London_fog asks:

How to stop the 6-year-old from talking in class?

Our 5 and half grandson, in 1st grade, has been having a time-out almost every day for the last week for talking to others in class. He loves school and is excellent with his reading, math, art work and behaves well during recess time.

I suspect that he might be bored, but when I asked him, he said no. He said he is learning new stuff from the teacher in the class.

What's wrong with him, and what should we do to help him?

Thanks a lot!
In Topics: Motivation and achievement at school
> 60 days ago



Dec 8, 2010
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What the Expert Says:

London Fog,

It sounds like your 5 1/2 year old grandson is pretty normal and very social.  Children at that age love to talk.  They are constantly asking questions, making comments, and sharing ideas.  However, some teachers don't see talking as part of the learning experience.  In order to help your grandson learn to control his talking, here are a few ideas.

Ask him questions like:
Who are you talking to?
What are you talking about?
Is it related to what you are learning or about something you saw on TV?
What is the teacher's rule about talking during class?
When can you talk when you are at school?
Are you calling out answers during a lesson?
Sometimes finding out the main reason why he likes to talk can give you some insight as to how to help him.

Give him some options.  He probably doesn't know what to do if he can't tell his friend right away what he is thinking.  One idea is to give him a pad and a pencil.  He can either write a word or sentence (or draw a picture) to help remind him what he wants to say.  Then when he can talk to his friend, he can look at his pad as a reminder.

Another idea is to give him 5 (or whatever number you like) popsicle sticks.  Each time he talks he uses up a turn.  He gets five turns in the morning and 5 for the afternoon.  You will have to get with the teacher to really make this idea work.  

Ask the teacher what she suggests.  Maybe moving his seat so he is closer to her or setting up signals that will help remind him that "now is not the time to talk."  The teacher should be willing to work with you in order to come up with a solution.

Hopefully this will give you some idea of where to begin with controlling his talking.  I would also like to point out a good article I found here on  It is written for parents, but I think you will find it helpful.

Good luck!
Barb K

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Additional Answers (1)

teenbizcoach writes:
Great answer by Lesson Pop...

My background is in working with teens....most who have been labeled with something or other and/or otherwise considered 'deviantly curious'.

I would say that nothing is wrong with your grandson. He is a little boy who probably lives in a household where he is encouraged to connect and engage with his environment. Unfortunately, in a classroom if you are not 'quiet' while the teacher is talking then you probably are thrown in the same grouping as kids with disciplinary problems.

In the home - you or someone can speak to him that in school and sometimes in other public settings, sometimes the rules are a little different than at home. So for instance, when the teacher is talking he should be listening. I think he needs an action word as opposed to being told to be quiet which is more negative and places a bit of hierarchy in the relationship.

Additionally, give him a small notebook or something that he can use like a journal. And tell him to make observations in his class. What types of things did he think of during the day? What were his feelings about what was happening? What did he like? What did he not like?

In the school - I think that you should speak to his teacher and tell him/her that you are working on ways to address the talking issue but at the same time you do not want to completely cut off his natural curiosity and socialization skills. Sitting in a classroom8 hours a day with few times you can talk will drive any person crazy regardless of age.

Granted he might be 'distracting to the other kids', a greater challenge is when kids are in an environment when they are punished for talking (the line is too thin for kids to know the difference) for when to speak out and when not to speak out. You risk them not speaking out about challenges or issues they are dealing with in school and them being afraid to talk in general because they see something 'bad' as happening to them whenever they speak.  So his teacher needs to meet him halfway. Some things she can possibly do:

1. Move his desk to the front closer to her desk or to the front of the room. Maybe he simply wants a little more attention.

2. Give him more 'independent' and creative projects he can do during this time if he finishes his work.

3. Since he likes to talk, let him assist in teaching some of the sessions or leading some of the activities.

Good luck with your situation. Hope it works out to the benefit of your grandson.
> 60 days ago

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