that will clearly spell out how he can earn achieve the item through positive behavior. For instance, your son would need to receive a good report 12 out of 15 days.

Good communication with your son's teacher / teachers is critical to monitor his classroom performance and to help ensure his success. Many parents develop a card that is passed between teacher and home each day. If your son passes from class to class, each teacher could initial the card at the end of the period. If he remains with one teacher during the day it would be a good idea to have set times for the teacher to initial. Make the mechanics of the card easy so that teachers can quickly just check appropriate boxes to indicate behavioral performance. If your son knows that there will be more immediate and constant feedback between you and the school, his behavior might improve with just this small change in communication.

Hopefully, these suggestions will help you to shape his behavior in the classroom. If you feel that it would help you to talk further with a counselor, please feel free to contact the Boys Town National Hotline at 1-800-448-3000 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.

Thanks again for writing to www.education.com.

Boys Town National Hotline
1-800-448-3000



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Additional Answers (7)

dgraab
dgraab , Parent writes:
Hi, I'm sorry to hear that your son is struggling with this issue.

Have you talked to his doctor about this? His pediatrician can evaluate if he has any health conditions that are leading to the verbal outbursts and lack of self-control (such as ADHD or Tourette Syndrome), and develop a treatment plan.

Here are some informational resources on these conditions to learn more about them:

http://www.education.com/reference/article/biological-disorders-emotional-behavioral/

http://www.education.com/reference/article/Ref_Tourette_Syndrome_3/

http://www.education.com/topic/adhd-child/

Also, here's an article from the NYU Child Study Center about habit reversal, "a behaviorally based treatment that is used to reduce repetitive behaviors which may bothersome and serve no adaptive function, such as tics, hair-pulling and nervous habits."
http://www.education.com/reference/article/Ref_Habit_Reversal/

You might also explore with his teacher, school counselor and your son if he is challenged enough academically in class (if the outbursts are coming from being bored).

I hope that by exploring this issue further with health and education professionals who can examine and talk to your son in person, you'll be able to find the source of the problem and take the right steps to resolve it. Good luck!
> 60 days ago

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sahik
sahik writes:
family members dont talk with him  till he stop talking in the class
> 60 days ago

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greenprof2
greenprof2 writes:
Hi - we had this same problem with our Matthew two years ago in 6th grade. We solved the problem by meeting with the teacher with Matt and strategizing together about how to solve the problem. We demonstrated respect for Matt's ideas and he made it a goal to change his behavior. The solution was to separate Matt's seating from being in close proximity to several of his friends. With that change plus Matt's serious goal to change his behavior, the problem was solved. He has since managed to behave properly in class and is doing very well in middle school now.  
Michael Bentley, Expert Panel Member
> 60 days ago

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jodaka
jodaka writes:
I'm sorry that you're having this problem.  But,the answers given by the website have not worked for my son at all.  I have a 9 year old that I'm having the same problem with.  We've tried rewards - all kinds of positive reinforcement, punishments - to where we have nothing left to take away.  Honestly, I feel he's just bored - he gets mostly A's without much effort.  He's very enthusiastic and yells out answers to the teacher's questions.  He's NOT ADHD - he's a boy, who needs to move and be stimulated by activites - not just sitting and listening - an active learner.  I'm sorry that I don't have the answer for you- but I'm disappointed in the answers given by this website.  Bottom line is that the children who talk too much, need to be kept challenged, busier and engaged.  The varying levels of learning in a classroom make it difficult for the brighter children to stay engaged.  There has to be ways to keep them busy while addressing the others that need additional instructions.  I'd be happy to hear of any ideas.
> 60 days ago

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jmod1978
jmod1978 writes:
Regular physical movement, preferably in nature. There's a lot of research on the calming effects of nature, and on "green exercise."
Get him movement throughout the day. By 7th grade, they eliminate recess and, often, p.e. Can he get movement, preferably outdoors, at lunch time? Take movement breaks during class? Calisthenics are especially helpful if time is short.
Mindfulness meditation can be taught to a preteen. 30 min. a day for 6 weeks will actually result in a measurable increase in the part of his brain associated with executive function. Offer him these two options and reward him for trying--then check in with him to see if either technique is working.
Also, talk to him about this. Is it just one class? Is he gifted, and so excited about learning he can't stop himself? Is he bored to death in other classes? An adjustment in what classes he takes and how many involve sitting still and taking in auditory info might be in order.
> 60 days ago

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dionneallen
dionneallen writes:
ive got the exact same problem, im banging my head against a brick wall, my daughter is 12 like your son, she says the exact same thing to me,ive noticed she is always in class on bus with same friend, they are both extroverts and bounce off eachother, so , im going to try asking school to seperate them, i,l keep you informed, good luck with your son too
> 60 days ago

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amandaqld
amandaqld writes:
Hi. I have a 12yr daughter who seems to have a habit of calling out in class. Has just started high school, however calling out in class and being a social butterfly/chatting in class was also apparent in primary school. I dislike the immediate labelling of ADHD. She is a very capable individual, however struggles with the sitting and listening component. Not quite sure how to actively alter the behaviours. The year co-ordinator labelled it as "naughty behaviour". Having racked my brain as to what it is related too, reckon it maybe trying to hard, possibly not as emtionally mature as one might presume. Really upsetting to hear feedback like this from teacher. Hope someone can provide any solutions.
> 60 days ago

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